|KIT:||UM 1/72 Armored Vehicle BA-3|
|PRICE:||$9.98 (8.96 at Squadron)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Though somewhat torturous, I'll paraphrase from the instructions on this part of the deal. " Manufacturing of armored vehicle BA-3 was launched in 1934 along with the BA-1. The armored body was installed on the chassis of the GAZ-AAA truck. It was equipped with a turret and armor thickness of 8mm. The spares were installed along the sides. A 4 cylinder engine of 40 hp was located in the front. Armament consisted of a 45 mm cannon and two 7.62 machine guns. With a weight of 5.82 tons, the top speed was 45 kph. There were four crewmen that consisted of a commander, gun layer, loader and driver. 168 machines were built and the type fought in Spain, Mongolia and Finland. In 1935 a railway variant was tested. There was also a type that used cross country caterpillars known as Overalls.
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. I found sprues with four different kit numbers on them. The big difference between this and some other similar kits is the inclusion of the railway wheels and a short track section. There are also the tracks that fit over the rear dualies. These will be a bit time consuming to use as there are two strait sections with a number if individual tracks to install.
Molded in green plastic, the molds are fairly good. I found a few molding glitches on the rear fender pieces, but nothing filler can't fix. I also found a few sink areas, but again, easily fixed. No interior is given, but you do get an engine block shape to fit in the chassis and the doors appear to be separate in case you may want to go nuts and scratchbuild an interior. The tires are in what UM calls 'gum elastic' but are really just vinyl. The turret can be moveable simply by not gluing it in place, but the gun is fixed.
The instructions are well done but a bit busy in the initial steps where one assembles the chassis. It is here where one makes the decision to do the railroad version. A bit later, you have the opportunity to attach the 'caterpillars'; this all before gluing on the bodywork. You can do any version you want as long as it is green. Colors are provided in Humbrol and generic references. It seems the decals are not really needed, but there are is a placement guide for a set of stripes and a badge of some sort. The decals themselves are matte with large carrier areas around them. They are well printed and I really don't know how well they will work if you decide to use any of them.
Yet another nice and relatively inexpensive kit from the folks at UM. If you have a penchant for small scale military vehicles, then UM is the place to go. You definitely get a good value for the money spent.
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