Matchbox Faun crane to Maz 537 conversion

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This was one of those impulsive brainwaves I get every now and again and after seeing the Matchbox 8 wheeled crane (No30) without it’s crane (see below) thought to myself how much it resembles the Russian military Maz heavy tractor unit.

Ok first lets look at what I used and why.

The Matchbox 8 wheeled crane is based on a machine built by the company Faun and should look like the first picture below, this one is in my collection.

I also have many others that have come my way either complete or with parts missing, the one below didn’t have the crane.

They do make model kits of the Maz 537 but I do like a challenge and using my old scrap diecast to create something new.

The Maz 357 is a Russian military heavy hauler/tractor unit mainly using as a tank transporter.

Starting with the Matchbox crane truck chassis the next thing I needed was a low loader trailer.

A spare Matchbox convoy low loader was the first choice below but really wanted something a bit heavier.

So decided on an old Majorette trailer I had.

After stripping down the crane, I removed the grill from the baseplate and filled in the remaining gaps, I added a centre bar in the windscreen with 1mm hard wire and using 1mm Plasticard sheet cut a small circle using my office hole punch to replicate an access hatch in the roof.

The rear side windows have been filled and rear door detail removed.

The rear bumper was removed and the gap filled with Plasicard sheet.

The centre of the trailer was removed and sprayed with a satin green

The wheels are Matchbox regular wheels and have doubled up on both axles.

Once done and a few  details added to the tractor the finished conversion is below.

The addition of some Russian red star decals finish it off nicely.

Related articles;  Russian diecast MAZ

Another picture of the Maz 537 in commercial use.

Truck/ballast tractor on a Maz 537 chassis, this picture also give an idea of the size of this beast.

My next planned unit is based on the picture below, to see this conversion Click Here.


  1. Richard says:

    What was the green you used, it looks just right and the decals? did you make them?

  2. Sascha says:

    Amazing idea. I have one in 1/35, now I just bought 3 old Faun in ebay for a tractor and a Maz with trailer.

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