Tamiya 1/48 BA-64B Armored Car
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes commander figure|
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.
The date on the box is 2013 so this is a fairly recent kit. There is a single sprue of nicely molded olive drab plastic. No chassis weight with this one so that is a bit of a break from the norm with Tamiya 1/48 kits. In the first couple of steps, one attaches the suspension bits, wheels and tow hooks. Then the body gets a bit of attention. There is a separate door though nothing to see inside. Various bits including pioneer tools and the drivers hatch are then added.
All the fenders are separate and since these are outlined in white if doing the single option, then this will help with painting. A spare tire fits onto a rcak at the rear. The small turret is open and contains the gingle machine gun. Other items are an exhaust system for the right side, head and tail lights as well as an upper torso commander's figure. This item really needs to be included to keep from looking into the turret top and seeing nothing.
Instructions are the long folded paper type with Tamiya paint references. There is a small decal sheet that includes simple vehicle numbers and that is pretty much it. The lone vehicle is shown on the box art and has white edged fenders and body. Looking at a lot of BA-64 images shows that not many had this feature so perhaps it is indicative of a unit commander's vehicle.
This one looks like it would be a great week-long build project. The single color with white trim should be quite easy to paint and in the end one will have a nice representation of a vehicle widely used during WWII and by several post war armies.
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