Ural-4320 Soviet Military Truck
|Media:||Styrene and Vinyl|
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||293 parts; 274 in light olive styrene, 12 in clear styrene and seven hard black vinyl|
|Price:||L17.99 (around $30.60)|
|Advantages:||First kit of this truck in this scale in styrene; first in a projected series of modern Soviet softskins; ambitious kit is a nice first effort|
|Disadvantages:||Sinkmark and ejection pin marks present, but not in unacceptable locations; seams in the tires; many "working" features may compromise scale effects|
|Recommendation:||To all modern Soviet and Warsaw Pact fans|
F i r s t L o o k
For many years, there was only the Tamiya T-62 kit on the market to cover the wealth of post-WWII Soviet military equipment. Beginning with DML's first efforts in 1990, and followed up by the explosion of new kits from eastern Europe since the collapse of the USSR, most of the armored vehicles are now well covered by armor kit manufacturers. However, softskins have been sadly lacking. Now comes another new manufacturer, Omega-K from the Ukraine, with a projected series to cover this gap in our modeling selection. The first of their kits to hit the west is the Ural-4320.
Most modelers may have little recognition of this vehicle, but it, and its immediate predecessor, the gasoline powered Ural-375, are probably the most common trucks in service with the Russian Army and the former republics and Pact members. Nominally rated at five metric tons' capacity in off-road situations, they form the backbone of the logistic core of those armies. While the first kit is the cargo or troop carrier version., the Ural has been used for many other types of vehicles, particularly the legendary BM-21 "Grad" 40-round 122mm rocket launcher. Omega-K has also forecast the release of this vehicle and a fuel tanker version among other selections on this chassis.
The kit is incredibly detailed, and includes a complete chassis with diesel engine and cab interior. Troop seats with a choice of positions are included, but no top bows nor tarp (the latter is not missed, as it is the most commonly overly thick part included with softskin models). A host of working features are included, such as opening hood, rolling wheels, steerable front wheels, opening doors, and working rear suspension. Most of them appear to be close to scale thickness, but require old-fashioned building techniques such as the "hot screwdriver" method to complete. While the model is shown in built-up form on the boxtop, there is a bit of "swayback" in the cab which I hope is haste in assembly and not error. Check the cab before making final fit and assembly cementing.
The model includes seven very well detailed tires, but these are marred by a large seam right down the middle. While the tires are at least not victims of mold shift, the seams will be hard to remove. The clear parts are very well done and fairly distortion free, which is a sign of improvements in eastern European injection molding. Some parts are very simplified, such as the cab seats, and modelers may want to add some texture to those parts to get a more realistic appearance. (I also suspect that from the looks of the engine they really modeled a late-model Ural-375 with the gasoline engine, as this appears to have a carburetor and not fuel injection.) The spare tire mount is quite impressive and consists of some ten parts with the oil tank included. Also, note that step 5, if you want the suspension to work, you have to avoid getting cement on parts A15 when you install parts B16 and caps B8. Oddly enough, the tailgate and troop seats are fixed.
Decals are not covered in the directions (!) but include markings for Soviet GSFG (no.2), Soviet Guards (no. 1), Soviet forces (no. 3), the DDR (no.4), Poland (no.5), Czechoslovakia (no.6), Rumania (no.7), the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (no.8), Ukraine (no.9), Russia (no.10), the Russian Military Vehicle Inspectorate (VAI) (no.11), Soviet Komandatura convoy controllers (no. 12) as well as the Transcausasus Military District (no. 13). However, only one set of Soviet military markings/license plate is included (56-08 NT) (no.15). The insignia all go centered on the driver's and mate's doors, with the "plates" on the left front bumper and tailgate.
Overall, this is a nice kit, and I suspect we will see it in a number of dioramas as a "supporting player".
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