Zvezda 1/35 GAZ-MM mod 1943

KIT: Zvezda 1/35 GAZ-MM mod 1943
KIT #: 3574
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


Allow me to paraphrase from the Zvezda instructions on this one.

In the summer of 1941, Soviet industry was disrupted by the rapid advance of the German army. This was as much due to moving the various industrial plants out of reach as it was to them being overrun. One of the main shortages caused by this was a lack of stamped steel to use on the then current production of the Ford Model AA truck. This truck, dating from the mid 1920s, had been upgraded by GAZ from the GAZ-AA to the current production GAZ-MM (basically more horsepower).

Anyway, this lack of stamped steel components resulted in many portions of the truck being made of wood, and this included the cab and fenders. It also saw the use of canvas in several applications for the roof and back of the cab. Some trucks were built without doors, something that made operation in winter something to be avoided. Of course, the shortage was soon overcome and the GAZ-MM continued in production until 1950, when it was felt that a 1920s truck might be a tad obsolete.


Zvezda is not a household name to many modelers, and it is really a shame that it is not. This particular kit is really superbly molded. I found no problem with ejector pin marks anywhere on the sprue. This means both sides of 'wood' parts were free from these pests. None located on the leaf springs, either, a place that it is nearly impossible to keep from having them. In fact, of all the pieces I looked over, only on one small piece of the main frame and one other thick construct did I even find a sink mark.

Unlike many truck kits, this one is not a curbside. There is a full flat-head four cylinder engine along with the usual manifolds and exhaust. Thanks to the rather open framework, nothing is truly hidden from sight. Suspension bits are nicely done and easily seen as well. One does have to do a bit of cutting on a few bits, but that is shown in the instructions. The side panels to the engine compartment are separate so one can model the kit without them in place. The only real option is one of having a large canvas top over the bed. This is a large piece of plastic and is molded with the front and rearcovers down. This basically means that if you are lazy, you can glue on the back canvas cover and not even have to paint the bed interior.  Vinyl tires are provided to be placed on the two part wheels.

Instructions are quite well done and provide clear drawings for all the various construction steps. Colors are referenced to Model Master paints. Apparently you can do this in any color as long as it is green!. The edges of the fenders are in white and the canvas parts are painted in Field Drap (not a misspelling on my part). The small decal sheet is well printed and should work fairly well if one uses setting solution.


This is really a very  nice looking kit. I think you will be doing yourself a favor if you pick one up and give it a go. It certainly looks like it should build well and make into a very nice model.


Kit Instructions.

May 2008

My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or have them order it for you.

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