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Found 6 results

  1. Here is a model I have had half-done for a year or so, finally finished.
  2. T-15 Armata Object 149 1:35 Panda First seen at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade, with some of its detail shrouded for secrecy, the Armata range of vehicles have now emerged from the shadows, although some aspects of their performance are necessarily unclear at this time. It is based upon the Armata chassis that is to be a common base for Russian armour, which simplifies maintenance, spares and familiarity of the crew, as well as saving on development costs. It does however differ from the norm in that it has its engine mounted in the front unlike the T-14 MBT, to provide extra protection for the crew and passengers. The Epoch turret is remotely operated and loaded, which reduces the vehicle's height, as the crew are salted away in an armoured compartment in the forward hull. They are connected electronically to the auto-loading 30mm cannon, sighting equipment and even a pair of Kornet anti-tank missiles on each side of the turret. It is in early service, so likely to undergo many changes before it reaches the definitive variant, but it is expected to replace the existing stock of Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicles (HIFV) such as the BMP-2 in due course. The Kit This landed on my doormat a couple of days ago and was unexpected, as I hadn't heard of it until now (or forgot, as is likely). It is a new tooling by KittyHawk's sister company, and arrives in white themed box with a painting of a T-15 firing its cannon at an unseen adversary. Inside the initial impression looks a bit cheap and nasty due firstly to the low quality bags that have been used to protect the sprues. They are so thin as to be a waste of time, and a large proportion aren't sealed either. Secondly, the colour of styrene used gives the parts a toy-like appearance, but if you look past this, the parts are of good quality. With that out of the way, there are eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, two large hull halves and seven sprues in that olive green styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, decals, a length of braided copper wire, an instruction booklet, plus a colour print of the boxtop artwork on the opposite side of the paint and markings guide, which is in full colour. The hull is big at 25cm long (almost 10"), and both parts are still attached to a moulding runner that needs removing before you can test fit them together (I did that, as you can/can't see from the photos). There is no introductory information about the vehicle at the front of the booklet, but it dives straight into the build, beginning with the wheels. Fourteen pairs of roads wheels are made up with a styrene sleeve inside giving the potential for moving wheels if you are VERY careful with the glue. You are advised to add the swing-arm stub axle at this point, which might make painting tricky, but that's up to you. The idler wheels build up in the same way, but have no rubber tyres, and the drive sprockets are three parts with no sleeve inside. The lower hull is decorated with various suspension related parts, including the return rollers, which are placed at irregular intervals with four per side. The keyed axle ends are inserted into matching holes in the sides of the hull, and the drive sprocket has a final drive housing installed before it is inserted at the front of the hull. A tow rope is built up from a length of the copper wire, with styrene eyes at each end, and two clips holding it in place, which is shown in a scrap diagram to help you get the right shape. The tracks are individual link as already hinted at, and you'll be pleased to hear that there are no ejector pins to deal with on any of the parts. They are quite complex and time-consuming to build though, but you have a long jig on the sprues to help you in this respect. The twin track pads are first attached to the links, with a hollow guide horn added after. The track-pads fit too snugly in their depressions on the links, but will press down level with the addition of glue, links are quite weak around their centre pivot-point, which the glue used in adding the horns weakens further before they have set up, so take care. The jig part is also quite narrow and light, so moves around under the links when putting them together, so taping it down at the ends might be an idea. While the links are weakened by the glue, take additional care to keep them straight, as any curvature will cause problems when it comes to attaching them together in runs of 95 links per side. There are two sprue gates per link, two per track pad pair, and another for the horn, so you'll be quite busy tidying up before assembly. More liquid glue will be needed to attach the links together, so again be careful with the quantity used as you don't really want to glue them to the jig! I would consider joining the majority of links without their horns, and adding them once joined, at which point it will be easier to line them up so they don't end up looking like they need braces, and they will be straighter. Don't be fooled by the slight curve on the link inner edges though – they are supposed to be like that as you might be able to see on the sprue shot if you look closely. Attention then shifts to the upper hull, which is detailed with clear vision blocks, vents, light clusters and copious stowage, including some nicely moulded tubular framed baskets at the rear of the sponsons. Spare track links, crew hatches with more vision blocks, chaff & flare boxes on the rear with PE shrouds and some dinky little PE tie-down handles are added, plus some larger smoke grenade launchers , sensors and boxes at the mid-point of the hull. PE grilles cover the engine compartment louvers, and a PE grate is inserted into the exhaust outlet at the front of each sponson, resulting in a busy deck. Although I would mount the deck early in the build it is shown being attached after the detail is added, but that's instructions for you. The sideskirts with their ERA blocks and supports are added next, as is the rear hatch that has a small section of stand-off slat armour, nicely moulded in styrene, applied to protect the door from damage. The hull has a sloped "nose cone" that contains a number of shaped ERA blocks top and bottom, plus attachment points for a mine-roller or self-entrenching tool. Some of the mechanism for this is attached lower on the hull in readiness. The turret is a modest size due to the fact that it is bereft of crew, and it builds up from two main halves split top and bottom, to which the details are added such as antennae, grilles, the twin Kornet launchers on the sides, both of which have PE shrouds, and of course the main 30mm cannon, which in this case just glues in place in a fixed position pointing straight forward. If you wanted to elevate it, you'll need to do some research and adjust the kit parts to suit. The various optical sensors are mounted in boxes on the top of the turret, but don't have any clear lenses, so you will have to fake it with paint effects using your references. The finished turret just drops into place on the hull, so remember that when you're handling it. Markings As it's early days for the T-15, only the display scheme that was used for the May Day parade has been included in the box, resulting in a small sheet with only two decals, which are the new stylised design with a red outlined star over a striped yellow and black ribbon. The vehicle is painted a dull green with colour call outs given in Gunze Sangyo shades. Registration is a little out, and you can see this most prominently at the diagonal ends of the ribbon, but because you can cut that neatly, it's not a major problem. The sharpness is sub-optimal, but won't worry the casual observer, especially if you are applying any weathering. Colour density is affected where the white under-printing is missing right at the ends, but cut that off and it won't be seen. Conclusion The model itself is quite well moulded with some good detail, but the complex, weak tracks and relatively simple decals let it down a bit. The fact that you also can't raise or lower the gun is also a little disappointing for anyone wishing to add some variety to the finish. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  3. Hey all I present my first fully completed project vehicle. This a 1/35 Revell BTR-70 I've had sitting on my for years windowsill for years as a three-tone GDR version. After a foray into respraying an old T-80 in Olive Green, and discovering it has a bang-on Soviet armour look, I decided to recolour my BTR. I then used some old decals from a Tamiya T-62 (I don't know how accurate the combination is), and put to use some old desert Mig Pigments in my first attempt to weather up some armour (my first successful attempt was a Y-Wing). I have some old Dragon Motor Rifle Troops as well, which need a bit of tidying up to go with it. The cardboard I have it resting on has me thinking of a simple dusty base for it, roughly the same size as the vehicle. The vehicle itself is missing the odd component. I think I have the parts somewhere but, couldn't be bothered to find them, lol. Going to add a tiny bit of stowage that I have that would suit a Russian vehicle, namely a single Jerry can that differs from the rest (I don't know what it was from originally), and maybe a sleeping roll or two and a folded tarp. Overall, I think it turned out quite well. I did worry that it looked a bit heavy at first, but it seems to have worked out Looking forward to any thoughts you guys have Gaz
  4. BMP-2D Infantry Fighting Vehicle 1:35 Trumpeter History The BMP-2 is an infantry combat vehicle variant of the BMP-1 that incorporates a major armament change. It has an enlarged two-man turret which mounts a 30-mm automatic gun, model 2A42, with a long, thin tube and a double-baffle muzzle brake, along with a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun on its front. On top of the turret is an ATGM launcher. This launcher can employ either AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL missiles. Although it is the AT-5 SPANDREL canister normally seen mounted. The engine is an upgraded 300-hp, V-6 diesel. The vehicle commander now sits in the two-man turret, along with the gunner. Because of the enlarged turret, there is room for only two roof hatches in the rear fighting compartment, rather than the four of the BMP-1. The BMP-2 can accommodate one less passenger than the BMP-1; there also is one less firing port for an assault rifle on each side. BMP-2D, (the subject of this release), is a late production version of the BMP-2. This vehicle includes appliqué armour on the turret, provision for mounting mine clearing system under the nose of the vehicle, and spaced type appliqué armour fitted along either side of the hull. The downside is that this vehicle is no longer amphibious. Model The kit comes in the standard Trumpeter box with a depiction of the vehicle in what looks like a Middle Eastern environment. Inside, there are sixteen sprues of light grey styrene, two separate hull sections; one sprue of clear styrene, rather unusually in this day and age the kit comes with rubber band style tracks, and a small decal sheet. In a slight step backwards, along with the tracks, the kit does not include a metal barrel, unlike its predecessors. The moulding of the parts is well up to Trumpeters usual standards, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, lots of very fine detail, but quite a few moulding pips. Dry fitting of the upper and lower hull sections shows that it will be a very good fit and, most probably an easy and enjoyable build. Construction begins with the lower hull section, to which the lower front glacis plate is attached. The plate is fitted out with the various paraphernalia, such as the towing hooks, towing eyes, and brackets. The six return rollers are then attached to the hull, along with the bump stops, which have PE end caps, mud scrapers on the idler wheel end and the sprocket gear casings on the front. The idler wheel axle is fitted, followed by the torsion beam suspension units are then attached, with the front two and rearmost units fitted with shock absorbers. Each of the road wheels, and sprockets are made up from two halves, whilst the idlers are made up of two styrene hubs, between which five PE spacers are fitted. The wheels are then attached to their respective axles, and the rear end of the hull is fitted with two towing eyes and their mounting plates, a pair of grab handles and the rear track guards/mudflaps. The two rear doors are each assembled, made up form inner and outer skins, clear periscope, hinges, and door handles, before being fitted tot he lower hull. Since the vehicle comes with an interior, you may wish to pose the doors open, in which case you should probably leave this till nearer the end of the build to prevent them being knocked off as the build progresses. The interior is now built up with the six torsion beam covers and two rearmost slats glued to the inside of the lower hull. The large console fitted to the rear of the vehicle, between the two doors is made up form five parts, then glued into position, along with the two interior panels that fit on the outer sides. There are two seats, each made up form five parts that are fitted to the left of the engine compartment which is closed off by two bulkheads, There is a two piece storage box situated just behind the rearmost of the two seats. The front seat is for the driver, and this position is also provided with a nice instrument panel, for which there is a well printed decal used to represent the instruments, and a two piece steering arm. The troops carried in the back of the vehicle sit on two, three piece bench seats which are finished of with two end plates. The rubber band style tracks are fitted at this point in the instructions, although its probably best to leave these till after painting. Moving onto the upper hull, the large turret ring is fitted, along with the drivers clear periscopes, commanders sights, and troop periscopes and gun ports, fitted to the interior. On the exterior, the front glacis plate is fitted, along with the periscope covers and outer gun port hatches, and ventilator mushroom. These are followed by the front and rear lights, various brackets and straps, and the three slats that fit into the exhaust Now, although this type of BMP is not amphibious, it still has a splash guard fitted to the front glacis plate, and would be used for fording rivers and the like. The splash guard and its hinges on this kit can be posed either extended, with the addition of two gas struts or stowed away. Still on the upper hull, the PE exhaust grille is fitted into a tray like part and glued over the exhaust port. The drivers and commanders hatches are each or three parts and can be posed open or closed, as can the two, two piece troop hatches on the rear roof. A couple of pioneer tools are also fitted to the rear upper roof. The upper and lower hull assemblies are now joined together, followed by the two track guards which are fixed to the hull via the top of each guard and three stays per side. The appliqué armour is then attached to the hull sides, above the track guards. Onto the turret next, and, as with the hull, this is provided with a full interior. Firstly the main sight and targeting control panel are assembled and fitted to the inside of the turret, along with three clear periscopes and a further sight, I assume is for the AT-5 missile, with a pair of control handles. Each of the two hatches are built up from multiple parts, the gunners hatch ring has another missile sight fitted on the inside, along with a pair of periscopes, whilst on the outside is the sights protective cover, five piece infra red searchlight and three part hatch. The second hatch, presumably the missile man/loader, is a much simpler type, and is made up from just three parts. Naturally each hatch can be posed open or closed. The turret is then fitted to its base section, followed by the mantlet, main cannon and co-axial machine gun. There are quite a few grab handles, and the appliqué armour brackets fitted to the outside of the turret, as well as the two aerial bases, an additional sight for the loader and another searchlight. The appliqué armour sheet is then attached to the brackets on the rear of the turret, whilst the six smoke discharger tubes are fitted, three per side. The AT-5 tube is made up from two halves and two end pieces. The tube is then fitted to the tube locking mechanism, which, in turn is fitted to the four part launcher, before the whole assembly is attached to the roof of the turret. A third searchlight, made from three pieces, and probably another infra red light is fitted just to the right of the mantlet, low down on the turret. The turret cage is now assembled from the floor, two three piece seats, training motor housing/gearbox, turret control arm, two footplates, and four supports which connect the floor to the turret. The completed turret is then slid into the turret ring completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for only one of the two vehicles depicted on the colour chart, neither of which are identified. One is obviously army, whilst the anchor on the turret could mean its Russian Marines of Naval Infantry, (if they still have such a unit). Both vehicles are in the same camouflage of light green, black and wood brown over sandy brown. Conclusion Trumpeter seem to be trying to produce every variant of Russian vehicle they can find, not that that is a bad thing, but it would be nice to see some other countries vehicles being modelled. That doesn’t make this kit bad, in fact it looks to be a very nice kit and, what with the interior, could be made into a great looking model, especially if the modeller added some small details such as personal weapons, small arms, water bottles etc. I tiwll also make for a good subject for a diorama, with all the doors open and some troops milling around. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  5. BMP-1P Infantry Fighting Vehicle 1:35 Trumpeter Trumpeter have released another vehicle in their series of BMP kits, this one is the BMP-1P and since there is very little difference between this and the previous version which has been reviewedHERE It would seem churlish to repeat what has been said. With experience in the Yom Kippur war, Angola and Vietnam in the use of light AFV’s a modernisation program was set up that resulted in the BMP-1P. The 9M14M Malyutka ATGM was replaced with the much improved, reliable and effective 9P135M ATGM launcher capable of firing the 9K111 Fagot or 9M113 Spandrel ATGM’s. Whilst it was difficult to use, as the gunner had to stand in his open hatch, exposing himself to hostile fire, it was a much more effective weapon system. The mount could be detached and used from a more protected position. The 1P also had a special coating which was meant to be effective against Neutron weapons and a special fire extinguishing system for use against Napalm. Later vehicles also had a row of six 81mm smoke grenade launchers on the rear of the turret. The kit comes in the standard Trumpeter box with a depiction of the vehicle racing across the battlefield along with other BMP’s and troops. The grey styrene is very well moulded with no sign of flash, and only a few moulding pips. Dry fitting of the hull parts shows that the fit is very good indeed, well up to the standard shown in recent Trumpeter armoured vehicle kit releases. The only differences between this and the earlier kit is the later anti-tank missile fit, turret smoke grenade launchers and an extra sheet of PE. The modeller still gets the metal gun barrel and Indy link tracks. Construction is the same up until the ATGM launcher which is made up out of nine parts onto which the four piece missile tube is fitted before the whole sub-assembly is attached to the turret. The smoke grenade launchers are moulded individually and are fitted to the curved rack that is then attached to the rear of the turret. Trumpeter has also been decent enough to provide a separate tripod mount with addition sighting equipment so that the missile/launcher assembly can be dismounted for additional diorama options. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for only one of the two vehicles depicted on the colour chart, due to the fact that the Russian BMP is devoid of markings other than the line stripe around the front of the missile tube. The other choice is a Finish vehicle with roundels for each side and identification number for the front glacis plate. Conclusion As with the previous release this is a lovely kit with some very nice detail and good fit. What’s not to like really, the Finnish example will cause a bit of pain with masking for the rather complex three colour paint scheme, but other than that it should be an enjoyable and relaxing build. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Soviet BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle 1:35 Trumpeter The BMP series of vehicles began with the original BMP, which was designed with more than the "battlefield taxi" task in mind. It was designed to protect the troops within whilst they were riding in it from both small arms fire and potential radiation in the probable tactical nuclear warfare that was feared during the Cold War. It was also designed to provide fire support for the troops once they dismounted, and could be fielded with Main Battle Tanks as a combined force, and was amphibious, being able to enter the water without special preparations. The original BMP was superseded by the BMP-1 following lessons learned by the Egyptians and Syrians in the Yom Kipur war, amongst others. This involved the upgrading of the armaments to field newer anti-tank missiles that had become available, although the operative was a little vulnerable due to having to poke his head out of the hatch in order to aim and fire the missile. Later BMP-1s were extended to improve load carrying and swimming characteristics, beginning in 1970 to its replacement by the BMP-2 in 1979. There are a myriad of different variants of the basic BMP-1, from reconnaissance to Armoured Recovery Vehicles, with further variants constructed by foreign users like the Czech Republic, Iraq and China. The Kit The kit represents a "vanilla" BMP-1 with the standard 73mm smooth-bore semi-automatic gun, and Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launcher, the 9M14 Malyutka. It arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are ten sprues in mid-grey styrene, two separate hull parts and the turret, plus a clear sprue, Photo-Etch (PE) fret, a turned metal barrel for the main gun, a large bag of individual track links in brown styrene, decals, instruction booklet and full-colour painting and decaling guide. The hull parts are protected within the box by being annexed by a card insert that is glued to the inside of the box. Trumpeter are well respected for their armour kits of late, and this one offers the modeller a well detailed "out of the box" experience. There is no need to lay out money on a turned barrel, basic PE, or individual track links, because they are all there. I keep getting this urge to use the phrase "golden age" in reviews, and it's hardly surprising when this sort of kit package is regularly presented. As there is no interior present with the kit, construction is relatively straight forward, and because the hull parts are so well detailed, the part count isn't huge, although this is bumped up by the 190 track links and wheels. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is detailed with final drive housings, rear idler axle and suspension bump-stops, before the axles and swing-arms are added, of which there are twelve. Twelve road wheels are built up from two parts each, the larger outer, which incorporates the rubber tyre, and a smaller inner part that completes the stamped wheel. The drive sprockets are similarly built from two halves, with a spoked outer, and solid inner, both of which have cut-outs within the teeth. The idler wheel is more complex, having five PE parts added between the two spoked halves. A trio of return rollers are added to support the upper track run, and the rear of the fenders are extended by a pair of mud-guards. The rear access doors are thick, but this wasn't to enhance crew protection - it was in fact the complete opposite, as that is where much of the BMP-1's fuel was stored, a situation that caused great concern when Germany reunified and took a number of them on charge. In the kit, they are made from an outer dish, with an inner skin added before the hinges and latches are added. The doors are handed, so take care here to use the correct parts for each door to avoid problems when installing them. The track links are supplied in a clear bag in twos on small sprues (sorry - that rhymes). Each one has a little mould "pip" that is added to ensure complete filling of the part with styrene during the moulding process. Consequently, each link has two sprue gates to remove, although they are both on straight sections of the track, so clean-up should be quick and easy. There are no ejector pin marks either, which is always nice to find on a set of tracks, and ten extra links are provided for each run of tracks, which the instructions tell us need 85 links each side. The best news of all though is that the links are click-fix, requiring no glue, although as they are perhaps a little loose for long term survival, glue added once they are draped over the roadwheels might be an idea. Detail is also excellent on each link, with two guide-horns moulded to the inside, and lots of bolt detail around the pivot points. The top deck has a large grille insert on the front, four crew hatches for the troops to embark and disembark, and two crew hatches at the front. Six firing ports are situated in the sides of the vehicle for the troops to use in battle, and these all have separate covers, although they were seldom used in action. Various vision blocks in the rear and small parts are then added to the upper hull, before the wading bow-panel is installed, which can be positioned deployed or stowed by exchanging the differing length retraction struts. A number of PE grille covers are added forward of the turret ring, road lights and search lights are added at the front of the fenders and by the crew hatch, and the two hull halves can be joined together. In truth, most modellers will join the hull halves earlier to avoid damaging the small parts during the process, but that's entirely down to you. Once joined, the small side-skirts and forward mudguards are added, and then attention turns to the diminutive turret. The turret is small and conical, and its basic shape is made up from one part, with slide-moulding ensuring that detail is good on all sides. Various small parts and vision blocks are added, and the 73mm gun is built up from a thicker aft section that is made up from styrene halves, to which either a turned metal barrel or a styrene alternative is added. The styrene barrel has a slide-moulded hollow muzzle, and incorporates the aft section of the barrel too, so the choice is yours. You could even build up both options and decide which looks best, which is a nice luxury. The barrel slips into the mantlet along with a small hollow-barreled coaxial machine gun, and the assembly must be glued in place, as there are no means of retention otherwise. The Malyutka ATGM is mounted on a rail that sits atop the barrel on a small block mount, which is made up of four parts. The missile itself has a solid front section and a two half rear, with two additional fins added to the top and bottom, which can then be glued to the rail, or left loose for easier painting. The turret is then dropped onto the hull, but will need gluing to keep it in place, unless you can remember to hold it there whenever you handle the model later. Markings As is often the case with Cold War Russian armour, it's any colour you like as long as it's Russian Green. There are four schemes available from the kit decal sheet, although none are documented in the instructions. As far as I can make out it includes one Russian machine marked 542, two Czech machines with markings 104u and u093, the latter having a small white cross running over the bodywork. The last option would appear to be East German, although I'm guessing that this was before unification because it still wears the ATGM and launch rail. These were taken off after unification along with a number of safety modifications to match Western ideas of crew welfare. The decals are in register, have good colour density and sharpness, but might be a little overly endowed with carrier film in places. It is at least thin though, so should settle down well with decal solution, as long as you remember a good glossy surface to avoid silvering. Conclusion Another stunner from the Trumpeter Armour Stable (TAS?). I have it on good authority that it scales out well against accurate plans, and leaves the old mongrel of a kit in its wake, as that one isn't even 1:35 scale, it would seem. The inclusion of individual click-link tracks, a sheet of PE parts and a turned brass barrel really make this an absolute bargain, and a good introduction to all those that are a little wary of this method of making tracks. Mentioning no names, but thinking of one particular chap I know. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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