Russian Military Van UAZ 3909
Zvezda 1/35, Ref. 3644
Developped from the very similar-looking UAZ 452, the UAZ 3909 is a 4×4 combi-type vehicle designed for the transport of freight and passengers with emphasis placed on ease of maintenance, excellent cross-country ability and low purchase price. Production of the -452 started in 1965, but the -3909 is ‘only’ dating back to the late 1980s and introduced a few refinements over the earlier models, including better brakes and a more powerful engine. The UAZ-3909 carries 6 passengers and 450 kg of cargo; the rear compartment is separated from the front, driver’s row by a window. Production of the -3909 started around 1990 but the type has since been replaced by newer models that introduced further refinements. This soviet/Russian vehicle carries a nickname that reflects its simple shape, ‘loaf of bread’.
This 1/35 kit is only 12.7cm-long but includes no less than 197 well-detailed parts. The parts are spread out over four light-grey carrier sprues, one more carrying the transparent parts and a single vinyl sprue carrying the four tyres (the spare tyre being loose).
The way the vehicle is kitted is classic ; of note are the separate doors, allowing for an all-opened up model showing off a well-represented interior.
There are several very fine and fragile-looking parts but none of them show any sign of flash. Zvezda have reached a very high standard here again.
The clear plastic sprue evidently carries the windshield, windows and the optics fot the various lights. The mirro faces are provided as chrome stickers.
A small decal sheet allows for the making of one of two vehicles, both Russian, in 2008 (military police) or 2014 (central military district) but frankly, this little kit offers a lot more possibilities since it is used as a jack of all trades by the Russian (and before that, Soviet) army and a number of other armed forces, and is also widely available, including in Belgium, as a civilian vehicle.
Maybe not as ‘sexy’ as a big-gunned T-something, but really tempting all the same !
Review by Daniel Clamot; pictures by Zvezda and Daniel Clamot.
Review sample kindly provided by Zvezda.