by: James Cann [ ]
IntroductionMAC Distribution is a little-known Czech company and their 1/35 kit of the Soviet BA-20SD Railcar1/35 is part of their military miniature series as kit No.35003 and is a Limited Edition. The BA-20SD is a rail car patrol vehicle based on a modified chassis of the Gaz-A and was designed in the beginning of 1936 under the designation BA-20SD. The BA-20SD had interchangeable road wheels with steel "Rail Wheels", making the conversion for railway use possible. The BA-20SD had modified fuel tanks giving it a much larger capacity than the previous models.
The kitThe kit contains 4 sprues. The chassis, engine, and suspension are molded in black styrene and the upper hull is in olive green. Some of the moldings are soft; the cooling fan is devoid of any detail and the bolts on some of the pieces are very shallow. The chair frames are very thick and the seat bases are just sloped blocks although you cannot really see inside unless you choose to have the doors open so this may not matter as much.
The parts that connect the sprue to the pieces are very thick and this could become a problem during assembly as it may take a little skill to remove the pieces without damaging them. The rail wheels come separately and they are cast in a black styrene. Unfortunately on the back of these are sink marks and the kit has a lot of ejector pin marks as well as raised marks on many of the parts. One anomaly I came across was a white powder on the wheels of the vehicle on the sprue but this disappeared after a wash and rinse so no worries there.
The instructions are printed gate-fold with a single loose sheet in the center. The history of the vehicle comes in four languages: Czech, Russian, German, and English. It also comes with a small section explaining camouflage, which is fairly useless in lieu of color, but it gives a small section explaining the different markings options. An interesting note about star markings are also given, stating that the Soviet star was painted on only for parades. Presumably they were left on afterwards regardless.
The construction element of the instructions are poorly done being hand drawn with what appears to be a thick marker. It starts with the engine construction in Step One, then the chassis and suspension in Step 2. In Step 3 the hull floor and wheels are constructed and Steps 4 and 5 the turret and upper hull are built. Finally, in Step 6, accessories are added to the hull.
The decals given include 7 turret lines (none used apparently), 7 stars, and a slogan BA PODUHY in Cyrillic. The decals look low quality and may need some careful attention or alternatives from Archer Fine Transfers or even a Eduard mask.
Conclusion While the kit is of an unusual subject matter and may invite some in as a result, it has a very basic interior and much of the detail is soft. It's definitely a kit that will require some good detailing skills to bring out the best in it. If you're up to the challenge, the kit has potential.