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BT-42 Assault Howitzer Kit

Unimodel 1/72 BT-42 Assault Howitzer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2005 Manufacturer Unimodel
Subject BT-42 Assault Howitzer Scale 1/72
Kit Number 0339 Primary Media Styrene & Photo-Etch
Pros Nice detailing Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.98

First Look

BT-42 Assault Howitzer Kit
BT-42 Assault Howitzer Kit
BT-42 Assault Howitzer Kit

The BT-42 entered service with the Finnish Army in February 1943. This was an assault gun concept that was essentially a BT-7 tank chassis with modified turret that housed an English 114mm Mk.II howitzer. The vehicle was powered by the Russian M-17T aircraft engine rated at 500 horsepower, which would move the 15 ton vehicle over 50 kph. The BT-42 was phased out near the end of 1943 in favor of the German StuG 40.

The kit is molded in medium green styrene and presented on four small trees of parts, plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. The first tree contains the majority of the hull components, the second tree contains the turret and turret ring, while the last two trees contain the suspension, wheels and track sections. The small photo-etch fret contains an engine deck/muffler cover and several brackets.

Assembly of the kit appears to be straightforward with the hull leading off the process. The road wheels and track sections reveal the age of the vehicle design, looking more like a old tractor. The detailing on the upper hull is quite thorough and will leave little for the detail modeler to do.

The turret is a simple affair, just as with the full-scale vehicle, but the instructions have you remove a section of the styrene gun barrel and replace it with a photo-etched length to add scale thickness to the gun barrel tube opening.

Markings are provided for two examples, one wearing the blue Finnish swastikas and the other wearing the more contemporary roundels.

This is a nice looking model that will look great parked next to your Panzers. You can get this kit from your favorite hobby retailer or directly from Squadron Mail Order.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!