In 1932 the Ford Motor Company made an agreement with the Soviet Union to manufacture automobiles based on the Ford model A at the Nizhny Novgorod plant. One of these vehicles was the Ford model AA 1.5 ton truck. In 1933 the company name was changed to Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod and the truck was known as the GAZ-AA. In 1936 some changes were made, including improving engine power from 44 to 50hp. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, trucks were urgently needed and the GAZ-AA was one of those pressed into service, keeping the supply lifelines operational. In order to increase and simplify production, the curved fenders of the truck were replaced with flat stamped metal fenders and the cab doors were removed, replaced with canvas curtains. Even one headlight was removed. Tamiya
have now come out with this simplified version of the GAZ-AA in 1/48 scale.
Jim Starkweather did an inbox video peek at the kit previously and a link to that review can be found at the end of this build, and so as far as box contents are concerned there isn't much to add to Jimís comments. The kit comes in a simple, top opening box with two sprues in dark green holding parts for the truck and the driver, two identical sprues in light gray holding the passenger figures, and one sprue, from the previous 1/48th scale Russian infantry and tank crew set, holding weapons and equipment.
The parts are well molded and the instructions are very clear, simple and well laid out. There are no decals for the kit, but many photos I have seen show no markings other than slogans painted on the sides. I am guessing that Tamiya
chose not to call the kit a GAZ-AA due to licensing issues.
When I first looked in the box, I was impressed with the kit, and very happy to see the figures. I took advantage of a spare moment and put the kit together. Assembly was very simple.
The frame has the fenders and running boards molded in place, as well as the lower portion of the engine. To this are attached leaf springs, axle and transmission, wheels and the exhaust pipe. There is no spare tire.
Step 4 and 5
Cab assembly. Dash with a small instrument panel, steering axle, one piece seat and levers for the interior, no pedals included, and the driver, who goes together very well and has adequate detail for this scale. His head will be placed after painting. The cab exterior gets the hood (bonnet), radiator and cab rear/canvas top in one piece. I left off the door panels and curtains so I could paint the driver and place him. This is then attached to the frame.
This covers assembly of the truck bed. As seen in Jim's video, there are some ejector pin marks on the side rails for the bed that will be visible and need to be addressed. This is then attached as well. I added the headlight and the truck assembly is basically completed.
The figures are molded with two identical sets of legs and torsos, the difference being that you can choose different arms for each figure. The poses still look very similar but it does offer some variety. Parts fit was again very good, with only a slight bit of clean up for the two figures sitting on the ground.
The weapons and equipment are very similar to the 1/35 scale release. There is a Maxim machine gun with wheeled cart, one DP28 light machine gun with separate magazine and bipod, two PPSh41 machine guns with drum magazine separate, two PPSh41 machine guns with stick magazine, two PPSh43 machine guns with folding stock, two pistol holsters, two drum magazine pouches and four stick magazine pouches for the PPSh guns, six water bottles, five entrenching tools, four helmets (plus two more helmets on each of the figure sprues) what appears to be a map case and three different packs, with two of each type represented-two myeshok, two veschmeshok and two possibly for carrying the round magazines for the DP28. There is one ammo pouch for a Mosin Nagant rifle, but no rifles are included, which seems an odd choice. Two generic crates are included on the figure sprues as well. These accessories can be used as desired to compliment the figures.
Total build time for this kit was just under an hour, with no issues in construction.
This is a very simple and easy to assemble kit that provides for a near complete "diorama in a box". The inclusion of the four passengers for the truck bed was a very nice addition. Some parts are thick, detail is simplified, such as the engine, and some, like the spare tire, are missing. Considering how this kit goes together, my opinion is that, true to Tamiya
, this is intended to be a less challenging build that includes a lot of extras. The completed kit does look very nice. The scale will also make it serviceable for many aircraft dioramas set on the Eastern front. It would be a good kit for a newer modeler, or for anyone feeling a bit burn out by more complex kits. The list price is $31.00, but online searching turned up much lower prices.