HobbyBoss 1/35 Soviet GAZ-AA Cargo Truck
The GAZ-AA was essentially the licensed built Soviet variant of the Ford Model AA commercial truck. When the the U.S. production run of 1927-1932 ended, Ford licensed production to several foreign countries most notably the Soviet Union.
The Soviet variants were manufactured at the Gorkovsky
Avtomobilny Zavod (Gorky Automobile Plant) and were produced from 1932-1950. The vehicle was powered by a 3.3L, four cylinder engine rated at 40 horsepower and had a four speed manual transmission. It is estimated over 985,000 units were manufactured. The GAZ-AA was fielded primarily as a light transport for supplies and troops but was also used as a radio and command vehicle, an ambulance, a fuel truck and a mount for either the 25 mm anti-aircraft gun or quad maxim machine gun.
When the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa in June of 1941, the Soviets introduced many time saving, cost cutting measures to speed up production. Vehicles were produced with no front bumpers, front brakes and only one headlight. The doors and roof were replaced with canvas and the fenders and running boards were replaced with simple sheet metal. As the war progressed in the Allies favor, production returned to the original design.
Hobby Boss's new kit of the GAZ-AA contains 209 parts on nine sprues, crisply molded in tan plastic. Two small sprues of clear plastic, six vinyl tires, one small fret of photo etch. and a small decal sheet are also included. As you can probably surmise from the haphazard sprue lettering, this kit is part of long line of GAZ-AA Variants by Hobby Boss.
was pleasantly surprised to find each sprue not only individually wrapped in heavy plastic but also securely wrapped in sheet foam. Upon closer examination this packing is necessary. The kit, especially the suspension sprue, contains many small,fragile parts. Care must be taken to prevent breakage while removing and cleaning up the parts. As usual for HobbyBoss, the box was also segmented, one side containing the sprues and documentation, the other the clear parts, tires, PE and decals.
Sprue A: Contains many of the engine and suspension parts. Again,take great care removing these parts. The parts are very delicate and the attachment points are quite large.
Sprue E: Cab and engine compartment parts. Apparently this kit is to be built as a curbside model. No options are given for the doors and hood to be assembled open and the interior of the parts lack any significant detail and have some ejector pin marks that will need work.
Interior of engine compartment hood Interior of cab roof
Sprue D: Brackets and hooks Sprue Bx2: Wheels and brake drums.
Bolt details on the rims
My personal favorite part of this kit. The vinyl/rubber tires are exceptional. No flash or cleanup is necessary Tread is clearly defined and even the cyrillic writing on the walls is legible.
Sprue L: Suspension, frame and cargo bed parts. While these parts are very delicate, the detail is crisp and defined with no flash.
Engine and oil pan detail The cab's bench seat. the upholstery is
nice but lacks texture or wear.
Detail of the cargo bed. Wood grain is good but not over done. It is continued on the underside. Sides and cross-members are equally well done.
Fender detail: steel texture and anti-skid surface are well-done.
Decals for one vehicle are provided. The photo-etch sheet has parts for the front bumper, tow hitch and wind shield wiper. PE is protected by clear adhesive backing. Anything to keep the carpet monster at bay. Nice touch, Hobby Boss!
The transparent parts are clear and scratch free but a bit thick. Another tiny clear sprue for the headlight lens' is provided
The instructions are printed on a plain white 10.5" x 7.5" stapled booklet. They consist of 11 steps covering 12 pages. The parts placements are vague and the drawings are small. As always, test fit before committing to glue. The cover is a black & white picture of the box art along with the usual warnings and legalese in English and Chinese.
The sprue map with individual parts numbered and steps one and two: the frame and engine assemblies.
Step two: the engine and transmission. Over 30 parts comprise this little 40hp engine
Step three: The front suspension. Hobby Boss has chosen to go for accuracy on this kit. The suspension is comprised of many small parts. The resultant assembly will be fragile and any parts join brittle. Good side to that is the front wheels can be positioned.
Step four: The rear suspension and differential. Again, many small parts, especially the axle to leafspring attachment point.
Step five: Wheel and fender supports, pretty much straight forward.
Step six: Attaching fenders and cargo bed supports to frame, finishing the lower assembly.
Step Seven: Begin assembly of the cab and attaching shackles to the cargo bed supports.
Step eight: Assembling the cargo bed, then attaching it to the frame.
Step nine: Framing out the cab, installation of windshield and rear of cab.
Step ten: Final assembly of cab and engine compartment. Adding the doors, roof , radiator and hood.
Step Eleven: Final assembly, headlights, bumper and all the other bits and bobs.
Both color schemes are identical: Russian green over a black frame, fenders and radiator.
The GAZ-AA may not be the most glamorous of prime movers but at nearly a million units manufactured it is certainly a significant one. Hobby Boss has gone to great lengths to capture the rather complex, albeit fragile look of this important vehicle The suspension parts especially are very small and finely molded. That very thing has me apprehensive about this kit. There doesn't appear to be much there to bear the weight of this vehicle, let alone if I were to throw a big ole blob of resin stowage in the back.
It is a well molded kit with plenty of detail (especially that 30+ part engine) but i can only recommend this to someone with experience with small parts and complex structures. I'm sure, with a little patience this will build into a beautiful model.
Highly Recommended(pending a full build)
My sincere thanks to Squadron for the review sample
ed by Rick Beman, SoCal AMPS
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