|KIT:||Steelwork 1/72 UNL-35 serie 2/3 Armored Car|
|PRICE:||~€30.00 from www.hobbiesguinea.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Allow me to quote from the kit instructions on this one.
"The development of the UNL-35 started at the end of 1936 according to a demand of the Spanish ministry for arms and ammunition. This was put under the leadership of Soviet engineer Nikolai N Alimov. Production was undertaken at the Union Naval de Levanthe at Valencia. In the first four series, the chassis used was from the Zil-5 Three ton tuck, model 1933. The body was removed and replaced with an armored one. Nearly 150 vehicles were produced in eight series between February 1937 and March 1939.
The UNL-35 from serie 2 onward had an altered armored hull with a better v-angle to handle mines. For this reason some engine compartment details were altered as well. The serie 3 version had additional sheet steel covering the engine and gears to help protect them against mines."
These vehicles were quite lightly armed by later standards with only 7.62mm machine guns as the main offensive weapon. The 2.3 liter 6 cylinder engine provided a maximum speed of 55 kph on the open road, which I guess was pretty good velocity for the time. With only 8mm of armor, these vehicles were only protection against small arms fire and light machine guns.
A very sturdy box contains four largish zip bags with over 20 parts. This is an 'old style' resin kit with largish pour blocks and the single piece body and chassis will have to be sanded very carefully to get a good, flat mating surface. I recommend a large piece of sand paper attached to a smooth, flat surface, such as a piece of thick glass to get this mating surface.
The detail on these parts is really quite good and rivals any other kit of this type I've seen the only option is the choice of underbody to make either the serie 2 or serie 3 vehicle. Each of the resin sheets for the fenders is scribed with where it goes so it is in the builder's best interest to do these one at a time. There are also differences in the wheels. Each pair of these is different as well so be sure that you get the right ones in place.
Instructions are quite well done with a photo and history on one side, while the other has a parts diagram, exploded view of the kit, and painting guide. No decals are provided as they basically came in Humbrol H-102 green. There is a captured version for which you'll have to paint the top of the turret white with a black X and the forward portion will have the Spanish flag in Yellow and Red. This also has a mottle that inclueds H-29 and H-119 (whatever colors those are). I'll have to give Steelwork a 'thumbs down' for not providing generic names for these colors. Not everyone has access to Humbrol paint. It is nice, however, that the painting guide is in color so you can at least make a good guess.
Small scale modelers should love this one. It is highly unusual and very well done. You just don't see much in the way of Spanish Civil War vehicles in any scale and this is one of the nicest I've ever seen.
My thanks to Uwe Borchert of Steelwork for the review kit, and you can find these kits at www.hobbiesguinea.com
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