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Built Review
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:

Gaz-69 is a new injection-molded 1/87 braille scale model from SDV Models. Its catalogue number is 87142.

    The GAZ-69 had been the basic light off-road vehicle of the Soviet Army, replacing GAZ-67s and Willys Jeeps, before the army adopted the UAZ-469. It was also used as the basis for the 2P26 tank destroyer, as well as for the GAZ 46 MAV, a light 4x4 amphibious vehicle inspired by the Ford GPA 'Seep'.*

From a GAZ website I found;
    Most of the sources state the beginning of the GAZ 69 in 1954. However...I found in Polish magazine 'Motor' from December 1952.

    Design of the GAZ 69 started in Gorki in 1946. Unlike it's predecessor the new truck was designed slowly and carefully. By 1948 twelve prototypes called 'Truzenik' were ready to be tested in various conditions across USSR. Some of them covered over 100.000 km (62.000 miles). Quite unusual by Russian standards those days. Unfortunately the other new GAZ vehicles, the M-20 passenger car and the GAZ-51 and GAZ-53 trucks took priority and the project was delayed. There were some prototypes with differential locks, but they were considered to be too complicated and haven't been approved for the production.

    The limited assembly began in 1952 and next year, in July the GAZ 69 replaced the GAZ 67 on the assembly lines.

The GAZ-69 is known for climbing extreme slopes;
    An article from a Russian magazine of 1953.
    Direct translation:

      A climb of thirty or forty degrees is not a joke (remember that 30 degrees - is a third corner, and 45 is a half). It is a "seriously steep hill." It can not be overcome by horses. Not with a cart loaded, even with light load horses would not pull on such steepness. Why are there - the horse! Thirty degrees rise could not be overcome even by the strongest cyclist, or motorcycle.
      No driver - not in a car or truck will attempt to take such a rise - will seek a more sloping.
      Here in the picture you can see how the car climbs the slope of 30 degrees. Maybe it's an artist fantasy? No, the image is made from a photograph.
      There is a car for which the rise of 30 degrees - is normal, since the angles cross it - 45 degrees forward and 35 - back. This car is built upon the Gorky Automobile Plant named Molotov. Make it: GAZ-69. It - car raised passableness, that is, able to overcome various obstacles - ditches, slopes, hillsides, go on the road, even wade across the river, at a depth of 0.6 meters. This car - cross-country vehicle will be available with two body styles - five-seater and an eight-seater. Eight-seater is designed for the transport of people and goods, and five-seater (GAZ-69A) - only for the transport of persons. For the eight-seater car will be manufactured single-axle trailers. Vehicle speed up to 90 kilometres an hour without a trailer, and 80 kilometres with the trailer.
      Elastic suspension and soft seats provide peace for passengers when driving on rough terrain.
      GAZ-69 - a new victory of the Soviet automotive industry.

In the Box
SDV created this kit with injection-molded black, green, and clear styrene, on six sprues plus a clear plastic sheet, and metal axles:
    24 x olive plastic
    5 x black wheels
    1 x clear lenses
    1 x clear sheet
    2 x metal rods

Decals and instructions are included, too.

Molding quality is high with minor flash, few mold seams, no sink holes not visible ejector circles. The main parts lack flash (except a little along the wheel wells and front and back corners) although there is some in small voids: between the top of the seat cushions and seat frame; bumperettes; back bench seats and backrests.

SDV molded the frame and chassis to fit together with very fine indentions. There are no pins or tabs.

Ground-up, the tires and hubs have good detail. Molding is generally crisp with raised and recessed detail, as appropriate. The chassis is a one-piece part with everything molded on: frame; drive shaft; engine bottom; skid plate; springs; muffler, etc. The upper side has fenders, access plates and gear shifts. The running boards have anti-skid.

The body is a six-piece assembly - full length sides, grille, rear gate; hood; cargo area floor. There is no detail molded onto the inside of the body sides. Various fittings and handles are molded on. But not four prominent items - the rear mirrors and spotlight are separate parts, as are the headlight lenses. SDV conscientiously anticipates that a clumsy modeler may have trouble with the two small mirrors and provides four.

Inside are the one-piece driver and assistant seats, rear benches, dash with instrument and grab handle, and steering wheel. The driver is protected by a finely molded windshield frame. Wiper blades are molded on it. A die-cut clear sheet windshield is provided.

Finally, all passengers and cargo is protected from the elements by an optional tarp. SDV made the tarp for weather fair and foul and included optional separate door window inserts. Each insert has die-cut clear sheets for the windows.

SDV's braille GAZ got's lots of detail, parts and molding.

Instructions and Decals
A standard size paper features black-and-white and gray scale diagrams and assembly steps guide the modeler in making this model. Three languages narrative the model. Four steps guide the assembly. A fifth shows basic decal placement. Page four shows all of the parts and a photo of a GAZ.

SDV also includes black-and-white profiles to guide decal placement for almost a dozen vehicles. The printing is faint.

This little GAZ has a big selection of markings on the decal sheet. Crisp printing and fine registration over minor carrier film characterizes these quality decals. Markings are included for;
    East Germany
    US Army
    USSR airborne

I found the assembly pleasant although the small parts and shallow alignment troughs required some careful positioning.

Two parts were a problem and required work - inserting the body sides into the chassis piece. Slots are molded into the chassis between the front fenders and engine compartment into which the front body panels are to fit. Those slots are critical as they hold and align the body sides; these body sides are critical to the alignment of the rest of the body assembly. The slots are too narrow and shallow. I had to cut them back into the floorboard as well as open them up in width. Even after the cutting and filing, the body sides still fit tightly. After several tries to open the slots and test-fit, the sides went in and the rest of the assembly was trouble free.

I assembled the model with CA to hold the parts and liquid glue to weld everything together.

Be careful cutting the parts from the sprues. The Attachments are fairly thick for such small pieces.

Painting was simple with an overall Soviet light olive vehicle with dark khaki fabric. Otherwise, I used red for the brake lights and orange for the signal lights. I apologize that I failed to notice the accurate finish includes black bumpers, running boards, and wheel hubs. They should all be black.

I marked this GAZ-69 for the Czechoslovak People's Army (ČSLA). It is posed with an old Roco MiniTanks Soviet tanker and with my SDV T-34/85.

GAZ-69 is my fourth SDV Model kit and I have enjoyed building them. They are not "shake the box" 'Tamiyagawairfix' kits and yet they do generally go together well. Modelers with basic skills should be able to build this kit. Molding is good and the detail is impressive for the scale. I do not have much to criticize except for some minor seam lines on the tires and some fit adjustment. Faint printing on the decal placement sheet could lead to confusion, too.

I am impressed with this SDV Model GAZ-69 and think that they are an excellent addition to 1/87 modeling. Recommended.

Please remember to mention to vendors and retailers that you saw this model here -on ARMORAMA.

* Wikipedia. GAZ-69. [Web.] 19 November 2017, at 09:16.

**Voytek Wojciechowski. The history of the GAZ 69. [http://www.gaz69.org.] 2012.
Highs: Crisp molding and high detail. Predominately good fit.
Lows: Minor seam lines on the tires and some fit adjustment. Faint printing on the decal placement sheet.
Verdict: This is my fourth SDV Model kit and I have enjoyed building them. I am impressed with them and they are an excellent addition to 1/87 modeling.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 87142
  Suggested Retail: $10.29, 225,00 CZK
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2017

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This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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