UM 1/48 GAZ-MM 1 1/2 ton Truck

KIT #: 504
PRICE: $18.45 at
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New mold kit that includes a photo etch fret


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.  


Nice to see UM bringing 1/48 Soviet subjects to us. Over the years, UM has greatly improved on the quality of its kits and this one is very nice. They are still to many, to be considered short run but if so, then they are at the upper edge of that description. The green plastic sprues are well done though not surprisingly, one will fine a tad of flash on a few parts, a bit of mold mis-alignment on others, a sink area or two on the thicker parts, and perhaps some ejector pin marks that will need attention. I also found some parts on the sprues had a coating of mold release oil, so the prudent will wash the sprues prior to construction.

There are four green sprues, a bag that includes vinyl tires, the small etched fret and a sheet of acetate with the headlights and windows outlined on it (also not shown). The larger parts have a slightly pebbly finish to them. This is not carried over to the rest of the bits and pieces. Though not consisting of a lot of bits, there are some that are not required for this particular build. The kit comes with a complete engine and it is on this that quite a bit of the photo etch is used.

I personally appreciate the separate vinyl tires as it means no problems painting the wheels. The tires will just slip in place once that is done. Some carving and trimming will be needed during constructionand this is clearly shown in the instructions. One will also have to drill a couple of holes, but the location is clearly shown. The truck is basically a flat-bed with wooden slats for the side and rear. There is a tarp for the top of this. However, it is a one-piece top with no front or rear opening and no representation of the flaps that will fit in those openings, so most will probably build it without that part.

Instructions are very well done with nicely drawn instruction steps. Paint is Humbrol and generic references. There are decals for five vehicles, all in overall olive drab/green. With one exception, they are all simply different ID numbers on the sides of the door and tailgate. That one exception is a captured vehicle with a large white swastika on the roof. Decals appear to be well done and since they are on flat areas, should prove to be no problem.


Really, a fine model of a truck that saw widespread use with the Soviet Army. And when one considers that a much smaller Tamiya Ford truck runs about twice this price, it is really a great deal.


Kit instructions

April 2010

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