Zvezda 1/35 GAZ AA 1.5 Ton Truck Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||January 2006||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Subject||GAZ AA 1.5 Ton Truck||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||3602||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Unique subject in this scale||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$18.75|
On the 29th of January 1932 the first GAZ-AA truck was manufactured. This truck would finish the war as the most mass produced in the world. This 1.5 ton capacity truck was affectionately nick-named “Polutorka” meaning one and a half in Russian.
This truck became a legend, together with the T-34 tank and the Katyusha rocket launcher. It was incredibly durable, running on low octane fuel, easily maintained in the field and with excellent all terrain capabilities. The “Polutorka” truly earned its status as one of the great symbols of the Great Patriotic War.
A while back, I received a review kit of the AO brand 1/35th scale Soviet M-4 Quad-Mazim anti-aircraft machine gun set (reviewed elsewhere on this site). I wanted to mate this kit to a GAZ-AA Soviet truck, which it was largely mounted on for mobility in combat. However, I had no kit of this truck in my armor kit stash. On a recent visit to my local hobby shop I discovered the Zvezda kit of the GAZ-AA on the shelf for sale. I promptly bought it.
Zvezda is a model company based in Russia. Although they sometimes trade molds back and forth with Italeri, this kit is their own.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows a GAZ-AA tooling down a dirt road, leading other trucks behind it. Side panels of the box give a short history of the vehicle in 6 languages, including English. Another side panel lists Model Master paint colors suggested for use to adorn the model.
Although the box is outwardly shrink-wrapped, none of the parts trees inside are in cello bags. This is sad, because it appears that the clear parts got scratches on them in my kit from rubbing up against the other trees. Some very fine sand-paper and Future floor wax will be needed to return the clarity of these cab windows.
The box contains 5 sprues of dark green parts, one sprue of black parts (which are the tires) and one sprue of clear parts (cab windows and head-light lens). The instructions and a tiny decal sheet complete the kit’s contents.
The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 6 pages. Although there are 9 numbered assembly steps, there are also a number of steps sandwiched into these steps that are not numbered…strange. Some of the parts shown in the parts illustrations are done in a lighter shade of ink, indicating that they are excess or not needed to complete this kit.
Small letter A parts tree is the clear windows and head-light lenses (9 parts). Three of these parts are shown to be excess/no needed.
Letter B tree is the truck’s tires, molded in black styrene (7 parts). It should be noted that the truck mounts only six tires: 4 in the rear and 2 in front. So, the 7th tire is a spare and although shown to be excess on the instructions it could be placed in the rear bed of the truck.
Large letter C tree is the wood cargo bed parts and the canvas bed cover. (25 parts).
Large letter D tree is the wheel rims and hubs, the engine parts, rear and front axles, steering wheel, dash board, foot pedals and levers etc. (77 parts) Six of these are excess.
Letter E tree holds the windshield frame, radiator, hood panels, head-light bar and the seat cushions. (10 parts).
The final letter F parts tree holds the front fenders, cab doors, cab floor and cab rear wall. (5 parts)
There is no letter G tree.
The final tree, letter H, holds the frame, leaf springs and drive shaft (5 parts).
I particularly like the inclusion of the very detailed engine. All that would be needed there would be some wiring and additional plumbing. It appears to me to be a straight 4 cylinder engine. With some careful work, the cab doors could be positioned open also.
The decal sheet is rather small and only has two different sets of serial numbers, printed in white, that go on the cab doors on each side.
The paint scheme shown on the instructions is pretty generic. The truck is painted black on the frame and undercarriage and the headlight mounting bar and the roof of the cab. All the rest of the truck is in the obligatory Russian dark green. The canvas rear bed canopy is called out as Khaki drab.
I think this will make up very nicely with the Quad Maxim machine guns mounted in the bed.
The molding is crisp and nice with no flash anywhere in evidence and the detail looks good. I recommend this kit to armor modelers that enjoy doing a soft-skinned vehicle at times.