KIT: UM 1/72  BZ-38 Refueller
KIT #: 323
PRICE: $9.98 (8.96 at Squadron)
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo-etched frets


Manufacture of the BZ-38 began in 1938. This refueling truck was the basic refueler for the Soviet Air Force. It was used where aircraft without large fuel requirements were based. It was on the ubiquitous GAZ-AAA chassis and had a total volume of 1350 liters. There was a section in the rear of the truck for storing fuel hoses. Powered by a 50 hp four cylinder engine, this 4 ton vehicle wasn't fast with a maximum speed of 65 Kph. A simplified version, the BZ-38U was produced starting in 1942.


UM has been quite successful in taking basic kits, adding or deleting sprues and making a number of different variants. With Soviet equipment, this has been most lucrative as the Soviets adapted a lot of vehicles for different jobs. This particular kit provides the basic GAZ-AAA chassis and supplies the additional bits to replace the standard truck bed with the fuel tank and accessories.

It is interesting to note the different sprue numbers as there are parts here for kit #s 317 and  320 in addition to this one. As with those kits, the molding is very good with minimal flash and no appreciable sink areas. Ejector pin marks are mostly on areas hidden. There are separate tires and an acetate sheet is provided for the windscreen and side glass. On this sheet the different sections are marked.

The instructions are well done with detailed drawings and any color information provided during each sequence. Colors are given as Humbrol numbers and generic name. You basically use a lot of flat black and light olive on Soviet equipment! The small decal sheet provides markings for two light olive trucks. The decals are fairly well printed, matte, and have a lot of carrier. I've not used them so have no idea how they work, but they appear quite thin.


Once more a nicely detailed and inexpensive military vehicle from the folks at UM. This would be particularly useful for those doing a 1/72 VVS diorama.

March 2005

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