|MINIART - GAZ-AAA Mod.1943 Cargo Truck|
A look through the new MiniArt kit of this Russian truck!
GAZ-AAA Mod.1943 Cargo Truck
Material: Styrene & Photo-etch
Serial Number: 35133
MiniArt from the Ukraine, began making plastic kits in 2003, and has rapidly made a name for themselves, for high quality kits of vehicle, figure and diorama subjects. This kit is of a Russian truck manufactured from 1934 to 1943, of which over 37,000 were produced. This specific model is of a 1943 production vehicle with canvas cab roof, and wooden doors to provide some measure of protection against the elements, whilst also keeping production costs down.
The kit contents are very similar to earlier released versions of this vehicle, for example, MiniArt 35127, the version with an all steel cab. Of course, there are differences...not just the canvas and wooden cab. First off, the large sprues that hold various parts to construct the chassis, rear cargo area and engine are common to both versions. However, we're now supplied with new small sprues containing parts to construct the new square, more angular fenders, the wooden cab doors, and canvas roof. There are other small differences too.
The moulding of all the parts is well up to par for a modern manufacturer, with only a small amount of flash on the figure sprue...more on this later. The instructions supplied are in the form of a sixteen-page stapled booklet with full-colour glossy cover. The actual assembly steps are of the usual exploded line drawing type, and begin where you expect, with the assembly of the engine and the subsequent fitting of this to the multi-part chassis. The engine itself is quite nicely detailed too. The engine of course includes a detailed radiator, housing and fan too. The chassis is provided in two sides with separate cross-members, so it will pay to take extra care during assembly to make sure everything is lined up correctly and sitting flat, including the suspension components, in order that all ten wheels touch ground, and all the body panels fit together with no awkward gaps where there shouldn't be. The chassis construction is slightly different to that of 35127, in that the curved bumper supports at the front are omitted, and instead a bar is fitted across the front of the chassis.
The tyres are once again provided as 'slices', in order that the proper tread pattern can be represented. Each wheel is constructed from seven 'slices' joined and then sandwiching a separate central hub between them. Take care to make sure you don't get the outer 'slices' confused, as the manufacturers logo and markings are only on the outside slice, and not on the inner tyre sidewall. The rear two axles are quite a complicated little assembly, and are fully constructed as a sub unit before being fixed to the chassis. There's a double leaf spring for suspension between each of the two axles, and the detail is absolutely superb!
Once the engine, drive train and very detailed running gear are all complete and assembled to the chassis, the cab area can be assembled onto the model beginning with the cab floor, onto which the bench seat is fixed, along with driver's levers and pedals. The windscreen on this version is provided as an injection moulded frame, onto which a transparent styrene part is fixed. The wiper is supplied as photo-etch, and the motor assembly in plastic. The windscreen is provided for in two forms, able to be posed opened or closed, and there are two tiny photo-etched sliders supplied for fixing either side of the opening part so that you can fix it to the position you want. The entire windscreen is then fixed to the engine firewall and top and sides of the bodywork. The dashboard is a very simply detailed part. The dials are moulded flat and there are no decals provided, so if you want detail on these then you'll have to source decals from elsewhere. There are details to be added to the engine side of the firewall, and if you're going to have problems fixing all these panels without gaps, then this is where you'll encounter them, so you might want to take extra care at this point, maybe even leaving parts unfixed until you're sure they will marry up correctly with the rest of the bonnet to be fitted next. Especially if you're going to display the engine all closed up. The bonnet is made from two top parts hinged together, and two louvered side panels hinged either side. The louvres in these panels exceptionally narrow and yet are actually moulded open, and full instructions are illustrated for displaying the bonnet open.
The actual body of the cab in this kit is constructed of parts that replicate a canvas roof, together with the top portion of the cab rear, and wooden doors. Each of the doors is provided with transparent glazing, and has a fairly well done woodgrain pattern on their outside surface. Their inner surfaces are provided with handles along with outside ones. Once the cab is complete the running boards and fenders can be fitted. Each side is moulded as one piece with separate support brackets provided. The running board portion has a woodgrain pattern moulded in.
The rear wooden load bed has a woodgrain effect too, and this is moulded onto upper and lower surfaces. There's a provision on the instructions for a lowered tailgate, although this is simply a case of cementing the part in a different position.
There are two colour schemes illustrated on the instruction sheet, both of which were green basecoat, one with a worn winter white coat applied over it. There are no decals supplied in the kit.
The included figure set consists of five Russian figures, all posed in the act of trying to move the truck through heavy mud. It's more or less a diorama in a box! Three of the figures are posed actually pushing against the rear of the vehicle, whilst two are posed with logs trying to lever the rear wheels free. Everything you need is supplied on the one sprue...even the two logs!
A well thought out and produced kit of a vehicle that will prove extremely popular, especially in diorama settings on the Eastern Front...love it!
My thanks to MiniArt for the review sample!