It’s Monday, which means another chunk bitten out of the Hooniverse daily schedule to take a look at the world of miniature models of marvellous, mostly military motors.
This time we’re looking at another one of those vehicles that you’ve seen on numerous cold war movie thrillers but possibly struggled to identify. Let’s face it, behind the Iron Curtain there were countless mysterious beasts, all with immemorable alphanumeric names, but somehow the 469, with its split grille, always stood out
The UAZ 469 was intended as the replacement for the 69, one of which we saw here. It represented a massive technological leap into the unknown. Actually, no it didn’t. There was nothing at all in the way of futuristic forward-thinking under the skin here, because that would have been a terrible idea.
For a vehicle intended to spend years, decades, millenia with sparse or non-existent maintenance, to drink 76 Octane gasoline (the same anti-knock rating as orange cordial) and to survive anything the Russian hinterland could throw at it, the requirement is basically simplicity and durability. It must have been doing something right to have remained in build from 1972 right through to 2013.
So, what of the model? Well, it’s nigh on perfect. It’s yet another of the DeAgostini line of popular (common) and iconic vehicles from the so called Eastern Bloc and beyond. We’ve seen some severely variable quality from this series so far, but this is definitely a goodun’.
The paint, in olive drab, has just the right low-gloss finish, and the Military Police graphics are crisp and well applied. There are many add-on details, headlamps and sidelights and even a little tiny UAZ emblem have been delicately fitted by somebody who seemingly cared about it. Well done, you. The wheels and tyres look great and the ride height seems realistic enough. Of course, the basic proportions are bob-on, too.
Round the back the detail continues. There is an accurate-looking textile texture to the canvas roof, along with a separately modelled outline to the rear screen, which again is a separate component. Side glazing is fitted and isn’t entirely free of distortion, but you can’t have everything.
I don’t think it’s really fair to ask anything else from this model, when you consider the low, low prices that they change hands for on eBay. Grab one now; it’s certainly easier to accommodate in 1:43 scale than in 1:1, and you can drive one on SpinTyres anyway.
[Images: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Chris Haining]