As promised, some pics of the finished AVD truck model that I purchased from a seller in Russia. Can you see what’s missing here? And if you have it, would you please send it to me, thank you.
Strangely, the best 1/43 truck model kits readily available have been sold by a Russian company called AVD. Unfortunately for us international truck model lovers, the models are nearly all Russian trucks and buses, with some Tatras and Skodas thrown in. The kits are manufactured in China and are of relatively high quality. The kits aren’t vintage but many of the subject trucks are. Older kits in AVD’s extensive production line have metal bodies and frames; the trend in recent years is toward resin.
I purchased a semi tractor kit on eBay (they are expensive—$50–$100 with shipping) and waited months for its arrival. When it came it was a bit out of place among the other packages laying about.
It sat there in a pile of boxes for another several months before I finally opened it up. Gotta let the nerve agent wear off, that’s common knowledge.
One of the best things about these AVD kits in my opinion is the rogue graphic designer who inserted images of famous musicians, movie stars, dictators, etc. on the box covers. This kit that I bought had John Lennon, as seen on the cover of Abbey Road. Looks like he’s about to get unceremoniously maimed by the truck in question. Another kit features Charlie Chaplin, toddling next to an otherwise completely nondescript truck. I do believe Stalin graces one of the boxes, behind the wheel of a large vintage hauler, while gravelly-voiced lead vocalist Brian Jones of AC/DC seems to appear next to a dump truck on another. I think that’s who that is.
The model itself is pretty fantastic. Everything comes together very nicely, with good detail. Rubber tires, rolling axles, detailed engine and undercarriage, nice decals. Hard to believe no American company is offering something similar with USA-built trucks, using the same Chinese factory to produce the goods. I don’t know why they don’t when the molds are already made and they’ve got at least 1 certified sucker right here ready to go.
Had a few interesting issues with the build. My model glue did not work on this plastic, not sure why. Just did not work. Maybe not bonding with the nerve agent, that’s just a guess. No big deal as I just used epoxy which was better for most of the construction anyway. Also, one of the pieces was seemingly missing from the sealed box, also not a huge deal but annoying and possibly the reason this particular kit, the MAZ-6422, is among the cheapest AVD kits available.
Altogether I really enjoyed this trip behind the Iron Curtain that supposedly no longer exists, and the finished model is lovely. I would enjoy building more of these, but what would people say about a guy in possession of a fleet of tiny Russian trucks.
Stay tuned for the finished product…
The latest chapter in my ongoing descent to the musty depths of old manness involved the interception of several vintage Solido metal 1/43 kits, and the unavoidable completion of one of em, a ’71 Ferrari Daytona, which I painted orange with black wheels in complete defiance of the 3 sets of included race decals just because I thought it would be cool. Update: It is!
The Solido kits, made in France, come together a lot more, mmm, solidly, than the FDS kits or Hubley kits I’ve built. The bodies are made with better metal, parts are machined with greater precision, and almost everything snaps into place with righteous finality, which no doubt makes them a lot better for kids or novices. Decals are superbe with an e on the end. When finished, they could even serve admirably as toys, with suspension and working doors. (A cool project would be to build one of these and give it to a kid like any other toy. Think about building it as tough as can be so the kid can really go to town on it, epoxy, clearcoat, etc.) Despite all the positives, the Solido kits are not as sought after as the older clunkier kits. Just not as sexy to collectors for some reason. But I’ve got 2 more for sale right now, a Citroen (!) rallye car and a Pugeot rallye car. Get at em before I do.
This saga is just going to get weirder too. Stay tuned.
Bob’s Used Cars is slower than usual lately. We haven’t sold a tiny car in almost 2 weeks, which is a sad record for us. The machine has gone from forsaking us to merciless donkey punching.
In the interim Mert intercepted several shipments of vintage Hubley model kits – the old metal kits with the working steering that transport you back in time to some Ward Cleaver garage – and I couldn’t help myself. Before you could say “you are turning into one sad motherf*cking old man” I had built 2 of them. BAM! Both 1932 Chevy Roadsters. I may even build some more. Why the f$#k not? I mean, other than the long list of obvious reasons.
Actually, these things take a lot of work to put together. There is no BAM! about it. The metal pieces all need to be painstakingly cleared of flashing and burrs, etc. Takes a while, and chops up your fingers if you’re not careful. Then with the sanding. The matter of toxic metal dust should not be taken lightly when sanding a metal kit. I would do it outside with a stiff wind blowing away from you. Do it in somebody else’s yard. Don’t huff it like Mert. Mert needs metal dust to survive, according to Mert. Mert is not a doctor.
I had so much fun with the Hubleys – Hubleys were the gateway drug – that I decided to intercept and build one of the 1/43-scale metal kits I’d been selling. Oh yeah. Those perfect little boxes. How could you resist? I can’t. I culled one of the 1961 Ferrari 250’s with Tour de France rallye decals by FDS Automodelli. Despite its size, it was a little snarlier to build somehow than the large Hubleys with all their moving parts and terrible screws. I went with the blue instead of the historically accurate silver, but I like the payoff. Looks better in real life than it does in photos. Turns out I’m not very interested in building models that are accurate representations of real-life race cars, “1st place at Le Mans 1965 yadda yadda.” Gotta have the right shade of red, etc. I’d rather build something that nobody else has.
Somewhere in England right now there could be a guy freaking out on my ferrari because it’s not the correct color. But think of it this way, Clive, now you know what that car would have looked like, had it been this color instead. Anyway, Ferrari race cars from that era were red, silver, dark blue, lighter blue, black, white and sometimes yellow. It’s ok, Cliver.
These intricate little 1/43 kits were super popular in Italy, England, France, Australia in the 1970s and 80s, and still are quite popular apparently. The out-of-production metal or resin kits are worth about 30-100 bucks unbuilt depending on scarcity and beauty. Maybe I’m a biased source however. I’ll just say I’ve paid 30 and would probably pay more; I’ve seen plenty of people pay north of 100 for a cool 1/43 kit in new condition.
It’s interesting how 1/43 kits sort of missed the American market, where motor sport stuff has always been less popular, strangely. I was into building models when I was a kid, hanging out in hobby shops during the prime years for these 1/43 kits, and I never saw one for sale or considered the possibility of their existence. However it’s been well established that I’m a idiot. Maybe I just missed the whole thing. Now all I want to do is accumulate and build the damn things. Frankly I’d like to cover every horizontal surface in the house with shiny Ferraris of every possible iteration. My wife is going to divorce me so hard you guys.
“Don’t get high on your own supply bro,” reminds Mert.
“How are you a 60-ish guy with suspenders and calling me ‘bro’ right now.”
“How are you a 50-ish guy building models in the middle of the night and hoping nobody notices.”
He’s right again of course. If I abscond with and build many more of these kits, the miniature profits of the enterprise will quickly turn into not-so-miniature deficits, and I won’t have time for my 6 other part time jobs.
So come on down to Bob’s, under the water tower at West Bacon Road and County Road 12 and take some 1/43 kits and Hubley metal kits off our hands before our hands start building.