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BZ-38 Refueller

MiniArt 1/35 BZ-38 Refueller Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject BZ-38 Refueller Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35145 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

BZ-38 Refueller Kit
BZ-38 Refueller Kit
BZ-38 Refueller Kit
BZ-38 Refueller Kit

The Gorkiy Automobile Factory was established in 1932 as a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and the Soviet Union. Established in Nizhny Novgorod, GAZ (Gorkovskiy Avtomobilnij Zavod) produced a number of Ford designs before modifying those designs to meet Soviet Army requirements. The GAZ-AA was based upon the Ford Model A light truck and by adding an additional axle and heavier suspension, this rendered the GAZ-AAA 2+ ton truck. This GAZ-AAA was a 4x6 that entered production in the mid-1930s and continued through the early 1940s. This vehicle, like many others, were pressed into wartime service with the Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic War (World War II) and captured examples were likewise put to work in the Wehrmacht.

MiniArt is back with this interesting variant of the GAZ-AAA which uses the standard 4x6 chassis and cab with a 1350 liter tank mounted to the rear for refueling smaller (fighter) aircraft at Soviet airfields before and during the Great Patriotic War (WWII). This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 24 parts trees plus two trees of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched parts (duplicate trees not shown).

Among the features and options of the kit:

  • Highly detailed chassis and suspension
  • Highly detailed engine and drive train
  • Detailed engine compartment (right down to the hoses)
  • Hood can be positioned closed, partially open, or fully open
  • Cab doors can be positioned open or closed
  • Detailed pump locker
  • Detailed valve and hose lockers
  • Positionable locker doors
  • Rear wheel tracks included - can be posted on wheels or stowed on rear fenders

Markings are provided for four refuelers in Soviet Army service circa 1941-44. Painting instructions are provided using MIG paint colors which are fine for those that use MIG paints. MiniArt used to provide painting instructions for many different paint brands and it would be nice to see MiniArt return to that solution for those modelers that do not have or do not use MIG paints.

Here is another work of art from MiniArt Models. This release should be of great interest to 1/32 scale Soviet Air Force in WWII modelers as this would be ideal to have parked next to your 1/32 scale I-16, P-39, La-5/7, etc., fighter.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!