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RF-8

Trumpeter 1/35 RF-8 Aerosan Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2011 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject RF-8 Aerosan Scale 1/35
Kit Number 2322 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros First styrene kit of this subject in this scale; very nice detailing throughout Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $10.95

First Look

RF-8
RF-8

Prior to World War II, Soviet forces moved around northern Russia and its neighboring republics during the winter using an innovative machine. Not unlike the snowmobiles of today, these machines were built on skis but used an automobile engine to turn an aircraft propeller to create enough thrust to move around the countryside. These early machines were made to carry 2-3 people across frozen lakes and down snow-covered roads that were unusable by standard vehicles. These ice transports were called Aerosan and even the famous Igor Sikorsky (of Sikorsky helicopter fame) designed and built these vehicles before moving on to aircraft.

The RF-8 was a military adaptation of the Aerosan that could take a crew of two or just a driver and cargo to convey mail, medicine, or communications around an area of operations. A gun ring was installed on the forward position to allow the Aerosan crew to defend or assault in groups in areas where the Germans (or Finns) were forced to move on foot.

DML produced the first RF-8 Aerosan a number of years ago in 1/35 scale, but this was a limited run kit produced in resin (look here). Trumpeter has taken up this subject along with an armored Aerosan (look here), both produced in styrene. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one small fret of photo-etched parts.

So let's get to the features:

  • Nice 'airframe' with interior detailing
  • Detailed driver's station
  • Gunner's gun ring with machine gun (w/photo-etch sight)
  • Optional crew figures
  • Detailed suspension w/steering arms
  • Detailed skis
  • Detailed radial engine

The kit provides one set of markings for an RF-8 carrying the name 'For Lembit', a fitting name for a northern territory combat vehicle as Lembit was an Estonian who tried unsuccessfully unite the Estonian tribes in 1217 to defend against German missionaries who were bringing the northern territories under control of the Roman church. Once again, Lembit was defending against the Germans...

This is a very simple build and before I could even get this review completed, I had the bloody thing built (look here). While it is a simple build, it still required some experience as there are some delicate parts that will take some patience and a steady hand to get together. Nevertheless, this was fun!

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