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The GAZ is the current light standard truck of the Russian Armed Forces, and
while similar in size to the popular Unimog 1700 series and rated as a 2 metric
ton vehicle, is used in much the same way as the US uses its 1 1/4 ton series
trucks or the UK 110" wheelbase Land Rovers. It was developed in the mid 1960s
to replace the older GAZ-63 series light cargo trucks, and combined its
cab-over-engine design with a similar size chassis to create a very useful and
reliable truck. While basically out of production now, it is still in widespread
use in the former USSR states and many of the former Soviet client states.
One of the many variants used by the Soviet Army and many of their client states
was the R-142 radio van or command post. Mounted in an all-metal box body
commonly called a "KUNG" (apparently from kuzov upravleniya i nablyudatel'nikh
gruppy or "Command and Observation Group Body) these vehicles were used for
command and control at battalion and above in units not authorized the armored
BTR-60 R-145BM vehicle. It usually held three or more VHF radio sets, one HF
radio set, and an HF receiver, along with power supply generators, crypto
machines, and office space for the crew.
I don't mind buying pre-established "conversion" kits, but I do when the
manufacturer pulls a fast one and does not give any warning of his sleight of
This kit takes very nicely done GAZ-66 from Scale Ltd. – whose molds are now
owned by Eastern Express – and combines them with a single sheet of vacuformed
plastic that the modeler must use to form the body of the vehicle. The sheet is
somewhat scarred and pitted on both sides, not signs of a well-done mold.
The modeler gets no interior parts for the vehicle, which is a shame as it would
be a great centerpiece of a diorama or just by itself if it had anything there.
Not only that, the modeler is also left to his own devices on providing the two
parts of the CLOTHES HORSE HF antenna for the top of the body.
As for markings, it provides decals for two variants but only one is covered in
any detail: a mobile command post belong to the Ministry of Emergency
Situations, a paramilitary organization roughly equivalent to Civil Defense in
the US. If you want a military version, use the black license plates (2) and the
white trim (17) on the rear of the body.
Overall, this kit is as big a disappointment to me as the Italeri M925 with
shelter kit was, and it's about the same level (or lack thereof) in detail.
Review Copyright © 2003 by Cookie
Page Created 23 February, 2003
Last updated 15 August, 2003
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