Ace 1/72 GAZ-61-73 Soviet Staff Car

KIT #: 72213
PRICE: $9.45 from  
DECALS: Three Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch fret


GAZ-61 was a four wheel drive car from USSR manufacturer GAZ first introduced in 1938 by designer V. A. Gratchev, to replace his too-complex model GAS-M21. Production did not start until 1940. It was made by putting the GAZ M2 body on a four-wheel-drive chassis. It could climb angles up to 38 degrees and cross water up to 72 cm (28 in) deep.

The first version, produced from 1940 to 1941, was a 5-seated 4-door phaeton. It was powered by a 3,485 cc (212.7 cu in) 6-cyl 4-stroke engine with 85 hp (63 kW) and a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). Many supreme commanders of the Red Army headquarters used this car in 1941.

In 1941, the updated GAZ-61-73 was introduced. It was now a 5-seat, 4-door 6-light saloon with the same engine, but now rated at a top speed of 107 km/h (66 mph).

The GAZ-61 was produced not only in civilian black but also in in blue and Russian 4BO green, together with the typical cross-country tread tires.


Ace continues to produce interesting subject in a near short run format. By that, I mean that they use a lower pressure molding from companies like Revell and as a result, there is some light flash on the three grey plastic sprues. The kit provides a chassis piece that includes the front and rear fenders as well as the fuel tank. There are separate leaf sprungs, a lower engine piece and the requisite fore and aft axle/differential assembly.  For the interior there are two separate front seats and a rear seat. Gear shift and steering wheel are included though no pedals (which you wouldn't see anyway. I found some detritus on the rear seat that will need to be cleaned up if one wants. The body itself is composed of three pieces; a right, left and top section. There are acetate pieces to be used for the clear bits.

The body assembly then fits atop the completed chassis once one installs the dash board/steering assembly. A spare tire is provided along with bumpers and headlights. The only option is whether to install hub caps or not. A photo etch fret is included for the engine side cover detail, wind wings, wiper, license plate holder and a few other small bits.
Instructions are well drawn and consist of three major construction steps with small additional drawings to help with placement. No interior or underside color information is supplied. There are three options with one being a civilian version in gloss black, a Soviet army version in khaki green and a captured German car in panzer grey. A small decal sheet provides any markings needed.


One has to say that this will make a most unusual car to add to your small scale military collection. Though it will require some patience and building skills to complete, it should make into a very nice model.


September 2010

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