Unimodel 1/72 BA-3 Armored Car Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Unimodel|
|Subject||BA-3 Armored Car||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||0364||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed early armored car||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$9.98|
The Soviets developed the BA-3 armored car in 1934 as a follow-on to the BA-1. This 5-ton vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder 40 horsepower engine on a GAZ-AAA truck chassis.
The BA-3 housed a crew of four inside its armored shell. It was armed with a 45mm main gun and a 7.62mm machine gun in the turret, and a 7.62mm machine gun mounted in the cab beside the driver. 168 of these vehicles were produced and these saw combat in Spain, Mongolia and in Finland.
This vehicle incorporated two new mobility options to the armored car - railway roadwheels to travel along established rail lines (since paved roads were nearly non-existent) and a unique track that was installed over the twin rear axles, turning the BA-3 into a half-track.
The kit is molded in medium green styrene and presented on seven parts trees, plus a bag of rubber tires. A section of track is also provided to display the BA-3 in its railroad mobility version.
Assembly begins with the front end suspension and front wheels. These are followed by the powered dual-axle rear end that mount double wheels to reduce the vehicle's footprint. These mount to the GAZ chassis along with the flathead four-cylinder engine and transmission.
While I'm not sure where they stowed the steel railway roadwheels when off the tracks, the designers made the steel roadwheels fit over the existing tires and wheels to eliminate swapping wheels in the field.
If you opt for the 'half-track' version, you'll assemble the tracks from individual links and a few lengths of links over the rear wheels.
The turret is next with its main gun, sight, and coaxial machine gun. These are nicely detailed on the exterior with no detail inside the turret or hull.
The main hull/vehicle body is next and receives armored access doors to the engine compartment and crew cabin. Next comes the front and rear fenders and the body is mounted to the chassis.
The turret, bumpers, spare wheels and pioneering tools are mounted last.
Markings are included to represent two different BA-3 armored cars in peacetime Soviet service (hence the interesting colors and national markings).
This is a nice-looking kit that is reasonably priced and not a difficult build. You can see for yourself at your local hobby establishment or you can find this kit online at Squadron Mail Order.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!