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Trumpeter Soviet Aerosan RF-8/GAZ-98

The Russians used aerosans for reconnaissance and light raiding in northern areas where their light plywood skis allowed them to move quickly over the deep snow where other heavy vehicles would be unable to move at all.   However they were lightly powered and so could only be used on open country or frozen lakes as they had poor hill climbing ability.

The GAZ-98 was developed in 1942 and is powered by a GAZ-M1 truck engine and is armed with a drumfed Light Machine Gun.

Trumpeter Soviet Aerosan RF-8/GAZ-98

This kit has been lingering in my studio for a couple of months then built and waited for a few weeks more to be photographed. The 1/35 Soviet Aerosan RF-8/GAZ-98 kit from Trumpeter Models is perhaps one of those model kits you wouldn’t buy unless you physically have it on front of you. So that was my case and like thousands of model kit builders I went to my local hobby shop for some supplies but we can leave that store with some styrene. The box art quickly brings a ‘’mental build’’ and combined with a very affordable price, you have to take it home even if you have hundreds of model kits in your stash. The kit lends itself to low cost-small winter scene vignette.

  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in gray.
  • Photo-etched parts.
  • Two figures included.
  • Waterslide decals.
  • Illustrated instructions
  • Scale: 1/35
  • Length: 5.74″ (146mm)
  • Width: 2.83″ (72.1mm)
  • Parts: 80+
  • Trumpeter Product Number: 02322
  • MSRP: $14.99

Inside the box you’ll find parts with crisp details and delicate attachment points. A must for the small nature of many of the kit parts. The railing guards on the back of the model are very nicely molded and the fit between parts and then to the craft itself is outstanding. To get rid of the barely visible mould line on the guards, I used Tamiya Ultra Thin Cement instead of conventional sanding. The cement does the work of erasing that line an easy task. I was really close to modify the suspension springs with real springs from ball points and also add an electric motor from Tamiya *240 (75026) to the fan. But changed my mind after looking the stack of models in my review queue.

The kit fit in general is very good so no issues to report here. It also includes a small fret with 2 photo etched sights for the 7.62mm machine gun. You get to use just one so the other one will be destined to the spare box. The model was primed with Vallejo Acrylic Surface (Black) Primer 73.602. I don’t prime all my models but I do have on my workbench their Black, Gray and White primer. This stuff is amazing for all your priming needs but I use it mostly on resin parts and figures. And no, we are not sponsored by Vallejo in any way in case you’re wondering and even if we were, we wouldn’t sugar coat it.

Following the primer, the model was painted with Polly Scale Reefer White. All the weathering effect was achieved with the excellent Ammo Mig Weathering Products. (Thanks Miguel, Eli and Iain for your unconditional support). There is a picture of the WIP on our Instagram page. The figures included with the kit are not really bad but they are nothing to write home about. Decals are very nice for a kit this price and responded very well to Walther’s Solvaset over the well pronounced rivets on the craft.


If you like Soviet subjects (or not) or if you are looking for an uncomplicated weekend build, the Trumpeter Soviet Aerosan RF-8/GAZ-98 is for you.

Highly Recommended!

Review Sample courtesy of my increasingly thin wallet.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.