Review – S and S models Zvezda URAL truck upgrades

“Logistics is the ball and chain of armored warfare.” 

Heinz Guderian

Logistics, as a rule, don’t tend to factor much in a company level WWIII wargame. But tank’s and IFV haven’t got any less thirsty for fuel and supplies and so both sides would have been supported by literal armies of logistics support vehicles. In Team Yankee these vehicles can still appear on the board, albeit in the form of either scenic objectives or terrain features.
Zvezda produces a 1:100 plastic “snap-together” (or “snap right off” in the case of the damned wheels) Ural truck that helps provides suitable fodder for such efforts. The kit itself is well detailed with options for a canvas tilt to add over the flatbed and wouldn’t look out the place “acquiring” supplies from a liberated Aldi, snarled up on a bombardment damaged autobahn, or supporting a bridge laying effort.

Recently S and S models sent us a variety of add-on pieces for the Zvezda kit to add further detail and today we’ll look at each one.

Replacement Light/Grill Piece

The Zvezda “cold war gone hot” game was set later in the timeline than team Yankee and so it’s truck model represents a later build of the Ural. Apparently then the main difference was the arrangement of the front lights and grill and S and S models have produced a drop-in replacement piece that reverts the kit to the earlier model.

The piece was cleanly cast on white metal and required little cleaning. The piece dropped into the spot vacated by the removed plastic. It lacks the locating pin of the piece it replaces which means you must align it by eye, not terribly difficult. I hadn’t glued mine in, so it does sag forward in some of the photos which is my fault, not the parts.

The part isn’t an exact replacement for the plastic component, lacking the wrap-around of the plastic part and leaving a few, largely unnoticeable gaps. I also noted that the part seems slightly lopsided, leaving a larger gap on one side of the grill than the other.

Ultimately, the piece achieves what it sets out to do. However, I think I prefer the look of the original plastic piece, even if its “wrong” and, given the trucks will just be objective or terrain marker fodder, it seems a little frivolous as a purchase and does require some work to fit, counter to the snap-fit nature of the model.

Ural 375 grill for Zvezda Ural 4320

Flat Bed Cargo

By its necessity, a cargo truck is intended to carry cargo; the clue’s in the name. This part provides a single piece resin casting of a mixed assortment of cargo to fill the existing flatbed of the Zvezda with a mixed load of crates, fuel drums, jerry cans and tarp/camo rolls.

For the most part, the component is well sculpted and cast, but the top of the fuel drums seemed oddly deformed compared to the crispness of the rest of the part. That, however, is the only criticism and the part adds some instant character to the stock Zvezda model, suitable for both objective markers or for trucks incorporated into terrain such as a bridge crossing under construction, or similar.
The part also doesn’t prevent the tilt being fitted which provides some interesting scenario options for a “search and destroy” mission with one player needing to check several objectives for the target which the opposing player places in secret in otherwise identical trucks.

The flatbed cargo is not on the site yet but will apparently be £5 for a pair of identical flatbed contents, not a huge expense for terrain or objective making.

Cargo load for 1/100th Zvezda Ural truck

Office Body

A common variant of most military trucks is an “office body” version, typically used for radio trucks but also used for field workshops and the like. The body is a simple rectangular structure, providing better environmental cover than a flatbed and tilt, with one or more doors, windows and exhaust vents for equipment heating/cooling. The Ural radio trucks often mounted a generator overhanding the cab at the front.

This is a single-piece component that replaces the Ural’s flatbed in its entirety, as well as the spare tyre component. The office body then just sits on top of the chassis. There are no alignment pegs so you have to set it by eye and glue it in place, but this is fairly easy to do.

The part itself has the requisite doors, exhaust vents and windows modelled on, as well as some detail consistent with a generator partly overhanging the cab. This is cleanly sculpted but the detail on the front of the body did suffer from some air bubbles, though not in an area that would be easily seen once on the truck.

I like this part as it lends itself well to both an objective (placed near a friendly artillery or SAM position maybe?) or a terrain piece, parked in a car park. Its relatively inexpensive and requires little effort to fit. The detail could be a little sharper and alignment pegs would have been nice, but ultimately it does the job.

Office body for Zvezda Ural 4320

Conclusions

The S&S parts for the Ural truck provide some interesting and relatively inexpensive fodder for interesting objective markers or scatter terrain for tables. Whilst I’d perhaps struggle to recommend the front grill piece to all but the most pedantic of cold war truck fanciers, the office body and cargo bed contents both get a big thumbs up from me.

For those thinking of using these models in a more active role (for say a scenario), I’d suggest using the Hail’s stats as that is basically the same truck.

Apologies to S&S in the delay in getting this review up.

Category: Red ThunderReviewsSovietsTeam YankeeZvezda

4 comments

  1. I love these articles of Breakthrough Assault, focusing on that which adds to our hobbies and our experiences with them. I already had some cars to place on my highways/ roads, but having army related vehicles on them is even better. Zvezda creates decent plastic kits and for models you’re going to use for scenery they are a great choice.
    Thanks for the review!

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Article by: Lee

Wargaming since Rogue Trader in 1990; I made the move to Flames in 2006 and have been with it ever since! I play at the Brighton Warlords most weeks.