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GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus

MiniArt 1/35 GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus Scale 1/35
Kit Number 38005 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus
GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus
GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus
GAZ-03-30 Passenger Bus

The Gorky Automobile Factory (GAZ) was established in the early 1930s to produce Ford vehicles in the Soviet Union and developed a wide variety of vehicles prior to and after the Great Patriotic War. One foundation of their production was based upon the GAZ-AA 3 ton truck chassis which was based, in turn, on the Ford AA truck. Using the GAZ-AA chassis, GAZ developed a 16-passenger bus which was designated GAZ-03-30. Many of these buses were produced before the war and production resumed again in 1945.

MiniArt has released this 1/35 scale GAZ-03-30 passenger bus kit using parts from their GAZ AA and GAZ MM releases plus the new bus body and full interior. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 39 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and a fret of photo-etched parts. This kit represents the 1945 production variant (but also retains options for the 1938 model) and has the following features and options:

  • Detailed engine and engine compartment
  • Positionable hoods
  • Detailed chassis and drive train
  • Choice of 1938 or 1945 styled front fenders
  • Choice of 1938 or 1945 styled side steps
  • Positionable windshield (open or closed)
  • Positionable driver, passenger, and rear cargo doors
  • Positionable rear step for rear cargo door access
  • Detailed interior

Painting instructions are provided using MIG paints which may be of use to some modelers but paint equivalents using other (more readily available) paints would be more useful. The color profiles included in the kit provide eight paint and marking options including a Minsk Police bus circa late 1940-1950s, a Sochi tourist bus, an Aeroflot crew bus circa 1946 and a variety of worker shuttle buses.

MiniArt continues to develop interesting kit subjects long overlooked by other manufacturers. This latest release looks as nice as the tram kits produced a few years ago. If you want something different for a basic model or an interesting centerpiece for a diorama or vignette, get one of these bus kits!

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!