Here we take a look at a new 1/35th scale release of an interesting subject in the form of a Russian Military Van UAZ 3909.


The following introduction is provided by Zvezda:

The UAZ 3909 is a van type vehicle with a 4x4 wheel arrangement, designed for freight and passenger transportation. Unpretentious maintenance, excellent cross country capability, high carrying and affordable price make this model an irreplaceable commercial vehicle. Serial production of car started at the Togliatti Automobile plant in 1990. 


This offering from Zvezda of a UAZ 3909 reminds me very much of the early Transit van campers from around the 70s and early 80s. The model is packaged in a cardboard tray with flip top lid, and an additional end opening card sleeve, which shows all of the graphics. Inside a sealed plastic bag, you will find all of the sprues. There are two Ziploc bags, one containing the clear parts and decals, the other contains the tyres. A fold out instruction sheet is provided loose, and other than the plastic parts being bagged along with the decals I have no real concerns with what I find here. 

The body of the van is made up of a large number of panels, with good detail for what is required. Being made up of so many panels, I was pleased to find cross bracing pieces present that will help greatly, I feel with the correct placement and angle of the panels as you add them. There is a good amount of interior detail provided, with all of the required controls present and I quite like the design of the seats, but I would consider adding a layer of tissue paper to the seats to give them a used look. The support structures for the seats, are very 60s and 70s in nature due to being made of tubular steel, but it serves the purpose. The dashboard is mounted to the floor panel, with decals for the instruments. But I would consider not securing this in place, until the front portion of the vehicle is added in order to get a good joint in all areas. The clear parts provided should not present any problems as they have good clarity, and do not appear to be so thick as to cause magnification, and liquid poly will secure them in place perfectly. 

Zvezda has supplied a multi part chassis for this release, and that obviously allows a high level of accuracy and have a reasonable level of detail, and due to you being directed to assemble the van body floor first, getting the chassis accurately assembled can be easily done on the model. The exhaust system is surprisingly complex, but has not been hollowed out at the end. The box assemblies are provided in two halves, and don’t be tempted to hide the seam lines, as these would be weld beads. The axles have a reasonable level of detail present, and I was pleased to find that showing the front wheels turned has been catered for. The wheels themselves are made up of two halves, with a vinyl rubber tyre trapped between them which I know will not be popular with some modellers. On a plus side the doors of the vehicle have been provided as separate mouldings, and these have separate door cards so with a little imagination the quarter light could be separated from the main window, and partially wound down. The wing mirrors have been provided with reflective stickers, which should look reasonable. 

Two finishing options have been provided:

UAZ-3909, Commandant’s Service (from 2011 Military Police of Russia), Leningrad Military District (from 2010 - Western Military District), 2008

UAZ-3909 , Central Military District, 2014


This release from Zvezda of a UAZ-3909 is one of those models you would not expect to see from a main line producer. The detail provided is good in my opinion, although detail on the vehicle is not great on the internet, with me being unable to find a single image of the interior of the vehicle, and only a limited number of the exterior. As such the exterior body of the model looks to be correct, and is the sort of model you don’t see very often. I do know that Zvezda does have a number of versions of this vehicle in 1/43rd scale, and so I find myself wondering if sales are good you may find some of these making their way into a scale we appreciate. So in my opinion this is a quirky vehicle, that appears to be reasonably well detailed and so offering appeal.  



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