Thursday, March 28

Build Guide Pt I: URAL-4320 in 1/72nd scale from ICM

One of the workhorses of the Ukrainian armed forces, the URAL-4320 truck is Andy King's latest build. See how this 72nd scale truck from ICM goes together in Pt.I of his build....

Build Guide Pt I: URAL-4320.
From ICM Holding
1/72nd scale 
Kit Number: 72708
Model Length 105mm х Height: 38mm
The Subject:
The 6×6 Ural-4320 army truck was designed to transport cargo, people and towing trailers on all types of roads. Production of Ural-4320 trucks was launched on November 17, 1977, and its improved versions are still being manufactured. It has significant advantages over similar vehicles and can easily overcome ditches and hills. The truck body can be made of metal or wood, it has folding sides, and it is also possible to install arcs and awnings. The Ural-4320 is widely used by various branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to solve a wide range of tasks.

Ukrainian Ural 4320 with non-standard pixel camouflage.

The Kit:
Recently received for review direct from ICM is their 1/72 URAL-4320 6x6 truck. The tooling for this kit is not new however as it was originally done by Omega-K during the 1990s, re-boxed in 2000 by ICM and re-issued on a fairly regular basis ever since.

The contents of the kit
The main feature for this particular boxing is the digital camouflage pattern however this is supplied in decal form so no masking nightmares. 
Taking a look at the parts and they are fairly well moulded but there is some flash and mould-pin marks present but nothing that can't be dealt with easily. For such a small scale you would have thought that it would be fairly easy to put together, however it wasn't as straightforward as I first thought so read on and I'll show the pitfalls and fixes.
Starting with the chassis and although this is a one-piece item, there are quite a few parts to attach but with the vague instructions the placement of some parts became an educated guess. The first thing you notice is that no locating holes or pegs are moulded for some parts and instead there are measurements printed on the instruction sheet. An example of this is the fuel tank location on the left chassis rail and although the first bracket (part A54) is measured from the front of the chassis at 40mm the second bracket (part A55) is allegedly 12.5mm from the first, unfortunately the width is too small and the fuel tank won't fit. I ended up assembling the fuel tank, dry fitting it to the first bracket THEN fixed the second bracket in place.
The second area that wasn't very clear concerns parts A9 and A21 as the location is again measured from the front at 18mm but with no clue as to where they actually fit. These parts are struts that attach to the axles but after looking at reference pictures of a URAL 4320 these struts are too short so these were cut off and new ones made from plastic rod.

...and after. Much better!
The next picture shows where the 6 wheel drive transmission (parts A11 andA12) sits on the chassis. The cross member (part A30) sits right behind those two locating lugs that you can see on top of the chassis.
All the holes for the axles are too small and require drilling out;
Before gluing the axles into place I found it best to dry fit them all together. Thankfully my educated guesses paid off as I was able to fit all the propeller shafts without either extending or cutting them.
The chassis was almost complete at this stage with the spare wheel holder glued into place although during clean-up I managed to cut out the bar between the two tyre supports so a new one was made from a strip of plastic sheet.
Finally I replaced part A37 with a new one cut from plastic rod as the original piece was too short, the exhaust was glued into place, the end drilled out and that was the chassis built.
The placement of the hydraulic cylinder on the right chassis rail is again measured from the front at 29mm and you are pretty safe to glue it there.
With the chassis complete the cab is the next thing to assemble and this needed some clean up before gluing any bits to it as the flash on it would have interfered with the fit of some parts. 
When done I found it easier to drill and pin part A53 as it would give it more strength rather than butt-fit it to the cab.
The parts that fit under the fenders (A46 and A47) took a while to figure out how they fitted until I realised that the placement on the instructions is mixed up and they need to be the opposite way to that shown.
These were not glued into place as I figured it would be easier to paint the cab without them plus you won't be able to fit the cab interior anyway with these and parts A50 and A51 stuck in place. I test fitted the cab to the chassis and the only location point is a tiny pip moulded onto the cross member (part A30) and as a consequence the cab tipped forward. I opted to make a better locating pin from 1mm diameter copper wire and drilled holes into the cross member and the bottom of the cab.
I also added a thick plastic sheet spacer to the top of the engine block to further support the cab and stop it tipping forward.
The tyres and rear cargo bed were the last things to assemble and starting with the wheels you should note that they are handed as the tread pattern on the left and right face the same way. 
The tread on the tyres is not very well represented as the real ones have a series of grooves, the kit tyres are too smooth also the tread on each wheel halves don't match up to make a 'V' shape either and should be offset between the ends
The cargo bed is the last item to assemble is fairly straightforward but care needs to be taken with the support beams underneath as again the placement as shown on the instructions is not too clear, there are four mould pin marks that need to be removed as well.
The sides of the cargo bed feature four prominent mould-pin marks that also need removing.
The four sprue attachment points also need careful removing as it is quite easy to damage the thin plastic. The tailgate needs the moulded on detail for the latches removing otherwise it won't fit into place properly.
On my example the sides of the tailgate needed sanding until it fitted, after which new latches were made from copper wire.
To see what it looks like, the model was loosely assembled for the glamour shots, after which it was broken down into sub-assemblies before painting.
Apart from a couple of mix-ups in the instructions and not so clear placement of some parts, it's not a bad little model really and with some new wheels and etched parts, these would make it stand out that bit more but for what you get in the box it's pretty good, you just need to take care and dry fit a lot.
The marking choice supplied in the box - in part II to come soon...

Andy King

Part 2 of this build review at this link covers the finishing and although it's overall green, it will be interesting to see how the digital camo scheme will work using the supplied decal sheet.

Thank you to ICM for supplying the kit to build for you all...