The Ural Automotive Plant was established during WWII to manufacture trucks for military service, primarily the ZIS-5 4x2. Following the war there was an urgent need to upgrade to a more modern truck to remain in business. This was answered primarily in the form of the Ural 375, a heavy 6X6 cargo transport capable of handling a wide range of tasks and gaining an almost instant reputation for rugged reliability and simplicity of operation. The only limiting factor was the range of the gasoline powered engine. As a result, the need to upgrade pushed an improved design to the front with the Ural 4320, entering production in 1976.
The Ural 4320 was initially powered by the Kamaz V8 diesel, producing 210 hp, and giving it a maximum speed of 83kmh (51mph). While that may not seem impressive to some, the Ural was built to go where there are no roads, hauling most everything imaginable, in temperatures ranging from 40C to -40C without pause. In addition to the 27 soldiers it can carry in the rear, or 6,000 kg of cargo, it can tow over 13,000 kg, or mount excavators, drilling equipment, cranes, dump beds and varying weapons platforms. Ural switched over to the YaMZ V8 diesel, giving 240hp, and modernized the electrical system, but aside from that the basic truck is still in production and is seen all over the world in both military and commercial service.
have now released a new boxing of the Ural 4320 in basic cargo/transport mode for the 1/35 scale modeler.
The kit comes in the standard Trumpeter
top opening box with basic but attractive artwork of a truck driving along a road. Inside the box the sprues are individually packaged to protect the many parts, with decals and etch parts separately wrapped. The etch parts include heavy cardstock as an insert to prevent bending. In addition to the instruction sheet there is a large color printout as a painting guide, showing the truck from all sides.
The sprues are all well molded, with only slight flash on some parts, no sink marks or short shots, and ejector pin marks kept to a minimum and placed on inner surfaces that won't be as visible.
The sprue breakdown is as follows:
- A sprue X2: Front leaf springs, wheel hubs, brakes, some transmission components, tie downs for cargo bed, other small bits
- B sprue: Cab components, including well detailed dash/instrument panel, detailed fenders and the "Ural" logo, in Cyrillic lettering, on the vehicle side, along with nicedly rendered cutouts for the engine venting. All detail is very fine here. There are some ejector pin marks on the cab interior that may have to be dealt with.
- C sprue: Highly detailed engine. Only the wiring should be needed to make this look operable
- D sprue: Cab doors, with inner and outer sections for optimum detail, other small bits for the cab, including a multi-part driver's seat to highlight the adjustable frame
- E sprue: Truck frame, with each part separately molded. There are some ejector pin marks on the inside of the frame, not very visible. Also included is the complete transmission in multiple parts for maximum detail, axles and fuel tank
- F sprue: Truck bed, with the bed iteslf as a single part, side frames molded with wood texture and a highly detailed multi part spare wheel rack
- GP sprue: Clear parts, all thinly molded with no warping present
- 7 rubber tires. Not everyone's favorite, but the tires are extremely well molded with excellent detail present. Sidewall lettering is readable and there is no warping. Tread detail is clear and the seam line is minimal
- 2 small etch sheets containing mud flaps, small handles and other details and drive belts for the radiator fan
- Decal sheet, with markings for 7 vehicles, although nothing in the instructions says what vehicles they are or where they served. I could identify Russian, Czech, and Polish insignia. The decals are well made and appear to be in register with good color
- The instructions are in booklet form with line drawings showing assembly in 34 steps. The drawings are clear, easy to follow and well laid out
- A single page showing multiple views of one vehicle as a painting guide. Paint colors are called out by number for Mr. Color brand aqueous and hobby color lines, Vallejo, Model Master enamel, Tamiya and Humbrol paint lines. Only three colors are used-Tire black, light green and flat black. The truck depicted is painted in overall light green with flat black frame.
My overall impression with the kit is that it is extremely well made with excellent detail throughout. The kit does not include a cover for the cargo bed (depicted in the box art) and as mentioned above there is no explanation or guide for the decals. Considering how many countries use this truck it would have been nice to see some variety in colors. The instructions appear to be very good, but the build review is best for showing how good the instructions are. Basically, I can't wait to get started with assembly. This kit was provided to me as a review sample (thanks to Armorama, Stevens international and Trumpeter
) but shopping online show prices ranging from $45-70 US before shipping. Considering what modelers will be paying it really should have had the items listed in my small complaint above-a cover for the cargo bed and more complete information for the included markings. For those who wish for more detail, I am sure aftermarket companies will be producing etch and resin accessories. I would encourage them to look at some of the improvised gun trucks, uparmored vehicles in use with ground forces in the Middle East, and even civilian conversions and the truck is used world wide.