Maquette 1/35 BA 64 Light Armored Car
|$10.98 (9.96 at Squadron)|
|Scott Van Aken|
In 1941 the Grachev's design team at GAZ designed the BA-64 which was based on the GAZ-64 jeep. Limited production of the initial version was undertaken from late 1941 to early 1942. It had a coffin-style hull (resembling that of the German SdKfz. 222) and was armed with single 7.62mm DT machine-gun fired from an open pulpit. A troop-carrying version was developed, the BA-64D (desantiy:raider) which could load 6 men, but no production was undertaken. In 1943, the improved GAZ-67B jeep entered production. Its armored car derivative was the BA-64B which became the standard production model. This now had a small turret where the 7.62mm DT were fitted. In 1944, small numbers of BA-64s were armed with single 12.7mm DShK and these were known as BA-64DShK. Some units equipped with BA-64s rearmed some with 14.5mm PTRS AT-rifle or captured German 20mm cannon. The BASh-64 was a staff armored car version with several modifications in the rear for radio storage, map reading and so on. It was not produced in quantity.
An experimental BA-64SKh were built with skis and a rear track assembly for traveling in deep snow. Two versions of the BA-64ZhD were also built by GAZ and the Vykunskiy factory. The BA-64 were often known as the "Bobik" by its crews, based on the diminutive form of its acronym. Total production of BA-64 (all variants) totaled almost 3.600 vehicles.
Molded in a brown plastic, Maquette's kit is fairly well molded with good detail. The kit does suffer from flash, but one has to clean up kit parts anyway so that should not be a problem. There is a 'Moldova' stamping on the underside of the upper body, so this may not be a Maquette developed kit. Sprue gates are a bit thick and in some cases very close to delicate looking parts. Care should be used to remove these bits. There are a few ejector pin marks on the lower body that should be removed or filled as they'll be visible when the model is done. There is no engine with this nor any clear parts as neither is needed.
Instructions are uncomplicated with six fairly well drawn construction steps. Also included on the single sheet is a parts diagram, history, and a decal/painting guide. Other than telling the modeler to paint it a Khaki Green, no color info is provided. Markings are provided for two vehicles. The decals are white on a white backing so scanning them to show you is useless. Both are from the 1943/44 time period. The decals are ProDecals and while not exactly the best, will work.
One thing about it, you sure can't beat the price. With most military kits in this scale being $20 or more, it is nice to see something reasonably priced. Thanks to the minimal parts count, it should be a relatively smooth build as well!
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