Samil 20

Kit                                            : Samil 20
Manufacturer                         : BaxMod
Scale                                        : 1/72
Type                                        : resin + PE
Paint                                        : Humbrol, Xtracolor.
Accessories                            : Scratch
References                              : Military Machines International January 2005



SAMIL is an abbreviation for South-African Military. It is a name given to a series of trucks specially designed for the South African army. They are put into weight categories and get the subsequent number behind their names. So we can find the 20, 50 and 100 series. The 20 is the smallest of them all with a load capacity of 2 tonnes. 

Construction ran from 1976 till 1991 but the truck came in full service during the border conflict with Namibia in 1980. It still serves with the SANDF (South African National Defence Force) 

Their structure can be called rather simple: chassis and cab always stay the same. The rest is added as needed. The Samil 20 can be found as troop carrier, commando, shelter, water truck and even as a weapons platform for a 20mm AA or Milan AT system.

Samils are not mine-protected although some were adapted for it in later stages.  

The kit:

The kit comes from BaxMod, abbreviation for Baxter’s Models. It is a resin kit with photo etching (PE).

The kit is of a troop carrier version with canvas cab roof. The loading platform is well detailed with benches in PE. A canvas roof is provided but this part was damaged in my kit. 

BaxMod uses the same type of resin as for its other models but it seems to be of better quality, at least there are less air bubbles and parts are therefore stronger. Instructions are of the same type as with the Mfesi, painting instructions are given per stage. 

There is no steering wheel or engine. The interior needs extra detailing with a gear stick; there are no separate doors.


Each part needs cleaning up because of flash and/or mould sprues. It is a soft type resin that lends itself to work with.

The loading platform is very fragile; especially both parts at the rear on the loading berth. Unfortunately, I broke mine and had to replace them with metal wire. BaxMod has foreseen this because these parts are provided in the PE set but on the other hand they are too flat and almost useless.

Needless to say that superglue is needed and that you must take care not to inhale resin dust by using water abrasive paper. 

I will follow the stage numbers and use them in my description. 

A: Preassembling:

1: cab:

The cab comes in five pieces, roof not included. Both sidewalls fit well together with the back and the bottom plate. Detail is found on seats and a few moulded-on knobs representing a control panel. There was no steering wheel and I needed to find one in the spares box. A better dashboard is found using decals; gear stick is made scratch. There are no clear parts for windows provided, the flash must be cut away and replaced with clear plastic.

The canvas roof kit part can be used but loses its detail when sanded. I replaced it by a roof made from a paper napkin dipped in diluted white glue. When dry, this was painted and dry-brushed. 

2: Loading platform:

The walls are very thin and fragile but well detailed. Two reversed U form profiles are provided but they are full of flash. They are probably two steps hanging down when the loading berth is hanging down. Unfortunately, they broke off when cleaning up and I had to replace them with metal wire.

The picture of the Samil on the box cover shows that the canvas is secured with ropes attached to small hooks on the sides of the platform. I constructed them (6 on each side) from some leftover PE and glued them with superglue. 

3: Spare wheel holder:

This part will find its place directly behind the cab. It consists of a plate on which is mounted a reversed U profile and the spare wheel in its attachment. The bottom side receives two PE supports that will be glued to the chassis. 

Cleaning up and cutting away flash is necessary. The U profile filled with flash also broke but could be fixed. Replacing it by metal wire is an option. 

4: The air intake:

The air intake is also situated behind the cab and needs to be glued on the part described in stage 3. It consists of two pieces that need to be glued one to another and some adjusting is needed. The lower part had a small curved piece at the back that has to be cut away. 

5: Wheels and axles:

Thorough clean up is necessary. 

6: Radiator protection grille:

The grille is a PE part that must be glued to a resin part. This part will be mounted in a later stage on the cab front as a protection for radiator and headlights. 

7: Benches:

All parts are PE and the must be glued together. I added small plastic strips to those PE parts so I could represent the thickness of the wood on the benches. 

8 en 9: Fenders:

Four PE parts that need to be bend and glued. 

10 and 11: Rear view mirrors and corner supports:

Again PE parts that must be bend before being fixed.

The corner supports can be mounted from before on the corners of the loading platform.

The supports for the mirrors are too flat and are best replaced with metal wire. Mirrors can be painted but I represented them using self-adhesive metal foil.



B: Assemblage:

Both axles are positioned onto the chassis. This is followed by mounting the cab and a piece that will receive the loading platform. The spare wheel support is mounted between the cab and the loading platform.

Wheels are added crosswise. The right front axle broke of but could be glued on again. 

Once all this is done, we can fix the front grille, benches and air intake followed by the rear view mirrors, fenders and corner supports. 

Finishing touch:

The Samil can use a lot of detailing and refining. First, windows are cut out from clear plastic sheet and fixed. Front cabin windows are enough; the climate is hot enough to let side windows away. Windows demand window washers; they are provided in the PE set but are best adjusted. 

There are handrails close to each cab door and at the cabin rear. Another one is placed on the bottom side of the spare wheel part. 

The loading platform also can use some detailing as the before mentioned tie-downs to keep the canvas tied. If you want the model with its canvas on, you need to add some ropes around these hooks. Due to the fact that the canvas part was damaged in the kit, I opted not to replace it. That way, the benches can be seen. 

The part with the spare tyre has a safety chain. I fixed it with a chain from a railroad kit.

The sides receive orange coloured reflectors. 


Only one colour: tan. Experience with the Mfesi made me paint the Samil in Humbrol 118 mixed with sand in a 70/30 mixture.

Details are accentuated with pure H118 applied under low pressure with a 0.15 needle. The large flat surfaces receive a coat of Xtracolor Russian Havoc tan. This colour is paler than H118 and tends to Desert Pink. Accentuate with a light wash of strongly diluted Burnt Sienna and a dry brushing of Russian havoc Tan + white. 

Tyres are painted black with a dry-brush of German Panzer Grey and a strongly diluted wash of sand colour in the wheel ribs.

Headlights in silver and white, orange direction indicator lights; red lights and reflectors at the back. 

Everything is sealed with a coat of Klir (Future) followed by a coat of matt varnish.


No decals provided. 


Not so difficult regarding its construction thanks to the different pre-assembly stages. Too bad I got some parts broken when cleaning-up and construction. 

Nice kit that certainly would find its place next to a Unimog (if it should exist on 1/72). It looks big, bigger than a “deuce”. It would easily lend itself to conversions with a different type of body.

Maybe a tip to BaxMod to use their existing model in an optimal way?

A Samil 20 with shelter or a water tank or even a 20 mm AA should look great!





Keep ‘m building



IPMS Gent.