Vision 1/35 BA-64B
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
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
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,
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
Wikepedia and other websites and Google Images.
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