As sure as the feeling of bloatedness at the end of a KFC Bargain Bucket and as inevitable as the release of a Cliff Richards Greatest Hits album around Christmas time, it’s high time for our weekly inspection of a 1:43 scale model of a Russian vehicle.
This series has been a real eye-opener to me; the machines featured have all been either extremely rare or completely non-existent on British roads, and I know very little about them. We continue in this vein with the Moskvitch derived Izh 2175.
Now, the Moskvitch has been seen on British roads, in fact they were actually sold here for a spell in the ’70s and ’80s. In fact, this led to An Hero called Tony Lanfranchi contesting one in the British Touring Car Championship, when he realised that the Moskvitch would be price-classified with the Minis and Imps, all of which were significantly outgunned by the bigger Russian car. This made for some thoroughly entertaining racing, as the image, stolen from The Internet (Thanks Internet) demonstrates.
Moskvitch Pick-Ups were sold here, but after a few years they ended up looking like this: (Stolen from My Photobucket Account, Taken By Me. So that’s OK)
But our model for the day is a bit different. It’s an IZH 2175 panel van, based on what the Moskvitch 412 became after Izhevsk, having become inspired by it, decided to build their own version. It ended up being built in one form or another from ’72 right through until 2001. Here’s what the original would have looked like, shorn of the electrical repair vehicle livery. (Wikipedia Commons image)
The model is, in fact extremely accurate. It’s one of the DeAgostini ones (the model chassis has no other branding) which have flooded eBay of late, and aside from the often variable quality control they all do much to recommend themselves.
The casting of the body is very high quality and the proportions spot-on. The paintwork is even and just about the right side of too-glossy, and there is no paint flood into any of the shut-lines, which feature dark inserts for emphasis.
In fact, the extreme detail passes very close scrutiny; the front grille is beautifully injection moulded and has a tiny Izh emblem accurately printed on, the rear bumper is a separately attached component and correct in its tubularity. The wheels, too, are acurately modeled, even though the right hand rear wheel here appears to be slightly oval.
As we’ve seen before, it’s the final assembly, by inebriated chimps, that lets the side down. The screen-printed front license plate has been glued on at a jaunty angle and the whole thing just doesn’t sit square. It looks a lot like it’s carrying a too-heavy load which has shifted to the left hand side of the load bay. Mind you, that could be accurate too, come to think of it. Generally, a nice model though. Pick one up from (for example) eBay, for not much cash at all.
[Images: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Chris Haining]