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In-Box Review
135
Soviet Ua Railcar
Ua Railcar Wooden Body Sheating
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

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All Aboard
Ua Railcar (Wooden Body Sheating) from Armor35 is one of two versions of this 1/35 model that returns to their range of Soviet railroad subjects. Item ARM35405 is Ua Railcar (wooden body sheathing) 1435 mm./1524mm. It is a multi-media kit composed of resin, wood, acetate, photoetched and machined brass parts. The other version is ARM35406 Ua Railcar (metal body sheathing).

Ua Railcar
was developed by Armor35 in cooperation with the Pereslav Railway Museum. Comprising hundreds of pieces this super-detailed craftsman kit can be built for Soviet Railways (Cоветские железные дороги (CЖД), reporting marks SZhD or SZD) 1524 mm gauge track, or track re-gauged by the Germans to 1435 mm.

These machines were designed in 1929 as powered section gang cars, Uchastkovaya avtodrezina, 'section railcar', or "Ua". (Those vehicles are widely known as "speeders.") The Ua was powered by internal combustion automobile engines and could tow rail trailers or carts. First powered by a Ford Model A engine, Russian GAZ engines began equipping the railcar by 1933. The railcar was designed for operations in both directions and the engine and radiator were placed in the middle of the car for that reason. The Ua was designed for 10 men and a 5-ton trailer was designed for it. Ua's were even built for narrow gauge 750mm railways.

Military modelers should be enthusiastic about this model. It can be an attention grabbing part of an Eastern Front vignette, or an component of a larger diorama.

Military-scale railroad modeling continues to grow with an ever expanding selection of models in the dominate military scale of 1/35. Project Armor35 is an enterprise in Russia focusing on creating accurate 1/35 German and Soviet railway subjects circa the Great Patriotic War. Armor35 produces multi-media railway rolling stock, resin rail and track components, i.e., spikes and tie plates, wooden and resin sleepers (crossties), scale sand and stone ballast and coal, lineside equipment like signs and a water column, as well as dozens of civilian and military figures, and statues.

While there is not currently a 'model rail scale' for 1/35, it is very close to No. 1 Scale (also referred to as Gauge 1, Gauge One, 3/8", etc.) of 1/32. Regardless, it does afford some crossover to electric model railroading.

Currently Armor35 catalogues over 50 figures and more than 34 railway subjects, including 8 models of rolling stock (train cars).

The Kit
Like their kits of the Soviet (NTV) 16.5t boxcar and Up Trailer with Timber Racks, this Ua model is an awesome and enticing model. The Up flatcar is actually modeled as a companion model for the Ua. You may see the review via Related Link in the Summary Box, below.

Wood, resin and metal parts - machined and photo-etched - comprise this detailed craftsman model. All of the parts are sealed in zip locking baggies, dozens of them. Baggies and baggies inside of baggies! There are not as many individual pieces as in the NTV kit although my eyes again crossed while trying to count all the parts (over 150 just to build the body itself):
    Resin engine and transmission x 21
    Resin bolts & nuts x 74
    Wood body x 85
    Resin body and crew interior x 79
    Clear headlight lenses x 4
    Metal rod x 1
    Brass photo-etch x 67
    'Glass' x 14
    Machined brass x 5
    Decal sheet x 1

I might have missed a part or two but that adds up to around 350 pieces. Manageable, I think.

Armor35's resin casting is generally very good. The crisp gray parts are free of seam lines and air pocks. A few pieces have slight amounts of excess flash. However, a few pieces are slightly warped and may need hot water or a hair drier to straighten them. In spite of the fine diameter of many pieces on pour block "sprues," I found no broken parts. Perhaps the generous use of baggies helped to cushion the parts?

Aside from removing the parts from their "sprues" and any cleanup of the pieces, very little preparation is required by the modeler.

Typical of Armor35 all of the brass parts are sharply and cleanly etched. This brass sheet does not seem as thick as the brass for the later NTV boxcar. As some of those parts are relatively large and are load bearing, I wonder if they should be soldered or glued together? I plan to solder them.

Whatever wood Armor35 uses is excellent. None of the strips are warped and they are crisply cut, lacking fuzz and splinters. The 25 pieces for the flooring are beautiful to behold, almost like they are ceramic.

Detail
Modelers can expect an amazing level of detail. Notice that each link in the cast drive chains are open! The kit is designed to an engineering level of accuracy and authenticity. An example of the level of detail is the driver's space with 16 parts. The engine is built up with 22 parts. Five pieces make up each wheel and suspension, excluding the axles. Even each lowly bench is six pieces.

While there are a lot of bolts and dozens will be visible, a modelers could opt not to set each one as many will not be readily visible - unless you dump yours over in a derailment or a destruction diorama.

An Ua was constructed with a metal frame which carried a wooden body. That body was braced with lumber and metal structural components. Little or no welding was utilized in constructing it. The first assembly step guides the forming of the frame with brass parts. These parts feature etched holes for inserting bolts and nuts and rivets.

After each 5-piece wheel assembly is installed, two 11-piece brake beams are attached.

The superstructure is assembled with wooden sides and flooring. Armor35 mercifully cut those items as sheets instead of modeling individual board-by-board construction. The floor is plank-by-plank. A one-piece resin roof is used.

Individual "glass" panes are sandwiched between the window framing. Ornate handholds are provided. Clear headlamp lenses have prismatic panes cast into them. Many other small detail parts round out this model.

Models requiring piece-by-piece assembly have been available for decades, i.e., sailing ships, live steam. Armor35's Ua Railcar enhances their company.

Instructions, Painting, Decals
Armor35 instruction sheets are the most impressive I know of. They are professionally designed and printed in full color on full-format glossy paper, with Cyrillic and English text. This does not reflect on the model itself but rather upon the pride that Armor35 puts in to their products. This sheet contains 22 steps on 5 pages.

With so many pieces, an exploded inventory of the kit contents is provided, each piece identified by part number and label. Those captions are highlighted. Sub-assembly components are clarified with color. Parts are identified by material, i.e., resin parts are identified with the abbreviation prefix "Re", photo-etch is "Pe", wood with "W".

Assembly is illustrated with sharp expertly illustrated colored and shaded art. Sepia photo inserts are used to focus on sub-assemblies.

Painting guidance and decal placement is presented through a high-quality color computer image of the Ua. No paint brand is referenced and six military colors are required. Three colorful prewar liveries are also illustrated.

Armor35 supplies an extensive decal selection with dimensional data and maintenance information, and Soviet Railways emblems. Road numbers for two Uas are provided:
    Уа 2620
    Уп 7531

However, Armor35 includes four groups of numbers "1"-"0" so the modeler can make hundreds of railcar numbers.

Dimensional and maintenance data stencils are provided with early and late variants.

I do not know who prints decals for Armor35. They look very good with crisp edges, opaque ink/paint, and appear thin with minimal carrier film around the printed areas. Regardless, if you do not have experience applying waterslide to wood, sacrifice a few decals practice the process. Since wood absorbs some of the paint and clear coats, great amounts of decal setting solution might be required. Dry transfer decals are very popular with model railroaders.

Conclusion
Armor35's Ua Railcar (Wooden Body Sheating) is another extraordinary 1/35 model. Like their NTV boxcar the wealth of kit detail is remarkable. Despite some warped parts, their casting of resin is very good. The laser-cut wood is excellent. Photo-etched brass parts are sharp. Several decal options are provided. Armor35 instruction sheets are extraordinary.

I do not think beginner or novice modelers should attempt this kit.

One thirty-fifth scale modelers of the Stalin era SZhD, railcar speeders, the Great Patriotic War, and the Eastern Front should be thrilled with this Ua railcar. Once assembled, this Ua will certainly command attention. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Armor35 for this kit for review. Please remember to tell them and retailers that you saw it here - on Armorama.
SUMMARY
Highs: Resin casting is very good and the laser-cut wood is excellent. Photo-etched brass parts are sharp and several decal options are provided. Extraordinary instruction sheet.
Lows: Some warped resin and a tad of flash.
Verdict: Modelers of the Soviet Railway, railcar speeders, the Great Patriotic War, and the Eastern Front should be thrilled with this Ua railcar. Once assembled, it will certainly command attention.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35405
  Related Link: Up Flatcar
  PUBLISHED: Feb 13, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.83%

Our Thanks to Armor 35!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2019 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Great review, Fred, of what looks like a fantastic kit.
FEB 14, 2019 - 04:08 AM
   

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