Manufacturing of the GAZ-AAA truck was launched in the end of 1934. It was a highly maneuverable vehicle with a carrying capacity of 2 tons. The engine was a 50 hp 4-cylinder Gaz-M and could move the 2,475 tons machine to a speed of 65 km/h. Production lasted until 1944. In total, 37373 trucks of this type were produced. The GAZ-AAA fought in Mongolia, in Finland and also during WWII in the Soviet Union.
Some vehicles were used as a basis for a Quadruple Maxim Anti-Aircraft Machine-Guns with no major changes. This gun was used for firing both at aerial and ground targets. This gun was saw service not only on trucks but also on warships and armored trains.
The Quadruple-Maxim truck kit comes in UM's typical top opening cardboard box. The cover artwork is a bit funny, as it show a gunner firing the four machine-guns just a few centimeters over the head of his commanding officer. The latter must be very brave to stand stoically in such a dangerous position! If you look closely, you can even see Staline himself driving the truck...
However, the boxart shouldn't mislead you as the UM 1:48 scale serie of trucks are very nice and serious kits. In the box you find 4 sprues of dark green plastic parts, 10 vinyl tyres, one etched copper fret, one sheet of acetate film for windows and lenses, a sheet of decals and the instructions.
It is to note that this kit is the third of a serie of four (so far). The reviews of the other GAZ based trucks made by UM can be found on Aeroscale by using the links below:
- GAZ-AAA Soviet Truck (503)
- AS-2 Starter Truck (506)
- BZ-38 Refueller (509)
- Quadruple Maxim truck (511)
Apart from sprues E (Quadruple-Maxim gun), the plastic parts are similar to the ones one can find in the initial GAZ-AAA kit, so please refer to the above mentionned reviews for more details. However, to sum up, the parts, though not as perfectly molded as on a Tamigawa kit, are very nice overall. Only the grainy surface of the plastic, mostly on the bigger parts is a bit annoying but this doesn't affects the smaller parts which have a very smooth surface finish and really crisp details molded on. Only some traces of flash will have to be eliminated before assembly. In term of detail, UM have really done a great job as a complete chassis is provided, as well as a detailed engine (with separate engine hood panels) and separate cabin doors.
Clear parts have to be cut in a small sheet of fine acetate plastic. They will look very realistic once in place but extrem care will be needed to cut them to shape and glue them on the model. In this kit, the PE parts are located on a bigger copper fret than usual as a lot of them are destined to enhance the level of detail of the Machine-Guns sub-assembly.
The decals are different than on the first boxing. They look fine but have an ICM "feel" to them, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It is probably better to cover them with a coat of varnish before using them as these ukrainian decals have the bad habit of breaking apart when hitting the water.
The instruction are of course also new. They are printed on two A3 sized paper sheet folded so to make an 8 pages A4 booklet. The construction guide has 49 (!?) steps and this shows how complex and detailed the kit is. The Quadruple-Maxim is a kit within the kit as it requires 15 steps alone to assemble! The drawings are very clear and easy to understand even if the build won't be an easy one for sure. There is no painting guide as such (the truck is camouflaged in overall green) but colors are given for the Humbrol range of paints.
There are no figures in the kit (unlike on the box cover), so you will have to look elsewhere if you want to add some life to your model. ICM and Rest Models have some interesting stuff that would suit perfectly to the UM kit:
- Soviet Pilots & Personnel - ICM
- Quad M-4 AA Gun & Crew - Rest Models
While probably not an easy kit, because of the high level of detail and the small size of some plastics and PE parts, I higly recommend this kit. It can be used in various settings, for example near an aircraft somewhere on a carnor of an airfield. The price of the kit is very attractive too.
Unimodels' Quadruple Maxim Truck is available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European short run kits.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE