Vision 1/35 BA-64B

KIT #: VM 35001
PRICE: $29.90
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Bill Koppos
NOTES: Where's the Motor?

               Production of this little beast started in July of 1941 by the GAZ factory which by coincidence made 4-wheel utility vehicle chassis. A faceted armored body was added topped by a turret armed with a single drum-fed DT machine gun, and had 360 degree traverse and high elevation capability.  Armor thickness ranged from 4 to 15mm. The narrow chassis with it's added armor was top heavy and prone to overturning, so when a wider wheelbase GAZ was introduced the armor was added to this for a BA-64B which is the subject of this model.
              The BA's served all through the war, mostly in recon, infantry support and command vehicle roles. U tube has some film of restored BA's ripping down the road at quite a good clip, the little DT chattering away. Speed was for sure their best defense. Plenty were left to enter the victory parades in Berlin and serve the Communist satellite forces for years afterward. Over 9000 were built.

 Two sprues and a bag of tires make up the contents of the small box. The paper fold out instruction sheet is simple but works, with no glaring errors.  No sink marks showed up and ejector pin marks are hidden well, except on the inside of the doors if you want them open. A nice part of this kit is the sprue gates are on the inside of delicate parts, not on the edges, like the doors and turret casting. The tires have the sprue gates on the inside only, no nubs on the outside tread at all. Nice! Decals are given for fully seven vehicles, including some with slogans on them. Love those slogans! On to the East! On with the build!

              We start with chassis, springs,  transmission and axles. Hmmm transmission-brings to mind an engine. Where's the engine? The factory forgot something. I test fitted the body parts and saw there would be a big void underneath. Talk about a curbside! Again my packrat mentality came to the rescue. When I built the Italieri L-6 tank I did not use the interior or it's engine. Here was motive power at my fingertips. Some styrene bits and glue later, I dropped the motor in, adding an exhaust manifold and a cooling fan. Custom!
             The floor being green and the walls white in the interior, the insides must be painted now. The instrument panel goes under the top body piece, being white with black instruments. The steering column and wheel when installed comes out off center of the seat. References show this to be correct. The upper body fits perfectly to the lower, no gaps to fill. From here it's just glueing parts together, no tricks or problems. I left the wheels and tires apart for painting, and will put them on later. Onward to the paintshop, Comrades!

The instructions suggest Russian Green or Olive Drab as a body color. Olive Drab? Why not? Lend Lease paint perhaps. All sprayed paints are Model Master Enamels. I began by stuffing the open turret with tissue. First applied was a coat of RLM dark gray to the unders and all the nooks and crannies. Then the OD was applied overall, followed by a mix of OD lightened with yellow on the  centers of the larger ares for contrast. Don't forget the wheels! Sticking them on toothpicks is an easy way to hold them. The tires were put onto a piece of rolled-up masking tape and sprayed with an  RLM66/flat black mix.
               I chose the marking option with the biggest political slogan. Supposedly it translates to "Onward to the East!" I like the offensive mentality. Anyway the decals once again looked strange on the sheet but performed beautifully. Over my glosscoat they just laid on, pat down with a paper napkin, and you're done. Solvaset has no effect on them anyway. If only we had decals like this when we were kids! This car also has a regimental ID box on the back panels, for more interest. Another glosscoat sealed them in.

 The tires and wheels put together, trying to put them on the axles reveals the axle pins to be too small in diameter. To the ends I applied some CA glue and accelerator until they were built up enough so the wheels fit snugly. Before applying glue to the wheels make sure of the alignment. All 4 tires were on the "ground" evenly, with no wobble. The little scooter was armed by painting the DT gun Steel/black with wooden grip, and a drum magazine put in place.
              The wheels and lower areas were treated to a coat of Tamiya "Weathering Stick" Light Earth, smeared under the fenders and splattered around a bit. A mixture of thinner, Testor's Dullcoat, and Humbrol Buff was added for dust, concentrating on the lowers. I'm calling it done,  Vodka, anyone? Na-zdarovye!


              Nice, very well done, Vision. A well-molded easy to build kit. The only small problems were the miss in the engine and the small axles. Otherwise highly recommended by yours truly and here's hoping for more goodies from this company. 

The Eastern Front Zaloga and Grandsen Arms and Armour  1989
Wikepedia and other websites and Google Images.

Bill Koppos

August 2010

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