Trumpeter’s GAZ 67-B is an updated model of the vehicle, but is not an easy build. Less experienced modelers might get frustrated with a lot of cleanup and loose fit of the parts.
The GAZ-67 and the subsequent GAZ-67B were general purpose four-wheel drive Soviet military vehicles built by GAZ starting in 1943. By the end of the war, it was the Soviet equivalent of the Willys Jeep.
The GAZ-67 was a further development of the earlier GAZ-64. The GAZ-67B had a strengthened chassis frame, enlarged fuel tank, a wider track of 1446 mm, and other improvements. It was powered by a slightly more powerful 54 hp version of GAZ M1 4-cylinder 3280 cc gasoline motor, and had a top speed of 90 km/h. Production of the GAZ-67 started on 23 September 1943, and in January 1944 it was replaced by the GAZ-67B.
Trumpeter’s new kit provides a more updated version of the Soviet GAZ-67B than Tamiya’s 1973 GAZ 67-B. Tamiya also produces a 1:48 version of the GAZ-67B.
The Trumpeter kit comes on five plastic sprues, all but one individually bagged, one clear plastic sprue, photoetch fret with four pieces, detail sheet, rubber tires and canvas top. The D sprues are packed in the same plastic bag and some of the finer parts are nicely wrapped with foam tape.
Parts are molded in dark green plastic and have good detail. Kit includes 172 dark green plastic parts, five tires, four photoetch pieces, one molded vehicle top, and decal sheet. The parts have some rough edges and the mold seams are numerous and require a lot of clean up. There is also some minor flash on some of the parts. The photoetch fret is wrapped in plastic, which helps to keep the parts from disappearing when they’re cut off of the sprue.
Instructions are in a stapled booklet and include eight pages with six assembly steps. The instruction booklet also includes a layout of all the sprues and other parts for easy identification. There is a separate glossy page with colored illustrations of paint and marking schemes for two different vehicles. Trumpeter also includes a quarter page fold out with ads for other kits.
Step 1 is the assembly of the engine and transmission, which includes numerous parts. Many of the parts have a loose fit so care needs to be taken to get them aligned correctly. There are several small parts that could have been molded together rather than separately; such as the universal joints in assembly A and the filler part C69 for the transmission transfer case.
The assembly of the radiator to the engine radiator hoses is not a very accurate location for the radiator. The engine and radiator should be dry fit into the chassis while the glue dries on the radiator hoses to get the radiator at the correct height and location in front of the engine.
Step 2 assembles the wheels, tires, and front and rear axles. The tires are nicely cast rubber without any molding seems, but do not include any sidewall detail. On the front axle I needed to drill out the holes in part D33 to get the pins D18 to fit. Note the alignment of the angled anchoring brackets on the axles when assembling them to the differential D5. The universal joints, assembly A, need to align with each other for installation of the future driveshaft. The rear axle parts are not labeled in the last step but should be D15. I did not install the wheels to the axle at this step but waited until the vehicle was completed to ease installation of the axles. When the wheels were installed later, the fit of the wheels to the axles was not very solid and required lots of work to get the wheels aligned.
Step 3 is the assembly of the vehicle frame and installation of the axles and engine. After the engine and radiator are attached, check the fit of the body to make sure the radiator is far enough back to clear the front grille.
Step 4 is the assembly of the seats, the interior, and the rear body panels. After gluing the seats together, check their fit onto the floor plan to get the right angle on the seat legs. The photoetch pieces for the pedals will not be very visible and don’t add much detail to the kit. I did not install the clear plastic lenses for the taillights at this time but waited until later when the vehicle is painted.
Step 5 installs the hood and front fenders. There is a decal for the gauges on the dashboard that is not shown in the instructions. Assemble parts D2 before the inner fenders parts B21 and B20 to make sure they all fit. Make sure to check the fit of the engine and chassis while the inner fenders parts B21 and B22 are still drying. I had trouble fitting the chassis under these parts. There is an option for the canvas doors to be either rolled up or unfolded in place. I decided to use the rolled up open door on the driver side and the closed door on the passenger side. Assembling the steering column to the notch on the dash does not align the steering wheel with the driver’s seat. Check the steering wheel alignment to the seat placement.
Step 6 installs the chassis to the underside of the car, the windshield, front grill, and canopy top for the vehicle. I had trouble getting the chassis forward enough to fit the tabs into the notches due to the fit of the inner fenders. I decided to use the canvas top in the closed position as it is nicely molded and it adds detail to the to the kit. The top does not fit very well however, either at the rear or the front.
Finishing the kit is simple with flat black for the chassis & suspension elements and Russian green for the body parts. The painting schemes aren’t labeled, but I decided to use the version with the white stripe across the hood and the red Russian star on the side. There are few decals, which are quite thin, and I found that MicroSet was sufficient to set them.
The kit ends up having better detail than the older Tamiya kit but is not an easy kit to assemble due to the loose fit of parts and the extensive cleanup. The poor fit of the canvas top is particularly noticeable in the finished model. The photoetch pieces don’t add much to the kit and could just as well be eliminated. The body parts do fit nicely which helps make this a better option than the old Tamiya kit.
Many thanks to Stevens International for providing the review sample and to IPMS for letting me do the review.
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