by: Kevin Brant [ ]
Originally published on:
The GAZ-39371, also known as the Vodnik, is modified civilian GAZ-2330 that is used by the Russian Ministry of Defence. The vehicle started development in 1985 and features a rear multi-modular design. This allows the vehicle to perform multiple roles, ie people transport, freight movement, etc. For armament, the GAZ-39371 is equipped with the BPU-1 turret, designed in the early 1970 and that is also fitted to the BTR-80. The vehicle can obtain speeds on 120km/h on the road and is stated to be amphibious as well.
One of the latest releases from Trumpeter Models the GAZ-39371 has been released in 1/35th scale.
6 plastic sprues
4 molded hull parts
1 small photo-etched fret
4 vinyl rubber tires
1 small sprue rubber vinyl cap
1 sprue clear plastic
1 small decal sheet
Upon opening the box, you find the box sub-divided between the bagged sprues and the bagged hull parts. The four major parts for the hull are separate and individually packed from the sprues. On close inspection of the parts you can see the fine molding we are becoming accustomed to find from Trumpeter these days. I found no flash, no sink marks, and only a few ejector marks that may have to be cleaned up. There is some nice fine detail, especially around the undercarriage and axle assemblies.
The kit does include a full interior minus the engine. This includes a full driver compartment and passenger compartment with interior turret details. It would almost be a shame for have it fully buttoned up, but the kit does provide position-able doors and hatches.
The construction starts with the interior crew compartment, which looks to contain some good looking detail. There are color callout for most parts and there is a nice looking decal for the instrument panel. Without seeing an image of the interior of the actual vehicle, there seems to be the required controls.
Strangely stepping away from the interior the instructions move to the assembly of the lower chassis and front end. The wheels are assembled with the kit included poly rubber tires, and on my example there is no seam around the tire to clean up, thus there should be nothing to distort the great looking tread details in the tires. The suspension assemblies are all multipart and look to need a little extra care assembling, but the molded details look great.
With the lower chassis assembled the interior crew compartment from the first step is not added as well as the remaining walls and rear crew compartment. Again there are some paint callouts for the major parts and there is also some photo-etched details for the ammunition storage bins.
In the turret Trumpeter has include some nice looking breech assembly detail for the gun and what looks to be appropriate turret controls. The parts for creating the seat assembly and the site look good and are also well molded. It will be a shame that most of this detail will be hidden. Outside the turret the 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun barrel is slide molded by Trumpeter in one piece, with a hollow end.
The interior detail for the upper half of the vehicle is not added, this includes hatches and doors. All hatches and doors can be position open or closed with the exception of the mid-engine hatches which are molded on. The hatches include interior detail so if you wish to display them open there should be no issue, and with the amount of interior detail, I personally think they should be left open. Clear plastic is included for the windshield and side window. It is not tinted for armored glass, but a little clear tinted paint should resolve that. With all the interior detail added, time to close it up.
The Trumpeter provided Painting and Markings include two paint schemes, an all green and a tan/green/black scheme. Both paint schemes use the same marking, the Russian Star in wreath with flag. I presume it actually has a name, but I am unaware of it. The decals are very well printed and all within register.
Over the past few years there has been a steady improvement in kit quality and subjects from Trumpeter Models and this kit is no different. The kit is well molded with great looking detail, including a great looking interior to boot. While the marking options may be a little weak, I believe there is plenty of options for this kit. Being that the original vehicle is modular, and the kit does look to portray that, hopefully we will see the other variants of this vehicle in the future. Having been a World War 2 fan, the quality and subjects of Trumpeter kits is starting to sway me towards these Russian vehicles and I highly recommend this kit.