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Hobby Boss- 9M96 of 50P6E TEL S350E Vityaz

Catalog Number: 85529 Manufacturer: Hobby Boss
Published: Monday, May 20, 2024 Retail Price: $214.99
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: Joseph McDaniel

Hobby Boss- 9M96 of 50P6E TEL S350E Vityaz

When I posted the First Look review almost a year ago, I commented "The box top says it is for builders 14+, so as long as the builder follows the diagrams and doesn't miss any of the steps, the build should go smoothly for beginner to advanced. ...   I might be in for an unpleasant surprise keeping chassis and TEL parts straight, painting different parts separately and then cementing them together." During the build, I did have several unpleasant surprises, so if you're considering buying the kit, or have already bought it but haven't begun construction, hopefully my comments will help you out. I consider myself to be a fairly competent intermediate level modeler, but I struggled with this build.

The instructions begin with building the engine in steps 1 and 2. Locate and attach parts from seven different sprues, one of which is PE. Pretty much straight forward and the parts fit together pretty well, but some of the smaller parts have very thick sprue attachment points. Be careful removing part H60 which is very fragile, and do not glue part H48. The sub-steps use a light gray arrow to indicate sequence of the build, which did not cause any problems, other than ensuring multiple sub-steps were completed in a logical order.

Rear engine view

Right side

Left side

Front view

Top view

Steps 3 through 7 are the initial construction of the chassis, and oh boy, are there a lot of parts and for me, a few issues. Step 3 is attaching transmission components and frames to the inner right chassis side. Note that parts H25+H26+G4 and F19+F20+G4 are similar in appearance, but attach the reverse of each other in order to accept parts C2+C7 and K2. When attaching the triangular PE B3 and B4 to G2 top, and PE B5 and B6 to G2 bottom, note there is a barely visible raised square shape to help with alignment; leave the two pegs at the ends of G2 unblocked by the PE so the pegs can fit into their respective holes in the chassis sides. These PE parts were a headache to line up with the attachment parts on the chassis, unfortunately I did not take a closeup photo of that. I sprayed Vallejo green primer coat on the chassis because of all the transmission parts to come would block doing so.

Chassis rear end

Step 4 is adding more transmission components to the right hand chassis. The first few sub-steps are straight-forward with good fit and solid attachment points. I did have trouble aligning the triangular PE B7 and B8 to G2's top and B5 and B6 to G2's bottom because the attachment area is so small. I had to trim off the attachment points on F22 because they did not align with B7 and B8.

F22 and PE B5/B6 and B7/B8 at far left

Step 5 continue attaching transmission and power train components and braces. The small triangular PE parts continue to be a problem with attachment and alignment to the mating surface on the chassis, but will not be visible once construction is complete. In the very last sub-step, attach parts R4 and H22 to the outside of right-hand chassis, and I would recommend immediately fitting part R30, which is in Step 6, because it goes into holes on the inside of the chassis, and I needed tweezers to fit it in. It took me several looks to realize the arrow for fitting R30 is a long U-shape on its side.

Step 5 completed

Close-up of the front chassis parts, notice how the triangular PE parts are bent from trying to insert them into slots

A close-up of the rear chassis parts, no problems here

Step 6 - Engine installed, both chassis sides attached. I did some pre-shading with Tamiya NATO black.

Chassis still not complete, much more to come

Step 6 has lots of parts that have to be fitted almost simultaneously: attach S10 driveshaft to R3 to engine rear, while installing the engine and then attaching left-hand chassis, Part A31, to the right-hand chassis, Part A1. There are 18 attachment parts for the two chassis to join, making sure that all the transmission and drive train parts are aligned. After joining the two halves, attach 10 PE triangular plates as depicted. Attach L24, rear chassis plate.

Step 7 shows the chassis upside down in order to attach 10 triangular PE parts to the bottom of the chassis as depicted, along with four Parts G8 on the left hand side and four Parts G9 on the right hand side at each wheel station. These were some of the parts with significant flash to be cleaned up. I am not sure, but they may be a type of bump stop or shock absorber. No close-up photo of this step.

Steps 8 - 15 building the axle/suspension mount assemblies

Steps 8 - 15 are building the axle/suspension mount assemblies B-B through J-J (no I-I), and although the assemblies are similar, there are some part differences, which is why I labeled sticky notes with each one so I wouldn't mix them up front with back and left with right. Several parts are marked with the symbol to not use cement. There is a part (F31, R11, J15, etc) that might be a horizontally oriented shock absorber that has a gap in the part that looks like a gun barrel; when inserting Part G17 into the gap, be careful or you may break the small rear section off. The sub-assemblies G-G and J-J are attached to the rearmost wheel stations on the chassis, and Parts J14 and J15 are noticeably shorter than their counterparts on the other six sub-assemblies.

Forward axle/suspension sub-assemblies D-D and E-E

Rear axle/suspension sub-assemblies H-H and J-J

Step 16 is attaching the axle sub-assemblies to both chassis sides. The directions show the chassis upside down for this step; note in the instructions the attachment of Parts G20 on both sides, with the axle sub-assemblies fitting over it. The G20 part is very, very fragile; there are three sprue attachments for G20, so be careful removing and cleaning them up, as they will break. I managed to break the outer half of G20 on the second and third wheel stations on the left-hand side trying to attach sub-assemblies E-E and H-H, and G20 on the fourth wheel station, G-G on the right-hand side. It might be best to glue G20 in to the axle sub-assembly and attach to the chassis.There are several more small parts to attach to the chassis and sub-assemblies; note that the chassis in the drawing is rotated in the second half of the step, but still shown upside down. Attaching the sub-assemblies B-B through J-J to the chassis was an exercise in frustration. Parts B-B through E-E consist of 12 parts, seven of which are not supposed to be glued. Parts F-F through J-J have only nine parts, of which seven are not supposed to be glued. What I ran into when trying to attach the sub-assemblies was the unglued parts coming apart, so I had to put those parts back together several times for each station, and having the broken G20 parts did not help, as that would have been a helpful anchor for the sub-assembly. When attaching Part H56 to the front of the chassis, pay close attention to the orientation of the chassis and the part, it is easy to get it backwards. Fortunately I caught my mistake before the glue set.

Step 17 shows the chassis upside down and a blow-up drawing for attaching several thin steering or suspension rods: Part C31 to Part H56 from Step 16 and Part H21 from Step 6, recommend connecting C31 to H56 while the glue is setting and allows slight adjustments. Connect J1 to H22 (Step 5) and H21; Connect R24 to R4 (Step 5) and R5 (Step 6). Attach two F17 and two R23 rods which connect the front two axle/suspension sub-assemblies to H22, H21, R4, and R5. Here was another problem - I had glued H21 and R5 (Step 6) out of alignment just enough that the connecting rods could not quite reach the correct spots, so it is not attached correctly. When attaching the vertically oriented shock absorbers, six Part R6 and two Part F33 (two front wheel stations), it was necessary to adjust the suspension sub-assemblies in order to connect correctly. Finish up this step by turning the chassis right side up and attach the radiator and two wing-like sub-assemblies to the front. Between Steps 3 and 17, you have to connect 320 parts in order to build up the eight axle/suspension sub-assemblies, transmission, and attach them to the chassis sides. and it has to be done within a small tolerance in order to connect a part in Step 17 to a part that was glued on in Step 5 and 6. 

Step 18 is building the dashboard and firewall up and attaching the decals. There are toggle switches and buttons that stand proud of the dashboard so decals do not lie completely flat, but it is not visible through the windows. I painted the dashboard and floor Tamiya Flat Black and attached the decals for gauges and dials. After the paint dried, attached the dashboard to the floor, followed by the steering wheel, shift stick, and foot pedals.

Step 19 is assembling the three two-part seats (hard to believe this monster only has a three man crew), and attaching them to the floor pedestals. Painted the seats Tamiya Khaki. Using Testors Clear Glue, attach the two front windshields and small rear window. Install PE Part A18, a vent, to the lower front cab.

Vallejo Russian Green primer

Step 20 is covering the two front windscreens with the provided die cut masks, installing the cab floor, seats, dashboard assembly into the cab. Assemble and attach three cylinders underneath the cab.

Step 21 is attaching PE non-skid plates to the left and right cab steps. Notice the step-up; recommend adding that at the end of the build, as eventually I broke it off handling the cab and had to superglue it together.. The box-top art shows this step-up on both sides of the cab, but only this side is provided and depicted in the instructions.

Step 22 is attaching four lifting rings, a hatch and a searchlight to the cab roof, marker lights on both sides of the lower cab in front, and attach the steps assembly from Step 21. Build up the cab doors and sandwich the window between the door halves. NOTE: the instructions call out the outer door halves as R8 and R9, but in my kit they were S8 and S9. Attach the die-cut masks for the door windows and the small rear window. I must have gone light on the Testors for the rear window, as I almost pushed it out of the frame putting the mask on. Since I'd already glued the doors on, that would have been bad, but fortunately, I was able to bring it back into the frame using poster putty and glue it more securely. Recommend doing this step AFTER step 24.

Step 23 is building up the side view mirrors and attaching them, but I recommend attaching them as one of the last steps, as I kept bumping them loose handling the cab. Install a couple more lights on the cab top along with a searchlight brush-guard and small hatch. Add the windshield wipers to the cab, but one of the four wipers was molded backwards, so it would not lie flat like the other three. It was glued down in several spots so it would lie flat. Also recommend doing this step AFTER step 24.

Step 24 is building eight four-part wheel and hub assemblies, insert them into the tires, then glue the outer rim and valve stems to the wheel hub, and then attach the eight tire assemblies to the suspension arms. Attach the cab to the chassis. Based on problems I had attaching the cab to the chassis, I recommend completing Steps 22 and 23 after this step. There are two male pegs on the chassis front, and two on either side (see Step 17, Parts H27/J31 and H28/J30) that must be inserted into female holes in order to attach the cab, but with all the small parts from Steps 22 and 23 it was difficult to get a grip that would not knock out a part or push in a window. In fact, I did push in the driver side front windscreen a little bit, but was able to reapply Testors Clear Glue and coax the windscreen back into position. Notice the last wheel assembly on the right side is way up in the air - at some point when attaching the axle sub-assemblies to the chassis, I messed up attaching the rearmost axle sub-assembly so that when the wheel assembly was attached, it ended up in mid-air, and this far along in the build, could not be corrected short of cutting it off and trying to rebuild it. It might make more sense to add the tire assemblies to the axle assemblies and then attach to the chassis to make sure they are all level.

Step 25 is attaching the clear headlights and orange turn signal lights to the front bumper assembly Part S1, along with the PE brush-guards A10 and A11. There is a handy jig provided to bend the brush-guards, which helped immensely. Attach the bumper assembly to the cab lower front (note that the drawing is upside down - and remember all the lights and other parts on the cab roof that can get knocked off, so be careful here. Attach J34/J16/C32 assembly to lower cab along with J12 brush-guard.

Step 26 is building up the two front six-part jack-stands, making sure not to glue the sliding arm. Note the gaps in the jack-stand which required putty. Attach two storage/tool boxes A24 and A25 on either side of the engine. Attach die-cut masks to the passenger side door windows.

Step 27 is attaching PE Part C10, which is an orange marker light, to the rear of the fenders, along with mudflaps K24 and K25, then attach the fenders to the chassis frame. Actually, the fender rests on the top of the jack-stands and attaches to two small holes on the cab rear.

Step 28 is assembling the five part engine cover and attaching to the front fender supports. Drill four holes in Part S6 first and cut off a small triangular frame from the rear of Part C12. Attach lifting rings at two spots on each side of the chassis frame and tow pintle at the rear. There are small blowup drawings showing the correct orientation for the lifting rings and pintle. Instructions show two fire extinguishers Parts S7 attached to the engine cover braces, but I attached them at the end of the build so I could paint camouflage over the engine cover and fenders.

Step 29 attach the engine cover access hatch to the cover, and grab handles to the hatch. Attach latches to the cab front. Use the supplied jig to bend the frame which goes over the gas can. Build up equipment cabinets/tool boxes H32/S13 and A28/L28 and attach to the left fender along with the gas can assembly, cabinet N1, and open-sided cabinet A26; There is no cover or door for Part A26 in the instructions, and I could not find anything on any sprue that would fit. Attach Parts K13 (grab handle and marker light) and H29 (perforated side guard) to the left fender. Attach PE Parts B9, B10, B11 x 2, B12 x 2, to each other, then to Part M23; pay attention to the PE orientation on M23 so it is attached to the chassis side correctly - the bright brass parts in photo below.

Step 30 builds two fuel tanks and attaches one on each side. Build up PE Parts B9 - B12 and attach to S13, then attach S13 to the rear of the left hand gas tank. Attach K19, grab handle and reflector to the cab rear. Instructions call for attaching two more fire extinguishers and the antenna to the cab rear wall, but I waited until the end of the build.

Step 31 builds up a large equipment container and attaches it to the right hand fender behind the cab; attach Part S12, perforated side guard, to the right fender along with the brace M16. Attach Part A3 on chassis top. Build up two probably hydraulic fluid reservoirs, sub-assemblies R-R and S-S, which will be installed in Step 33.

Step 32 photos were out of focus, so no pictures of that step. Build up the erector arm and framework, Parts L18, L23, L26, L27, D17 x 2, A21, A18, A32, A4, A5, L19, ensuring no cement gets on parts D17 and A21 so it can raise and lower. Attach assembly to rear chassis. Build up two small cylindrical tanks (F24 and F48) and one rectangular tank and attach the three to the forward part of the engine cover. Build up another cylindrical tank and attach to the right side chassis. Attach braces J2 and J4 to fenders and engine cover.  

Step 33 attach tank assemblies R-R and S-S to the engine cover. Build up the left and right rear fenders by adding front and rear mudflaps and attachment braces. The instructions call for bending PE Parts C12 and C13 lengthwise as braces for the mudflaps, but the parts are 1mm wide and 18mm long, and I do not have any tool that will bend something that long and thin, so I left them off. When removing sprue attachments from Parts D4 x 2, managed to break both, but was able to glue each end to the the left hand fender and super-glue the breaks. Parts L36 and L33 look like halves of a short ladder, and are very difficult to mate the rungs to each other and attach to the left hand fender.

Step 34 is building up sub-assembly T-T, which appears to be a large control box consisting of 14 parts.

Step 35 is building up two control boxes and attaching to rails, then attaching the rails to the bottom of a platform, Part L14; in photos above, the flat plate with ridge lines. Add steps, handles, control knobs to the platform. This is labeled sub-assembly U-U.

Step 36 builds up sub-assembly V-V, which is a rear non-skid platform with jack-stands at the rear of the chassis. Unlike the front jack-stands, the rear jack-stands' feet are not glued on, but just clicked in place so they can freely flop around. Bend and attach PE Parts C17 x 2, C18, and C6.

Front on left, rear on right

Bottom frame on left, top on right

Another view, bottom on right

Step 37 builds up two sub-assemblies W-W, each of which are the frames holding six missile tubes.

Step 38 is building up the 12 missile tubes. First, snip the 156 sprue attachment points, 13 points x 12 tubes, then sand or scrape off the nubs 156 times. Then attach the end cap parts. There are ten end cap parts per tube, each part has two sprue attachment points, so that's 240 snips and sanding. There's an optional PE ring for the forward end which I did not attach. Although there are seams along the length of the missile tubes, only one side will be visible, and they were easily sanded off. Insert six missile tubes per frame, build up the rear frame rail and attach. Attach eight PE lifting rings, four of which have to be bent, where indicated. These are sub-assemblies X-X.

There are 349 decals used on this build - 43 on the truck, frame, and cab instrument panel. The other 306 decals go on the missile tubes; some of them are so long, that I ended up cutting them in half after messing up trying to apply them as whole decals. Be sure to apply a gloss coat before applying, then use a decal fixing solution, then another gloss coat.

Step 39 is building up the erector frame assembly and attaching it to the missile frame, sub-assembly X-X. Be careful not to get cement on Parts L35 and D13 x 2 so that the frames will lift. Note that there are four very thin tabs on the erector frame that are supposed to slot into the bottom of the missile frame X-X, but they would not line up, so I shaved them off and attached the two together.

Step 40 is attaching the upper missile frame X-X to the bottom missile frame X-X. Note that again I could not match up the thin tabs on the top frame with the bottom frame's slots, so I sanded them off. Build up the rear frame slats and attach to the two missile frames. This completed step is referred to as Y-Y.

Step 41 attaches, in no particular order, sub-assemblies T-T, U-U, and V-V. Attach the rear light assemblies.

Step 42 is attaching sub-assembly Y-Y's piston rod into the piston sheath, and insert pins D8 without cement into the retaining holes on Y-Y and the chassis so Y-Y can raise and lower. Build complete.

PROS: According to Scalemates, this is the only kit of the 9M96 of 50P6E TEL S350E available. According to photos and videos I found on the web, the kit appears to be an accurate version of the real thing. Hardly any flash or knockout holes on parts. The engine, cab, chassis, missiles, launch frames all built up without too many problems, other than what was noted in review above.

CONS: There are many things wrong with this kit, but the main problem is the multi-part axle and suspension system, which has a couple of fragile and easily broken parts. I have no idea what went wrong to have the leftmost rear assembly be so messed up, when the others went on well. The building sequence has too many small and easily knocked off parts attached too soon in the build, and they would be better off attached at a later point. Some of the steps have a lot of parts to be built and attached, and there is no clear sequence given in the instructions. There are thick sprue attachment points on small parts, which make it difficult to remove and clean up without breaking them. The missile tubes have 156 attachment points to clean up, and then the end caps have 240 to be cleaned up; that is 396 attachment points just for the missiles. While there is no doubt the actual missiles and prime mover have markings, preparing the model, removing 349 decals from the sheet, and then attaching them took several hours over a few days, waiting for one side to dry before moving on to the next side.

Recommended for Advanced builders, and with reservations for intermediate builders.

Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review kit.

Reviewed by Joseph "Mac" McDaniel


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