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First Look Review
MB Zetros with Loading Crane
Mercedes-Benz Zetros with Loading Crane
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Mercedes-Benz Zetros with Loading Crane
Collection: CARS & TRUCKS
Brochure: Herpa Cars & Trucks 2012 / 03-04
Manufacturer: Mercedes Benz
Type: Zetros
Series: Construction vehicles

Mercedes-Benz Zetros...

...is a conventional truck debuted at Interschutz 2010 in Leipzig. Mercedes-Benz premiered the Zetros as a fire engine. The heavy conventional truck Zetros, latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz fire brigade program, was primarily developed for the military market and is available as an two- or three-axle all-terrain vehicle.

A 6-cylinder in-line engine with charge-air cooling (OM 926 LA)326-horsepower 7.2-liter powers Zetros. There are two transmission choices: a hydraulic Mercedes-Benz G 131 transmission with 8 forward gears and a low-geared crawler gear, or an optional six-speed Allison 3000 automatic transmission. The Zetros also gets three mechanical differential locks as standard to tackle the toughest terrain.

Zetros feature a reinforced frame:

Optimum frame conditions for off-road assignments. Based on the Actros Bau straight frame, a sturdy, durable ladder-type frame with open C-section longitudinal members and bolted C-section transversal members was designed. Inner reinforcements ensure maximum load-bearing capability. The frame front end, too, was redesigned to enable attachment of equipment for towing or lifting the vehicle. In addition, the frame concept enables a high degree of flexibility for implement attachment. The Zetros offers numerous individual body and superstructure variants (available in PDF).

The new Zetros is available in a two-axle version, the Zetros 1833 A 4x4, with a 4800 mm wheelbase, and a three-axle version, the Zetros 2733 A 6x6, with a wheelbase of 4750 mm 1450 mm. Chassis weights are 8.1 t and 10.5 t, respectively, with permissible gross vehicle weights of 16/18 t and 25/27 t, respectively. The standard platform reaches a length of 5.1 m (2-axle version), or 6.2 m (3-axle); other vehicle dimensions can be provided on request.

Herpa Zetros
Introduced in
as the cover story, Zetros models are produced by Cursor-Modelle – the company utilizes Herpa components.

Your Zetros is mostly factory assembled, you must attach the optional mirrors to the cab. It’s securely packed in a form-fitted tray. The tray is held inside a red Herpa carton with a cellophane window, and opens via tabs at each end. The tray has a slot for the mirrors, and slots for your fingers to easily remove the tray from the box. A holographic Daimler licensing label is on one flap.

The model is skillfully molded and assembled without any blemishes. It is not flawless: Quality control missed that both stabilizing struts are installed upside down. Herpa might want to check their stock as this mistake is shown on their website portrait for this model; a search of other Herpa Construction Vehicles mounting cranes show the stabilizer legs mounted properly with the foot base down.

Doors, hoods, and access panel lines are defined with recessed lines. The grille is not molded open. Towering behind the right fender is the air intake; this model's cap does not have the dimple molding flaw of the previous Zetros review.

A low heavy-duty flatbed tops the rear.

Rubber tires with sharp detail mounted on detailed hubs support the model. Michelin is molded on the sidewalls. The front wheels can be made to steer if you acquire Herpa’s optional steering set.

The model features headlights, parking lights, and warning beacons of appropriately tinted clear lenses. However, the tail lights are painted with gloss paint. Detail inside the passenger compartment includes a dashboard, steering wheel, gear shift, console and seats; this detail can be seen through the windows if you try hard enough.

Exterior detail includes separate sideview mirrors. Windshield wipers detail the windshield. Underneath the vehicle is a chassis of simplified basic detail and a spare tire.

The crane is more than basic. Nicely detailed, it can be raised, lowered, pivoted, and extended to do what needs to be done.

Jutting out from the crane base are the two aforementioned stabilizers. They can be extended out from the base; one pulled all the way out while I could not remove the other. In fact, it broke instead of coming out of the base! The legs can be pulled down; extending the legs reveals another problem, the stems are too short, pulling all the way out of the tube and dropping to the ground. These features need some tweaking at the factory.

Finish and Markings
The model is molded in color: rot and silber / red and silver. The grille sports a chromed Mercedes-Benz emblem. Herpa does not used decals.

Zetros are big vehicles. This imposing model captures the brawny character of the vehicle. Overall the detail is sharp. I appreciate the rubber heavy tires and the detailed cab. The positionable crane is great.

The misapplied stabilizing struts are disappointing. As is the simplified underside and the painted rear lights.

Overall this model captures the feel of the imposing construction truck. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.


[1]. "Unimog and Zetros." n.p. Mercedes-Benz UK. n.d. 19 Mar. 2012.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Positionable articulated crane; tinted clear lenses for warning lights. Reasonable detail.
Lows: Soft surface detail and basic underside detail, painted running lights. Stabilizing struts are installed upside down.
Verdict: A well molded model of a modern heavy duty truck with good overall detail.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 159487
  Suggested Retail: 32.50 €
  Related Link: Herpa's Zetros series
  PUBLISHED: Mar 19, 2012

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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