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Ural 4320/APA-5D

Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 Ural 4320/APA-5D Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2020 Manufacturer Kitty Hawk Models
Subject Ural 4320/APA-5D Scale 1/48
Kit Number 80159 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Great kit for developing Soviet/Russian airfield dioramas/vignettes Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $TBA

First Look

Ural 4320/APA-5D
Ural 4320/APA-5D

The Ural 4320 family is one of many utility truck designs that have been produced for Soviet, Russian, and export use in military and civilian applications. The vehicle has a 6x6 power train that can easily handle its 6 ton payload, and is adaptable to a variety of roles by replacing the truck bed with a specialty system. One such system is the pallet containing a power generator system that is used to start military aircraft, this system being designated as the APA-5D. The Ural 4320 entered service in the 1970s replacing an earlier Ural design and remains in production today.

Kitty Hawk Models has produced the standard Ural 4320 truck and the APA-5D variant in 1/48 scale to provide some nice options for a Soviet or Russian airfield diorama or vignette. The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on five parts trees plus two trees of clear parts, two frets of photo-etched details, and 14 tires (duplicate parts trees not shown).

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Two complete vehicles in this kit
  • Both vehicles have detailed chassis and drivetrain
  • Both vehicles have nicely detailed engine and transmission (but no positionable hood to show them)
  • Nicely detailed cab interiors
  • Positionable driver and passenger doors
  • Ural 4320 truck bed is nicely detailed
  • Ditto on the APA-5D generator pallet
  • Positionable power cable booms on either side of generator
  • Includes 2 x tow bars and 2 x boarding ladders for the Ural to carry or be positioned on your favorite 1970s-to-present Soviet/Russian 1/48 aircraft

This kit brings back some memories (war story alert). While I was stationed in Berlin in the late 1970s, there was an allied control zone for air traffic over and around Berlin to handle the air traffic for the airfields in the American, French, and British occupation zones. Military aircraft could fly around the zone to ensure nothing bad was happening around the Berlin wall or in the areas of East Berlin and East Germany that the control zone covered. There was one Soviet airfield inside the northeast area of the control zone that was home to the MiG-25 Foxbat. I had become friends with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official in charge of the allied control zone and would hear interesting incidents that would transpire between Soviet and allied entities. One such incident came from a French Noratlas that decided to photograph what it could see on that Soviet airfield, so as the photographers were hanging out of the paratroop doors, the French pilots flew mere feet off the runway with their landing gear up. That's when they saw a MiG-25 being towed by a Ural truck and decided to fly over them. As the Soviet truck crew saw the odd flying boxcar bearing down on them, they jumped off the moving truck leaving the vehicle and Foxbat to find their own way. Before the Noratlas could recover at Tegel airport, my friend's phone was ringing from the Soviet hotline as he heard the angry commander complaining about the French.

If you'd like to add some interesting display options for your MiG-25, MiG-29, Su-27, etc., you have options to display an aircraft under tow, an aircraft hooked up for start complete with boarding ladder, or other configurations depending on the visual story you wish to replicate (including the unmanned Ural with a Foxbat in tow running out into the grass).

My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!