by: Frank Portela [ ]
HistoryIn 1941, Russian engineers, working off photographs of the Bantam BRC-60, designed the R-1 Gaz-64, 50 days later the first of 684 Gaz-64 field cars rolled off the assembly line. In 1943, an improved field car, the Gaz-67 came into production. This run would see over 90,000 field cars roll off the assembly line over the next 10 years. The Gaz-67B, having tow hooks and an enlarged radiator rolled off the production line in 1944. A total of 4851 Gaz-67 and Gaz-67B were completed before wars end.
It appears that the easiest way to distinguish between WWII and post war vehicles is by the front grill, WWII produced Gaz-67's had grills made of welded tubes into a square grill opening where as post war Gaz-67's had a one piece stamped sheet metal grill.
The modelWhat you get in the box is a fold-out page of instructions with a brief history of the vehicle, two united sprues (A and B) holding 48 parts, a clear sprue (wind shield and the head lights) and a small decal sheet. No die cast metal frame here, it seems that Tamiya limits the metal hulls to a certain size of vehicle.
Building the staff car holds no real challenges, the model is simple to build and fits very well. Make sure to sand off the pin marks on the individual parts prior to assembly. Parts B16, (floor) and B4,B5 (sides) being the most difficult to remove after construction, these three parts also have large locating pins that are very visible (just under the driver and passenger openings on the inside) once the model is completed. Take the time to shave these off. The steering column (B1) is askewed, making the steering wheel sit rather oddly, I gave my column a bend to fix this, but in hindsight, the few pictures I've come across, as well as the instructions, show it to be off centre. (see the steering wheel depiction on the decal placement scan and note the steering wheel position)
The model comes with a driver in four parts, well rendered for an injection plastic figure.
MarkingsThe kit supplies you with three generic sets of markings, no units are given but keep in mind that these vehicles should not be placed in settings prior to 1944.