|KIT:||UM 1/72 BT-42 Assault Howitzer|
|PRICE:||$9.98 (8.96 at Squadron)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes photo-etched frets|
The BT-42 is based on a BT-7 'Trophy Tank' that was captured by the Finns. It was altered to an assault gun carrying an old 114 mm howitzer that was bought from the British before the war. The only mod to the gun was to add a new muzzle brake. The turret came from an older model tank and was adapted to take the British gun. The running gear is basically the same as on the BT-7 with a 500 hp M-17T gasoline powered aviation engine. This pushed 17 tons of tank at 72 Kph (with the tracks removed), a pretty quick speed for any armored vehicle. A total of 18 BT-42s were produced and these were later replaced by German StuG 40's.
Molded in UM's normal green plastic, this little kit provides quite a bit of detail. The hull is made up for several parts, the side pieces of which incorporate the suspension pieces. No separate rubber on this one as with some later kits. The tracks are in longish segments with individual links where it goes around the sprockets. Since this is a Christie chassis, you could probably model it without tracks, though I'm not sure they were really operated like that very often. Photo etch is provided for what seems to be an exhaust shield. The modeler also has to do a bit of sanding, some drilling and has to make a couple of bits from sprue. Nothing major.
Instructions are the usual super UM product with well drawn construction sequences that provide color and any modification information. Colors are referenced in Humbrol and generic colors. Markings are provided for three vehicles. Two in overall dark green and a third in a nice segmented color scheme of light grey, tan and olive drab. This last scheme is shown in color on the back of the kit box. Thanks to its hard edges, this can be brush painted by those so inclined. Decals are fairly well printed with large carriers around each marking. They are also matte and appear to be nice and thin. You get pre and post 1945 markings with this one.
The truth is that compared to aircraft modelers, military modelers generally get a much wider choice of vehicles. Many such as this tank, were done in small batches or were one-offs. This kit adds to the growing selection of interesting vehicles that can be done in 1/72 scale, and all as a standard injection molded kit. I think you'll like doing this one.
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