Building Your Own Frozen-Effect Zvezda Model Truck

Looking to build the ultimate frozen-effect model truck? Then, this is just the project for you.
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can click on this alternative video link.

Do you fancy making a frozen effect model truck? Then this short guide will prove invaluable. 


diy truck complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you'll first need to gather together some materials and equipment. 

Bits and pieces needed

With all the bits and pieces in hand, it is time to get on with the build. 

Step 1: Assemble the model

The first step is to unbox the model and remove the main pieces from their sprues. Use modeling pliers or a modeling knife to make short work of this stage.

With the kit above, all parts are injection molded plastic, so be sure to trim off any or file down any mold lines. 

Alternatively, depending on how you prefer to assemble and paint models, you could paint the parts on the sprues and remain (and touch up) later. 

model truck remove from sprue
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With the pieces removed from the sprues, begin to assemble the truck model using plastic glue to adhere the pieces together. 

Always allow the glue to cure before adding any newer pieces to partially assembled sections. You can also make use of modeling clamps, or elastic bands, to hold larger sections together to provide a nice tight fit. 

model truck assembly
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For smaller, more fiddly, pieces, use tweezers to help you maneuver and place them onto the model. Follow any instructions provided to complete the model, as required. 

You may want to leave the main chassis, cabin, and wheels detached, for now, to make the painting process easier. But this is completely up to you. 

model truck complete assembly
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 2: Prime the model

With the main model assembly effectively completed, it is time to prime the model. The color of the primer/basecoat will depend on the final aesthetic of the model, but in this case, a light grey primer has been chosen as the final paint scheme will be frozen/winter effect. 

You can complete this by hand, or using an airbrush. If the former, be sure to water down the primer a little to ensure it flows smoothly and doesn't obscure any of the model's fine detail. For darker parts of the model, like metal parts, undercoat/prime in black. 

diy model truck undercoat
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

This will likely take a few coats to provide a nice, even coverage over the entire model. Be sure to let any primer dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Paint the model

With the undercoat complete (and dry) it is now time to paint the main model. The colors used will depend on the final look of the model, but in this case, a base camouflage of green will be covered with layers of ice and snow. 

Most Popular

Let's start with the green elements. Paint the cabin and other parts of the model that will be camouflaged in green. Like the primer before, water down the paint a little to ensure a nice smooth coverage without losing the model's detail below. 

diy truck begin painting
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

As before, this will likely take a few coats for a nice even, and solid, paint coverage. Where needed, you can now begin to add some fine detail to areas like the cabin. 

As the interior will remain the same uniform color as the external green, you can add transfer details like posters, etc. 

For the upholstery seat, paint by hand, or use a small section of sponge, to apply a mottled grey effect. 

model truck cabin details
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

At this point, you can also add any glazing elements to the main cabin. If the glazing pieces have any frames molded into them, you can paint these prior to affixing them to the model. 

As we will be frosting the glass later, you don't need to be too careful here -- you won't be able to easily see inside the cabin once complete.

diy truck model add glazing
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, you can now complete the model by attaching the cabin to the chassis and the wheels to their axles. 

diy truck add cabin
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 4: Add the external fine details

With that complete, you can now begin to assemble and attach fine details elements to the model -- like headlights, etc. 

Assemble as instructed, using tweezers for smaller parts, and attach them to the model, as needed. 

diy truck lights
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once complete, you can also begin to add other details to the truck like identification markings. You can either use transfers provided, or hand-painted using a fine detail brush. 

If hand painting, water down the paint so that it flows akin to writing ink. Roughly sketch out the markings on the first run, and then make them bigger, ad bolder with each additional layer. 

Don't worry too much about making mistakes, you can always paint over them later and try again. If the paint is still wet, you can also "wash" off using a stiff brush and water. 

diy truck markings
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 5: Camouflage the model

With that complete, you can now move on to camouflaging the model. Take a thick broad brush, and white paint, to apply a mottled effect all over the area to be camouflaged. 

Take your time, and be sure to avoid painting over the markings you previously completed. You can always consider covering them with masking tape to protect them during this stage. 

diy truck camouflage
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once complete, and while the paint is still a little tacky, use a mixture of dry brushing, and wiping with tissue paper, to level and streak the paint. This will prevent the model from having raised stippled painted areas and help give it a frosted appearance.

truck camouflage tissue paper
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, go back over the camouflage surfaces with a dry brush and fine detail brush to apply another layer of mottled green patches. This will take some practice, but be sure to use a reference image for the camouflage effect you are attempting to imitate. 

diy truck winter camo green
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

 If you want to add icicles to the model, you can use clear plastic sprues for this purpose. Grab a lighter, melt, and draw the molten plastic into thin strings. 

Let it set and cut off small sections that can then be glued to the model. 

diy truck icicles
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 6: Add weathering and environmental effects

Next, turn the model over, and sprinkle over a layer of mud/dust modeling dust to the underside of the chassis. You can use commercial over-the-counter products, or create your own using old colored chalk or old powdered makeup.

diy truck model aging
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Use a flat, non-glossy, varnish to fix the powder to the model once applied. Rinse and repeat to all areas you want to be weathered on the model. 

Take your time with this stage, and enjoy it. It is fun!

diy truck weathering
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For the snow, mix a combination of snow effect powder, or very fine white modeling sand, apply PVA to where you want the snow to adhere, and sprinkle your snow mix over the areas in question. 

diy truck snow effect
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For added realism, add in some grass flock, or cut very short lengths of old paintbrush bristles into the snow mix. 

Rinse and repeat for all areas of the model you want the snow effect to appear on. 

diy truck snow on cabin
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Take the time to also make the window sections of the cabin look frosted. 

diy truck moderl frosted glazing
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 7: Paint and add any luggage to the truck's bed

With that complete, paint, if not already complete, any luggage that is to be stowed in the truck's bed. Glue into place as desired. 

diy truck luggage
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For fabric materials, like sandbags, allow the glue to set, and then "wash" them with a darker pigment to give them some depth. You can use either acrylic paints or for best results, thinner oils. 

diy truck luggage sandbags
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Once complete, paint some areas of the luggage with PVA glue and sprinkle over your snow mix once again. 

diy truck snow on luggage
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that, your model truck is now complete. Now all you need to do is find a place to display it!

Alternatively, you could consider making a diorama for it too? So many choices, so little time. 

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron