Trumpeter 1/35 RF-8/GAZ-98

KIT #: 02322
PRICE: $10.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Ray Mehlberger


The RF-8, or GAZ-98, was an aerosan used by the Soviet Union during the Winter War and the Second World War. The GAZ-98K was a version with a more powerful GAZ Shevetsov M-11 five-cylinder air-cooled 110-hp radial aviation engine in place of the standard automotive engine.


One side panel of the box gives a short history of the vehicle in English and Chinese. Next to this is an illustration of the RF-8 as shown from above along with a illustration of the PE fret in the kit which holds 2 ring and bead type sights for the machine gun. However, it must be said here that this sight is wrong for the type of machine gun and was not used in my build of the kit therefore. Relegated to the spares box.

The other side panel has a side profile of the RF-8 showing the only markings on it that are provided on the kit’s decal sheet. Consisting of a large red star above a Soviet slogan on the sides and a smaller red star that goes on the bow plate. Anybody know what  that Russian slogan says???

The kit contains 76 light gray parts on 6 trees, a clear plastic sheet with 2 die-cut parts on it, the PE fret with 2 parts on it, the decal sheet and the instructions. There is a loose sheet in the kit that has a full color 5-view illustration of the RF-8 in the single marking provided on the decal sheet. Colors are listed for Mr. Hobby,Vallego, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol hobby paint brands. There are just 4 colors listed, so an easy paint job for the vehicle.
All the parts are in sealed cello bags. The decal sheet has its own cello bag as does the decal sheet too. The decal sheet also has a cloudy sheet on its face to protect it from scratching. Very good packaging!

 The first 7 steps in the instructions are for the vehicle and the 8 step is for assembly of the 2 crewmen. These crewmen consist of separate lower bodies, upper torsos, ear flaps, arms, heads and hats. One of them (the driver figure) has a pair of goggles to put on the front of his hat. However, someone who shall remain nameless lost the goggles into his shag rug and the plastic eating monster that lives in there will not return it…sigh.


Step one is assembly of the engine. It consists of 14 individual parts: the 2 block halves, the engine head and oil pan, distributor and starter, fan, flywheel and exhaust pipes. Quite detailed. The only thing that could be added would maybe be some spark plug wires. This was painted overall steel color with a black wash.

 I found the sprue attachment points on these parts, and later with parts of the rest of the kit to be rather thick.

Step 2 is assembly of the vehicle’s sides, floor and two engine supports. The RF-8  had flush screw assembly and NOT the hundreds of raised rivets molded on these kit parts. So, yours truly diligently sanded them all off.

In step 3 I painted the inside of the hull in Tamiya acrylic khaki as well as the 2 crew seats. I then glued the seats into the hull and the front and rear upper hull plates. The engine was glued onto the two bearers. The gas fill cap was glued to the rear upper hull plate. I found that leaving some of the sprue attached to this tiny part for a handling handle was a great way of holding it better for placement. The small piece of sprue was cut off of it after it dried good and hard.

In part B of step 3 I separately painted these parts first. The dash was painted a grimy black. The upper small panel it glues to was spray painted white with some Testors brand white flat aerosol can paint. The windshield frame also got sprayed white and then the clear windshield was cut out of the clear sheet .It must be cut, because the die cutting did not go clear enough through to be able to just punch it out. The headlight lens on this sheet does not punch out either. I used a lens from my spares box that was more concave and looks better. The one in the kit is flat as a pankake.  The headlight lens housing and it’ bracket were glued to the nose after painting them white. The windshield was glued to the frame with Testors clear parts glue. The dashboard and steering wheel were painted flat black and glued together.

Step 4 is adding the windshield/dashboard assembly to the hull assembly. However, I did this after I glued on the suspension arms and painting the hull and them white with the aerosol can. The top of the engine compartment got sprayed white too and then added. This part was a lousy fit and I had to saw off the top of the engine to get it to sit down further. It is still a lousy fit. The inverted U-shaped bracket was added to the back of the engine compartment and painted white first. The propeller was painted Testors buffable steel and then rubbed with some silver Rub-N-Buff paste out of its tube.

In step 6 I painted the machine gun’s ring mount white and glued it on with superglue. The machine gun, its bracket and ammo drum were glued together and the whole was painted the Testors steel and then washed with flat black paint. It’s shoulder stock and pistol grip got painted solid black. This was then glued to the ring mount. All the skis were assembled and painted at this time. The consisted of 3 parts each: the front and rear sections of the triangular mounts and the skis. All these were painted the Testors spray can white after done. And glued to the support arms and springs.

Step 7 was assembly of 2 of the 4 skis.

Step 8 is assembly of the two figures. I painted these guys in various shades of brown, rather than the khaki suggested. I thought that color would be too dark….as it is dark on the seats and I have pictures of these uniforms in the lighter browns in a couple of my books. Faces were painted flesh. The two figures were then glued into the vehicle with super glue.


This was a quick build. Done in just 2 or 3 nights of work. I may just leave it blank, with no markings. As I see wartime photos of it a few times on the web that show no markings at all. I intend to drag it to a contest or two now. Although, it isn’t the greatest build I ever did and may not even place, but I am sufficiently happy with the results.

This kit was very inexpensive at only 11 bucks. It is nice to get a bargain in this day and age when most AFV kit prices are through the roof. Highly recommended. Kit was courtesy of my wallet.

Trumpeter also makes a larger, fully armored aerosan kit too. It is the NKL-26 reviewed right here.

Ray Mehlberger

April 2013

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