by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Moskvitch-401-420A is a soviet vehicle that went into production after the end of the Great Patriotic War. This vehicle was produced in Moscow by ZMA and was a direct copy the German Opel Kadett K38 that was built before the war. This model is representative of one type of the Moskvitch-400 series with this being the cabriolet sedan version, this version was not built in large numbers although the vehicle was built in huge numbers overall with nearly 18,000 cabriolets built between 1949 and 1954.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the usual style for them in the form of a cardboard tray with a flip top lid that protects the contents very well, this is then got a card lid with the model details and artwork on it. Inside there is an instruction booklet with the decals protected inside and of course a re-sealable plastic bag containing the parts for the model. An examination of the model reveals no major issues only the expected flow lines and ejector pin marks.
The chassis of this vehicle is a part of the lower body. The rear suspension is attached to this and so results in a square and robust model. The front suspension and steering assembly are well replicated, but as is usual for ICM they have not supplied the ability or option of showing the wheels turned a pet hate of mine rather than an issue. Moving onto the engine and as we have come to expect ICM has done a good job of replicating this aspect. It is worth noting that ICM has included details such as the battery and I believe only requires the addition of wiring for a complete look to the model. The exhaust would have been better if the end had been partially hollowed out, but that should not be beyond the ability of most modellers. One aspect that is a marmite issue is the tyres that are rubber and as such meet with conflicting opinions on the part of modellers.
The interior of the model is Spartan to say the least, but what do you expect of a soviet car from this period. ICM has covered the essentials as regards the seats which are pristine in looks. The steering column is well covered as are the controls inside the vehicle and I cannot see anything that jumps out at me as wrong. I do wish that ICM had supplied the doors as separate parts rather than as a single moulding and so removing the ability to have them open; I do however appreciate that the door cards are separate mouldings and so hide the ejector pin marks.
The external bodywork of the vehicle is quite pleasing beyond the door issue I have mentioned. I appreciate that the bonnet of the vehicle can be displayed in an open setting due to how it has been tackled. The soft top of the roof can be assembled open or closed for those that wish to display the interior.
ICM has provided four finishing options for this model ranging from the colourful to doleful and covering vehicles from the 1950ís and 60ís.
This vehicle from ICM represents an interesting period in Russian history and the model is good considering the lack of photo etched parts that are becoming more common now. The only complaint I will level at ICM in relation to this model is that the doors have been tackled so that the modeller cannot show them open.