Thursday, 14 March 2013

1/72 Unimodel BA-10 Armoured Car Pt. 1 - Unboxing

While I complete the construction of my ACE BA-20 armoured car I thought I would start off the BA-10 I got to accompany it as part of my Finnish Army recce company. Another Ukrainian made kit I had trepidations after my ACE BA-20 experience.

However, a quick look over the various sprues in this kit (4, plus bag of tyres) was enough to satisfy me that the general quality of this UM model was superior to the ACE kit.

Moulded in a 'Russian green' plastic the parts are quite sharp and free of flash. Kudos UM!

No raggy edges or vague matching parts, everything looks likes they are meant to fit together tightly. But we shall see at the construction phase, still the look of the quality does instill some confidence.

Importantly - unlike the ACE BA-20 - each part is accompanied by very clear numerical IDs moulded onto the sprue...

This, of course, makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to identifying parts. Quite important when this model has more than 80 parts to it! Quite remarkable really.

And talking of identifying parts, this brings me to the instruction sheet...

The instructions are quite clear and everything seems to have an obvious place to go, again unlike the ACE armoured car where here were no pilot holes to help connect components together. Probably just as well with so many parts to deal with.

Of particular note, I thought, were the nicely moulded black rubber tyres. I haven't dealt with rubber tyres before in the kits I have made so far so this should be interesting.

As to the historical schemes that are included, well according to the instruction sheet there are three. All Soviet.

Now this is rather interesting as the decal sheet included in this kit also includes a Finnish option too. Good news for me you might think as I want to build this model as a 'liberated' Finnish  version of this vehicle. But no...

Unfortunately, and inexplicably, UniModels have included Finnish Hakenkruis (Finnish swastika) in completely the wrong colour. UM have supplied you with three medium blue swastikas on white outlines - while medium blue is correct for the Finnish air force of WW2 the Finnish army identified their armoured vehicles with a modified hakenkruis in black on an offset white outline.

There also appears to be a set of post-1945 Finnish roundels (as part of the peace agreement made between the Soviet Union and Finland in September 1944 the Finns got rid of their swastikas, for obvious reasons, and replaced them with blue and white roundels instead). Apparently the BA-10s (known to the Finns as the BAF C) served with the Finnish army until 1959, so these roundels would be appropriate if you wanted to build a post-war model.

Above: A captured Soviet BA-6 armoured car (predecessor to the BA-10) in use
with the Finnish army. You can see the off-set black swastika.

In conclusion, I am quite pleased so far with this UM kit, the first I have bought, and there are a lot of positive points especial compared to my recent ACE BA-20 build.

So, it's onto the construction...

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