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Shar2

Trumpeter 1:35 BRDM-2UM Command Vehicle

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Russian BRDM -2UM
[Trumpeter 1:35

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History

Like the earlier BRDM-1, the BRDM-2 is a fully armoured; four wheel drive, amphibious reconnaissance vehicle. As in previous version the vehicle still have the two pairs of belly wheels and a centralized tyre pressure regulation system for increased cross country capability, and a single water jet for propulsion through water. The BRDM-2 does differ from the BRDM-1 due to the larger, box-like hull. It retains the boat-like bow, but the crew compartment has been moved further forward and the engine has been moved to the rear. The basic models had a small conical turret in the central position above the belly wheels. There are two front cupolas and vision blocks are located centrally on both sides of the hull. A larger engine was also fitted, 140hp V8 as opposed to the 90hp 6 cylinder in the previous version. The BRDM-2 was also fitted with an IR spotlight and IR driving lights as well as an NBC filter system. This particular version of the BRDM-2, the UM command vehicle was without a turret; however, it carries a 1 kW generator and extra radios. On either side of the upper hull there is a big antenna base. This is actually a very rare vehicle primarily built for export, which has now been replaced by the BTR series of command vehicles.

The Model

The kit comes in Trumpeters standard top opening, and quite attractive box, with an artistic representation of the vehicle in use alongside other Russian armoured personnel carriers. Inside there are seven sprues of grey styrene. The upper and lower hull parts are separate and well protected in their own compartment in the box. There is also a set of eight rubber tyres, a small etch sheet, several poly caps, a piece of string and a length of brass wire. The parts are really well moulded with no flash and only a few moulding pips needing removal. Although not to everyones taste, the rubber tyres are nicely done with finely moulded details on both the tread and the sidewalls.

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Construction begins with the fitting of the wheel arch liners to the lower hull. To this the inner and outer side panels, once fitted with the four crew step covers, are attached along with the rear panels. A number of holes need to be opened up for additional parts to be added later. On the underside the water jet housing cover and a forward panel are affixed. Next in the sequence is the construction of the belly wheels. These consist of inner and outer hubs, onto which the rubber tyres are fitted, each inner hub has the chain drive fitted, and then the central sprocket is attached to the other end of the chain. The second wheel assembly is then also fitted to the drive unit, followed by two shock absorbers and the extending oleos, giving the modeller the option of having the belly wheels extended or retracted. Moving to the main wheels the leaf springs are affixed to their respective positions. The front and rear transfer boxes are then constructed out of two halves. To these the half shafts, drive shafts are fitted to box boxes whilst the steering rack is attached to the front set-up. The completed assemblies are then fitted to the leaf springs and the shock absorbers added.

Turning the lower hull over the central drive tunnel is fitted with the steering column, steering wheel, throttle pedal, gear and drive sticks. This assembly is then added to the interior of the hull. To the rear the water jet tunnel is built up of two halves, with the propeller and its support fitted in side. There is an etched metal grille fitted to the outlet and the completed item fitted to the rear of the hull. The rest of the interior can now be built up. This consists of instrument panel bulkhead, rear crew compartment bulkhead, drivers and co-drivers seat assembly, commander seat and rear hull internal support bulkheads.

Moving to the upper hull, the instructions call for several holes to be opened up and some details to be either removed or filled before any further construction can start. Before fitting to the upper hull the clear vision blocks are fitted to the central panel, which is then glued into position on the upper hull. When set, the front cupola windows are fitted, along with the side vision blocks, pistol ports, upper hatches, (either opened or closed) and the two piece exhausts are attached either side of the rear hull. A number of miscellaneous items are fitted to the hull along with what looks like a long boat hook, before the front cupola hatches are then fitted in the modellers desired position, and the completed upper hull is attached to the lower hull. The rear hull/transom is fitted with the water jet exhaust hatch and then fitted to the rest of the hull. With the hull completed several tools, lights, IR spotlight, cable reel, grab handles, rear view mirror, towing cable, created using the styrene eyes fixed to the brass wire, aerial mounts and aerials are fitted. The last task in the build is the construction of the main wheels, made up of inner and outer hubs, between which is sandwiched a poly cap. The rubber tyres are then fitted around the hubs and push fitted onto the axle shafts.

Etch
In addition to the plastic parts there is a small etched sheet, which is obviously a generic set as some parts are not used in this model. The provided items include the water jet grille, rear wheel arch extensions, and a strap.

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[size=4Decals[/size]

The small decal sheet gives a selection of vehicle numbers, which the modeller may or may not use, depending on what any research has shown up. Generally though, it seems that the large white numbers and the crests, also included on the sheet were really only used on parades. The colour chart shows only one vehicle in all over green. But since this type was mostly exported there must be some more interesting schemes to use.

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Conclusion

Trumpeter are really going for it with increasing the number of Russian vehicles they are releasing at the moment, and long may it continue. This one should build up into a nice looking model, particularly as it does come with some interior which can always be added to. Maybe not the most interesting type on its own, but would look good in a diorama with other types. Recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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