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Lada Niva 1/35, The Blast From The Past, Russian Dinosaur For Offroad Purpose


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Hola Friends of Russian Heavy Metal,

I have started a hurry up project, building a resin kit of a Lada Niva as a present for my wife for Christmas. It is planned to add a wooden base, showing the shape of the island were we life.
I wrote down the story behind this project in the 'what did you just get thread' and copied it here, to get the whole picture together.

After a little odyssey the postman brought me this little gem, directly from Hungary. It's a 1/35 kit of a Lada Niva, made by Balaton and will be my next project as a Christmas gift for my wife.

There is some personal history behind the Niva, which started with a completely different car though. Since getting the drivers license, eighteen years old, my wife wanted to own a Citroen 2CV, but never really managed to get one for multiple reasons. We were very close to buy one in Portugal some years ago, which was in perfect condition, but we had to be back in Berlin four days later, with no possibility to change and found it too risky to do the 2700 km with such an old car. Later we settled on our steep little island in the Atlantic, where even my biased wife realized, that a 2CV would not be sufficient for the type of terrain here (I buried my plan of owning a Goddess, a Citroen DS23 as well for the same reason). 

To stay with classics, we tried to buy a new Lada Niva instead, which is well suited for our nice offroad tracks. Three years ago, it was possible to buy a Niva in the mainland of Spain, but it was seemingly impossible to import one onto our Canary Islands. A year ago we tried to buy a new Niva in Germany from a retailer, specialized on Lada Niva. By that time he refused, because it would be impossible to get it legalized in Spain, because the Spanish Lada dealers ceased business meanwhile and you couldn't get a Lada Niva homologized anymore.
Out of pure frustration (and a lot of desire too;)) we bought our Jeep as one of the last dinosaurs, with the Landrover Defender - err - rejuvenated :hsmack:.
After some wine, there sometimes are some sentimental remarks about the missed chance of having a Lada Niva from my wife. When I saw the resin kit of the Niva I knew, i had to build it for my wife and now I'm on a tight schedule before Christmas, as there should be a wooden base, with the shape of our island, also. 

Cheers Rob

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The kit is a full resin kit, which I never did before, added with some photoetched parts, clear plastic sheet for the windows, clear resin headlights and a manual. The kit is designed by Balaton models, a company from Hungary, which is specialized in different kind of vehicles in various scales, but all in resin.

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These are the parts from the box, which are clean cast with only some cleanup to do. Nothing seems to be warped and I found no bubbles and only tiny imperfections in the cast. Note that there are two back doors supplied for two different versions of the Niva.

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A closer look at the etched parts reveals some nice detail like the front grill, Lada logos, wipers, mudskirts, license plates and mirrors, bueno.

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An area where I'm not so comfortable with are the pre printed glass parts on a sheet of acetate, let's see how this will work out.

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Finally there is the manual, which seems pretty clear on first inspection

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Cheers Rob

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To get the resin dust as soon as possible off the workplace, I removed all the pour blocks, which proved to be a simple task. The resin is forgiving, with a little flexibility and not as brittle as others, I worked with. Sanding was done roughly, to have little reserves for fitting the parts and I removed all the flash with a scalpel blade.
After vac-cleaning my bench, I taped the main components roughly together, to get an idea about the general fit. I made some discoveries while test fitting, the positive were, that the general shape actually resembles a Lada Niva and the fit of the main body parts seems to  be ok. It seems to be possible to build the body of the car separately from the chassis, which makes painting way easier. On the negative side, I found some shape issues around the front windscreen, it looks a little non symmetrical, but since it's only a vague test fitting, there is no verdict.

That's where I am now.

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Nice start there Rob. Yesterday morning I had a Niva with European plates pass me on our street. It had white steelies and looked absolutely pristine. 

14 minutes ago, Jeff said:

This is cool..................... you're a GOOD Husband Rob ;)

Nah, he just makes the rest us look bad is all. :D

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Should have been, could have been,... Like the true Goddess of pop, Roisin Murphy sang with her former band Moloko 

Lada 4x4 - Lada 50th Anniversary Limited Edition: Spezial-Russe

3 hours ago, Jeff said:

This is cool..................... you're a GOOD Husband Rob ;)

Thanks Jeff, tell that my wife.... :D

2 hours ago, BlrwestSiR said:

Nice start there Rob. Yesterday morning I had a Niva with European plates pass me on our street. It had white steelies and looked absolutely pristine. 

I read some minutes ago, that Lada completely stopped their Western European existence, pity. These cars will survive all these over sensored super electrified cam bus driven modern SUV's though. Out there in the wild nature all these gimmicks will not help.

2 hours ago, BlrwestSiR said:

Nah, he just makes the rest us look bad is all. :D

Gentlemen, tranquillo, it's not done yet :lol:

Cheers Rob

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2 minutes ago, Martinnfb said:

Niva is such an interesting subject. Light and nimble, very cool ! 

Definitely Martin and reliable too, when handled with a little love. It has a way bigger coolness factor than the new Land Rover Defender, at leas to me :2c: 

Cheers Rob

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13 minutes ago, GazzaS said:

I think I may have seen a Lada on a long ago watched episode of Top Gear...  of course...I could be wrong.

Might be, did Top Gear exist in the 80's, cause that's the technological level of the Niva? There is no other car around, I know about, which is not retro, but true 80's stuff.

Cheers Rob 

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Hi Rob, Top Gear actually started in the 70s here in the UK but I think the BBC only started pushing it overseas a lot later once the presenting team evolved to the '3 stooges' line-up of Clarkson, May and Hammond.

I love the fact the sides of the bodywork come as separate pieces like that, just emphasises the box-like structure!

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Not specific to modelling, but Niva related...

A Mate and I were following a Niva up near Noosa one morning on a surfing trip. The guy went to adjust his rear view mirror, and it came off in his hand! We were laughing so much, I had to pull off the road and stop.

S

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12 hours ago, GusMac said:

Hi Rob, Top Gear actually started in the 70s here in the UK but I think the BBC only started pushing it overseas a lot later once the presenting team evolved to the '3 stooges' line-up of Clarkson, May and Hammond.

I love the fact the sides of the bodywork come as separate pieces like that, just emphasises the box-like structure!

Never saw a single episode of Top Gear, I have to admit, I enjoy driving, but not watching people doing it ;).

I would have preferred a completely cast body, as aligning everything might be not too simple. I'm actually thinking about using brass rods for alignment for some parts.

Cheers Rob

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12 hours ago, Wumm said:

Not specific to modelling, but Niva related...

A Mate and I were following a Niva up near Noosa one morning on a surfing trip. The guy went to adjust his rear view mirror, and it came off in his hand! We were laughing so much, I had to pull off the road and stop

Rear view mirrors are for losers :rofl:.

Cheers Rob

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14 hours ago, Martinnfb said:

Niva never had a rear view mirror, probably some export variant :)

That prototype is disgusting, too much methyl based moonshine Vodka consumed by the designer I guess. That's a Niva nientendoized and it is in one league with the Nissan J(P)uke :icon_eek:.
The x-theme, design wise should include an X for canceling :D. The background music fits the design though.

Cheers Rob

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