Diecast Delights: GAZ 21 in 1:43 Scale


Welcome to Diecast Delights, which continues, I’m afraid, with the Soviet theme that it’s carried for the last several weeks, months; you probably think it feels like years.

There’s no way, though, that we could possibly let the strand fade away without properly documenting the Volga series. We’ve seen a later car in the guise of this taxi, and there may well be another one coming up soon, you never know.


The GAZ M21 first turned up in 1956, taking the place of the M20 “Pobeda” that we saw last week. The M21 was, by all accounts a far more sophisticated, comfortable machine than its predecessor,  and was endowed with such contemporary features as single piece glazing for front and rear screens.

This particular model depicts the final generation of M21, built between 1965 and 1970, which makes it, incidentally, a GAZ 21, the M being dropped for this series. In fact, assuming this particular car was built as a taxi from the offing, it would be a Gaz 21TS. It was this third flavour of Volga which introduced the world to the distinctive front grille with 32 vertical bars, which would become a fixture on the car for the next couple of decades.

So what of the model?


It’s pretty good. Proportions are pretty good, the metalwork itself is well cast, although there is a sign of flash (excess metal) spilling from the cast, which you can see in the lede image, just aft of the left-hand front headlamp.

In contrast to some others we’ve seen, the assembly is spot on. The add-on details are precisely applied, the graphics are crisp and well placed, and the paintwork immaculate. As is the glazing, and there’s a good display of interior detail.


Some of those add-on details themselves, though, are a little disappointing. There are a good many chrome-effect parts and the finish of that shiny metal-esque material is perfectly OK, although the front grille could do with some black bits between the bars. Unfortunately, though, too many bits of the car are made from the stuff where it really doesn’t make sense. The rear lamps, for example, are chrome but with red paint applied to represent, er, the red bits. The front sidelights are also 100% chrome.

More appropriate and more glass-like material would have been nice to see, and considering that a good few of the other 1:43 models we’ve seen in this series have been so-equipped, it’s a pity that this one should have cut corners.

That said, it’s still a perfectly serviceable model of an early Volga, and there aren’t exactly millions to choose from. It definitely makes it into “model” territory rather than being just a toy car. If you fancy one, there are a good few of them swishing around on eBay. I won’t tell you how much I paid for this one; talking about money is a volga business.

 [Variable Quality Close-Up Images: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Chris Haining]

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