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MiniArt 1/35 GAZ-AAA Cargo Truck Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2012 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject GAZ-AAA Cargo Truck Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35127 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Highly detailed GAZ-AAA Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $73.95

First Look


The Gorkiy Automobile Factory was established in 1932 as a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and the Soviet Union. Established in Nizhny Novgorod, GAZ (Gorkovskiy Avtomobilnij Zavod) produced a number of Ford designs before modifying those designs to meet Soviet Army requirements. The GAZ-AA was based upon the Ford Model A light truck and by adding an additional axle and heavier suspension, this rendered the GAZ-AAA 2+ ton truck. This GAZ-AAA was a 4x6 that entered production in the mid-1930s and continued through the early 1940s. This vehicle, like many others, were pressed into wartime service with the Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic War (World War II) and captured examples were likewise put to work in the Wehrmacht.

MiniArt is a very interesting model company from the Ukraine that produces some of the most detailed models on the planet. I had the pleasure of meeting the owner/designer at a recent trade show and it was clear that this company has taken the art of modeling to a whole new level. You've probably seen their initial offerings which are combinations of structures (wrecked or otherwise) and groundwork to create some very innovative diorama or vignette display bases. They expanded this artwork to figures which are some of the nicest and lifelike figures produced in 1/35 scale (in any medium). More recently they've expanded their focus to tanks and utility vehicles with each one better than the last. This kit is no exception.

This release captures the GAZ-AAA (Ford Model A truck modifed into a two-ton+ cargo hauler) which served in civilian and miliary service within the Soviet Union. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on 16 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched parts. The kit consists of numerous tiny parts (like the U-bolts which hold the frame rails together) so this kit is definitely recommended for experienced modelers.

The level of detail in this kit is similar to the Tamiya 1/12 Forumla One race cars, and perhaps even more detailed. From the engine and transmission to the drivetrain and suspension, all of the details are here. About all you're missing is the wiring harness and that can be easily fabricated by the AMS modeler.

Construction starts with the chassis and it is highly recommended that you take the extra time to square and align the frame so the model will sit properly after assembly. If you have a jig for this job, so much the better. The same care will be needed for the twin-axle assembly to again ensure that the model is square.

Each of the tires build up from seven disks, three on one half and four on the other. These go around 12 wheel hubs to create the ten wheels and two spares used by this truck. These separate tires and wheels will make painting much easier.

Once the chassis is built-up and the drive train installed, the truck cab goes together next. This is followed by the truck bed and finishing steps. Among the features and options of the kit:

  • Highly detailed chassis and suspension
  • Highly detailed engine and drive train
  • Detailed engine compartment (right down to the hoses)
  • Hood can be positioned closed, partially open, or fully open
  • Cab doors can be positioned open or closed
  • Five optional German Army figures (for captured examples)

The only bug I found in the instructions were where the spare tires are mounted to the underside of the truck bed where the illustrations show the spare tires mounted to the frame rails under the truck bed. This is easy enough to fix.

Markings are provided for six examples:

  • T-9-22-52*, Unknown Unit, Battle of Kursk, June 1943
  • None, October Revolution Parade Vehicle, Moskow, 1938
  • L-3-24-56, Unknown Unit, 1944
  • I-4-42-80, 1st Ukrainian Front, 1943
  • WH-587884, German Service, Eastern Front, Winter 1942
  • None, Unknown German Unit, Eastern Front, Summer 1942

Here is another work of art from MiniArt Models. This kit will build up into a very detailed model of this old Gazified Ford Truck. As a standalone model, this will be a nice contender on the contest table, but with the addition of figures and a nice display base, this model can be the basis of a great diorama or vignette.

Thanks to MRC for the review sample.