How to Assemble a Realistic-Looking Model AK-75B Truck Crane

Looking for a new project? How about an AK-75B model truck build?
Christopher McFadden

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Are you looking for a new miniature project, but can't decide on a subject? How about this interesting Soviet-era model of an AK-75B crane? 

ak-75B model complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started. 

Bits and pieces needed

Step 1: Assemble the model

The first step is to unbox the model and remove the parts of the sprues. This particular kit is also pretty interesting as the cab is made of metal.

All other parts are, as you'd expect, molded plastic.

ak-75B model kit assemble
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Recruiting help from hobby pliers, cut off any excess pieces of sprue using a modeling knife. You may also want to remove any mold lines that are present on the model pieces too. 

Once complete, use plastic glue, like polystyrene cement, to assemble the model according to the kit's instructions. Allow the glue to cure before moving on to other parts throughout the build. 

ak-75b model glue pieces
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Other than the cabin, the axles are also metal on this kit. Insert them into the axle bridges, but do not glue them as we'll need them to rotate later. 

If needed, file down any mold lines on the metal cabin too, and glue any plastic pieces to it using superglue.

ak-75b cabin glue
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Depending on your painting preference, you can either complete the model in its entirety or leave it partially disassembled to get to all the details. 

You may even wish to paint the parts on the sprue. This is completely up to you. 

ak-75B pre paint
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 2: Prime the model

The next step is to prime all the model parts. You can do this by hand, but since the kit is a mixture of metal and plastic, you can use a spray can, or airbrush to do this. The finished model will be generally light colors, so a white primer has been used in this instance. 

ak-75B prime
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Let the primer dry completely before moving on to the next step. 

Step 3: Paint the model

With the primer dry, it is time to paint the model. How you tackle this is completely up to you, but one strategy is to start with the larger, simpler elements. 

ak-75B paint
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For darker parts of the model like metal, add another layer of black primer to those areas. For example, most of the main chassis can be painted black. 

It is always a good idea to thin down the paints a little to ensure a smooth and even finished when they dry. This also prevents paints from clotting and obscuring fine details, and drying too quickly. 

For this model, the cabin and top of the chassis are painted light blue. The main crane elements will be painted in yellow. 

In all cases, and depending on how thin you like your paints, you may need to complete several layers for nice even coverage. 

ak-75B paint cabin
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With any yellow elements, please note that yellow is notoriously a tricky color to paint on its own. You will likely need quite a few layers before you are left with a bold yellow finish. 

As you complete the painting of some elements, like the crane and base, you can also begin the final assembly of the model too once the paint is dry. 

ak-75B begin final assembly
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once parts like the cabin painting are complete, you can now glue any transparent plastic pieces, like the rear and front windows. 

ak-75B windows
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

If the glazing components have frame moldings, paint these black before gluing them to the main model. 

Step 4: Add any transfers

Once all the paint is completely dry, you can no begin to add any decals/transfers to the model. Follow the instructions for the model kit when doing this, but generally, you will need to soak the decals in water, wait a few seconds, and then slide them off their backing onto the model. 

Use a combination of tweezers and, pro-tip here, a clean paintbrush to maneuver the transfer around. You should have a few seconds to do this before the decal begins to cling to the model. 

ak-75B model decals
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 5: Use oil paint to give the model more depth

With the previous step complete, use some oil paint to add depth to the paintwork, where needed. For example, the yellow elements of the crane will benefit greatly from this technique by using some ochre oil paint thinned down.

ak-75B model oil paint
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Alternatively, you can also simply use a darker, watered-down, shade of a particular color to "wash" the paintwork. However, using oil paints tends to produce a better, "fuller" finish. 

Ultimately this is a matter of personal choice. 

For the wheels, paint the hubs black, and the actual rubber tires a dark grey. Once dry, you can attach to the chassis axles.

ak-75B model attach wheels
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 6: Paint metallic elements

Next, use metallic paints to paint the metal parts of the model. This will include the headlight reflectors and various other parts of the model.

Once complete, and where applicable, you can now add any lens components to the model — like the main headlights. 

ak-75B headlights
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 7: Add some effects and finish the model

With all those steps complete, it is now time to add some fancy details. Use some varnish to seal the glass elements into place, and add a thin layer of colored paint to things like the indicators. 

If the paintwork looks a little monotonous in place, feel free to also drybrush some lighter tones — the yellow parts on the crane for example. 

ak-75B model drybrush
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

On the cabin, you can also "wash" any solid lines and joints in the metal with a dark blue, or thinned-down black paint. But, take your time when doing this as you don't want the paint to run or smudge. 

If desired, you can also "wash" other parts of the model to give it more depth and contrast. 

ak-75B contrasts
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now paint the number plates, and glue them into place. With that, your model AK-75B is complete. 

Now, all you need to do is to find a nice place to display it. Alternatively, you can also create a diorama for your model too

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