UM 1/48 BA-10 Armored Car
KIT #: 501
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch fret


The BA-10 (Russian: Broneavtomobil 10) was an armored car developed in the Soviet Union in 1938 and produced till 1941. It was the most produced Soviet pre-1941 heavy armored car 3311 were built in three versions. These versions were the BA-10, the BA-10M (improved version with new radio), and the BA-10ZhD (equipped for dual railway/road use). The basic BA-10 design was developed from the BA-3 and BA-6 heavy armored cars. It had an improved GAZ-AAA chassis and improved armor (up to 15mm at front and turret). It was intended that the BA-10 would be replaced in 1941 by the BA-11 with diesel engine and more sophisticated armor design, but the outbreak of war prevented BA-11 production. The BA-10 was in Red Army service till 1945. Significant numbers of captured BA-10s were used by Finland (at least 24), Germany and other Axis powers in Europe.

The BA-10 first saw action against the Japanese in Manchuria at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939.It was involved in all the Soviet Union's subsequent military operations and campaigns of 1939-1940.

During World War II the BA-10 was used against the Germans on the Eastern Front, but was rarely seen after the winter of 194142. Later in the war, the heavy scouting role was taken over by light tanks such as the T-60 and T-70. A few BA-10s were seen as late as 1943 on the Leningrad front.

Large numbers of captured BA-10s were used by Axis powers in Europe. In May 1945 a few BA-10s of ROA fought alongside the defenders of the Prague uprising.


Some of this kit looked rather familiar, when I realized that I had seen many of the chassis bits when I built their 1/48 GAZ truck. There are several green sprues, some with a sheen of mold release on them so cleaning prior to use would be a wise move. As with their other vehicle kits, this one has separate vinyl tires, something I appreciate as it makes wheel painting so much easier. Ifound a few sink areas and some small flash, mainly in the wheel openings.

There is no interior, but the chassis is very nicely detailed. The kit includes a set of tracks that can be put over the rear drive wheels for easier operation in the snow. Like the rest of the kit, this assembly is rather parts intensive. You will notice that the sprue with the track bits also has unused front fender bits and some other pieces. Easier to duplicate a sprue than make a special one. A small photo etch fret is included and is appropriate to the subject. The turret is made from two halves and is simply placed into the opening in the top of the body. The body itself is made from several semi-flat sections as apparently one-piece bodies are not the norm with UM. I should also mention that this is a curbside with no engine detail aside from a false oil pan. A sheet of clear acetate is provided for the headlights.

Instructions are quite well drawn with the color information being provided by Humbrol and generic references. I found that all the paint and part numbers on the second sheet encompassing construction steps 10 through14 had been printed mirror image. A considerable amount of cutting and reshaping is needed on this one, but the instructions tell you just how much to remove.

Markings are provided for five vehicles. No color information is given in the markings diagram so one has to assume they are all an olive green as shown on the box art. There are three from Leningrad during 1943 with two of them sporting those tracks I mentioned earlier. The fourth option is a captured German vehicle with the last one being from the ROA during 1945. The decals are well printed, but I would have standby markings around if possible as UM decals have not always been the best in terms of stick or success with setting solutions.  The carrier around the decals is very large and you'll basically need to cut each one individually.


This is only the second 1/48 military vehicle kit of which I am aware. It is nice to see other subjects in this scale and I am sure that armored car fans will be quite happy to see this one.


May 2012

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