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MiniArt 1/35 scale BA-64B Soviet armored car

Based on a GAZ-67 jeep, the BA-64B served the Red army in reconaissance and liaison roles from 1943-46.

Kit:No. 35097 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$33.95
MiniArt, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322
Good exterior detail; one-piece frame; well-molded tires; color instruction sheet; good decals
No engine; solid plastic headlight; figures in static poses
Injection-molded, 117 parts, decals
MiniArt’s recently released kit is actually produced by Vision Models and is paired with MiniArt’s previously released Soviet officer figure set. Molded in gray plastic, the kit features excellent surface details. A one-piece frame helps keep everything nice and square.

The small instruction booklet features good assembly diagrams (though in Step 9 Part B42 is listed as A42) and full-color painting guides for the figures and vehicle; a small decal sheet provides markings for four different vehicles. Detail of the figures is typical of most injection-molded kits, but the poses look somewhat static.

Assembly starts with the frame. The kit provides a transmission, but there are no engine parts. This isn’t too noticeable unless the vehicle is turned over to reveal the empty hole where the motor should be. Too bad the kit didn’t at least provide the lower part of the engine to fill the void. Only basic parts are provided for the interior, but very little of that can be seen once the hull is assembled.

Fitting the steering column is a problem. The kit part puts the steering wheel off to the left, but it should be centered in the hull with the seat. However, if you move it to the center the instrument panel interferes with the column support.

The rims of the wheels are a bit too thick; spend some time thinning them and you’ll have better-looking wheels. I left my wheels off the model until after painting and weathering.

The upper and lower hull halves fit very well. The side doors are separate pieces, but to pose them open you would need to modify the hinges. The pistol-port covers are also separate pieces, but splash guards are molded with the covers, again requiring modification if you wish to show them open.

Several tiny rivet heads need to be sliced off the B sprue and added individually to the hull.

The turret is a simple assembly (like the real thing), but well done. The blades of the pioneer tools, especially the ax and saw, are way too thick for scale. Sadly, the headlight lens is not molded in clear plastic.

I painted my model Tamiya olive green. The decals, though thin, went on without any problems over a coat of Pledge Future floor shine. Just a touch of Micro Sol and they looked like they were painted on. After my usual oil paint wash and dry-brush, I weathered the vehicle with pigments.

It only took me about 12 hours to build the diminutive armored car, and the finished model exactly matches the dimensions stated in Wikipedia’s article on the BA-64B.

MiniArt’s BA-64B is a fine kit, and a definite improvement over the Maquette kit that was released a few years ago. If Soviet armor is your thing, you’ll want to add one of these gems to your collection.


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