Assault howitzer BT-42

Kit # 339 Preview by Miro Baric - baricz(at)
Edited by Rob Haelterman

The BT-42 is a Finnish modification of captured Soviet BT's. The light tanks were fitted with a new turret with a 114mm British howitzer. Only 18 were modified in 1942/43, ten of which survived the war and served until 1950.

The real vehicle was based on the BT-7. This kit is also based on UM's earlier releases of BT-7 tanks. It shares the same hull, wheels and tracks as kits No. 310, 311 and 312. There is one new sprue with parts for the turret and some boxes on the fenders. The PE parts are slightly different from other kits, because the muzzle brake of the 114mm howitzer is photoetched.

UM's series of BT tanks is really good and this kit is no exception. There is only one omission. Finnish BT-42's had shortened fenders, which is not shown on the box-art, nor mentioned in the instruction. See pictures of real vehicles for more details.

This the worst part of the kit. Instructions are confusing and decals are wrong.
There are three marking options: a 3-color wartime Finnish vehicle, an overall green post-war Finnish machine and one overall green vehicle captured by the Red army. For the wartime vehicle, instructions asks you to put different registration numbers on front (706) and rear (712). What is worse, the national insignias are useless. The decals provide you with blue swastikas instead of correct black ones. If you want to build a wartime BT-42, look for Aleran AX2 decal sheet.
The postwar Finnish vehicle is problematic, too. It carries the Ps.511-19 registration number, but it seems, that this vehicle was captured by the Soviets and it is unlikely that they gave it back. But at least, you can use the Ps.511-19 number for a wartime machine in a 3-color scheme.


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Article Last Updated: 30 September 2009