Review: 1/35 GAZ-233014 STS Tiger Armored Vehicle (Meng Model VS-003)
Meng Model is a relatively new model kit manufacturer from the far east that is already loved for their accuracy and attention for detail.
After the pickups, Meng Model has now released another wheeled vehicle, the Russian GAZ-233014 STS Armored High-Mobility Vehicle, also known as the Tiger.
The Tiger is the known as the Russian variant of USA’s Humvee, a similar vehicle used for the same circumstances.
The GAZ 2330 is powered by a US Cummins V-180 6 Cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and is capable of carrying 1,5 tons. The top speed of about 120-140 Km/h is great and it can handle slopes up to 45 degrees.
A rotatable hatch on the roof can handle the mounting of two weapons, the AGS-17 30mm grenade launcher and the Pecheneg 7,62 mm machine gun, both weapons can be operated simultaneously by two crew members from the hatch.
Other great features are the bulletproof windows that can be opened by the crew to fire out, and the counter IED system aboard.
The Model kit exists out of:
- 6 sprues (A-F)
- Chassis frame
- Photo Etched grill
- 5 rubber tires
- 4 poly caps
- Decal sheet
- Instruction sheet with paint charts
You start off with the framework for the chassis of the Tiger. Smaller parts, like the transmission, suspension etc. from the sprue have to be glued to the larger separate one-piece framework. Everything from these steps is to be painted black, so easy first eight steps.
From reading the instructions and checking the sprues no weird thing are noticed and the detail on these sprue parts are very nice, very little flash and sharp edges / crisp detail.
Step nine tasks you to apply the hydraulic rods to the chassis framework, these are to be painted olive green.
The dashboard is the first interior part you start off with, the detail on this parts is fantastic for injection molded plastic! Really great! Decals are provided for the gauges on the dashboard.
Gearbox assembly is next up and placed between the two front seats. Four different colors are used here.
The Tiger has an ammo rack for inside the vehicle, this ammo rack is to be built next. It exists of six sprue parts and is colored in greyblue and olive green. The ammo rack parts look amazing!
The seats are created in step 13 and have nice detail. In step 14 you glue some protection to the underside of the chassis body. Next up is gluing the previously created interior parts in place on the chassis body. At last you will be tasked to glue the chassis body and chassis framework together.
These steps you’ll work on the interior side of the hull part. Smaller parts from the sprues are cut and glued in place. This is also the moment when you are tasked to place the huge camouflage decals in the interior side of the hull! The decals look great and are supposed to spare you a lot of time and anger painting it by hand. Some good decals softener and setter are a must I guess, so keep that in mind.You start to work with the upper hull in these steps and the first thing I noticed was the damaged part of the hull on the right rear bottom, check the pictures below to see what Im talking about. I think the cause of this is the packing of the sprues.
I found no color number for the overall interior color on the instruction sheet, Meng Model must have forgot that!
Step 24 indicated to glue the hull and chassis together, but I think I’ll keep mine dryfitted if possible so I can always take it of for interior watching.
You start with assembly of the tires by gluing the rims to the nicely detailed rubber wheels. The detail on the rubber wheels is amazing and with a little sanding the mold line can be easily removed. Smaller parts like mudguards, the snorkel, lights, railings and spare wheel are made here as well.
These steps exists out of creating the doors and hatches of the vehicle. Clear painting instructions are given here for the multi colored doors (interior). Camouflage decals are placed on the interior side of the roof hatch parts, just like on the rest of the interior.
You finish the Tiger off by adding the two weapons, the AGS-17 Grenade Launcher and the 7,62 mm Pecheneg machine gun. The detail on the weapons looks fine to me but some flash can be seen on the detail pictures provided below.
Final step is adding the antennas.
Meng Model gives you the opportunity to create either on of the following two Tigers:
– Tric Colored Camouflage, North Caucasus Military District
– Single colored Russian Victory day parade 2011 version, Vehicle 001 leading the column.
Meng has done a great job on giving us this modern Russian Tiger, it is an very welcome vehicle created in plastic for a great price. The detail is very nice and the instructions look very good, only thing noted was the lack of indicating the color for the inner side of the hull. The damage on the hull parts is a bummer as well, but I can imagine I just had bad luck with my copy….
The camouflage decals for the interior are supposed to be a real time and hair saver, so great job on them Meng!, curious how easy they are to be applied.
Here’s my video review! Feel free to leave feedback and comments!