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Zvezda Military 1/35 Soviet BA3 Mod. 1934 Armored Car Kit

Zvezda Military 1/35 Soviet BA3 Mod. 1934 Armored Car Kit

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The Russians, and later the Soviets, were one of the first major users of armored cars as part of their combat forces. Using their medium armored cars for both reconnaissance and combat support to infantry, they did well until they ran up against the Wehrmacht in 1941.

The BA-3 was the second production version of their new BA (broneavtomobil’) medium cars based on the chassis of the Ford AAA 4 x 6 truck, which the Soviets were producing under license as the GAZ-AAA. This vehicle was an improvement over the previous BA-I design in that it used the turret design from the T-26 light tank in place of the proprietary turret of the former. (This soon became the standard light turret for the BT and T-26 series tanks as well as the armored cars.) Between 1934 and 1935 160 BA-3 armored cars were built, when the improved BA-6 entered production.

The vehicle had a crew of four (driver, bow gunner, turret loader, and commander/gunner) and was armed with a 45mm 20K M-1932 cannon and two 7.62mm DT machine guns. The hull had three doors - one on each side of the “control” compartment for the driver and bow gunner and one in the right rear of the hull for the turret crew. While the design was superior to the previous BA-I vehicle, it weighed some 2200 pounds more and with only a 40 HP GAZ-AA four-cylinder gasoline engine for power was underpowered. The vehicle was built at the Izhorsk Armor Factory and used modified GAZ-AAA chassis.

The main external difference between the BA-3 and later BA-6 was that the latter did not have the rear hull door. Functionally the latter was 2200 pounds lighter and regained much of the mobility lost when the BA-I evolved into the BA-3.

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