Kit Preview : 1/76 SMA Praga RV 2t Truck

About the manufacturer
SMA molds were acquired by Matador when the firm went under. They are gradually being rereleased. SMA kits tend to be a mixed bag: great subjects but spotty execution and research. Main parts are resin and details white metal. If you are used to precision engineered plastic models with dozens of detailed pieces, you are in for a shock.

About the vehicle
The Praga RV was a Czech built 6x4 2t truck built between 1935 and 1939. The Germans impressed these trucks after the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia and used them on all their early campaigns.
Information and photos can be found here and here.

About the kit

SMA use mixed media for their kits, resin for the body and cab, and white metal for the chassis, wheels and smaller parts. It usually works well as the chassis and wheels benefit from the greater strength of metal. In addition a metal chassis is much easier to straighten out than a resin one. On the downside, SMA resin castings are not the quality of Milicast or Cromwell. Many tiny air bubbles need to be filled in and some of the panel engravings are misaligned.
Overall, with some work, it should turn out as nice representation of a rare vehicle. The 1/72 Profikit model is more detailed but has a misshapen cab that is too rounded.

Reviewed on September 6, 2011