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BM-21 ‘Grad’ (72707) 1:72


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BM-21 ‘Grad’ (72707)

1:72 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd




The URAL-4320 on which this vehicle is based originally entered into Soviet service in the late 70s, and as it is still in production, they and their derivatives are almost ubiquitous in Eastern Europe.  It is in use with the Ukrainian Armed Forces today, where its off-road capabilities are essential, bouncing over rutted and turned-over terrain where tanks and shell holes have ruined the surface over the course of the last year.  The invader has also donated some additional trucks that have been left behind, which is helpful.  The vehicles are painted in a striking digital camouflage over their basic green colour to help hide them in built-up areas.  Keep up the good work!


The BM-21 Grad Multi-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) began development in the 1960s, reaching production in the middle of the decade, initially mounted on a different vehicle chassis, the system consisting of forty 122mm independently released rockets in a rectangular pack of launch tubes mounted on the rear of the vehicle, with elevation and rotation allowing it to home in on its target after parking up in a suitable location.  The nickname grad means hail or hailstorm in English, which is entirely appropriate, as it is capable of launching various types of munitions up to around 30 miles at a rate of two rockets per second up to the maximum full complement of forty rockets.  It can fire high-explosive, fragmentation, incendiary, cluster and even smoke or flares, which are loaded manually by the crew in between salvos, preferably with a move in between launch and reload to avoid the enemy homing in on their location.  It has been involved in many conflicts since it entered service with predominantly former Soviet aligned or friendly states, and most recently in the Ukraine, where its flexibility and destructive power is well-used, launching either from the cab or by using a long wired remote if the situation calls for it.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of a kit that has its heritage in the late 1990s, although the first boxing of this variant was released in 2005 with new parts.  The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with captive lid to the lower tray, and inside are three sprues and cab part in grey styrene, another larger sprue in black, a small clear sprue, a large decal sheet and the instruction booklet on glossy paper with colour profiles on the rear.  Due to the age of the kit there are bound to be some minor issues with flash, but compared to previous editions it seems to have been reduced substantially for this boxing, and a quick scrape with the edge of a blade will see it disappear in moments.  The cab part is slide-moulded, and a modicum of flash is just visible around the edges where the mould sections meet, probably as a result of the age of the mould.








Construction begins with the chassis, which is predominantly moulded in black, as per the finished colour of the underside, which is helpful to the beginner and expert alike.  The three axles, drive-shafts, cross-members, exhaust and a representation of the underside of the drive-train are all added to the ladder chassis, and the axles are tipped with six two-part wheels plus separate hub inserts.  The cab interior is relatively simple, and is made from a sled-like floor to which the twin-seats and gear shifter are fitted, while the dash is given a steering wheel on the left side, and a grab rail on the right for the co-driver to stabilise himself when traversing rough terrain.  These sub-assemblies are inserted into the cab from below after the numerous windows are fitted from within, adding radiator and inner arches inside the engine bay, and two crew steps are fixed under the side doors, plus lights and door mirrors to complete the cab, which is then put to the side while the load bed and rocket package are made.




The rocket tubes are made from four layers with the tube-shapes moulded-in, locked together by four pins and recesses between the layers, and a rear section depicting the back end of the tubes.  The palette on which the package sits is made from three parts including an elevation rack, with the turntable made from a further two layers that have additional parts fixed in place, which is then lowered onto the rear deck with the mudguards moulded into the sides.  The deck is applied to the back of the chassis with actuator rams, and the front stowage area added in front after detailing with a variety of stowage boxes and detail parts.  The spare tyre is made up from different parts, and is inserted into its frame between the cab and load area along with several other details and pioneer tools, then the cab is detailed with additional mirrors, search lamps, and a front bumper bar with a pair of towing hooks.  A perforated panel fits between the two portions of the aft deck to finish the build.




There are two options included on the decal sheet, but with four number plates, that’s really four with two camouflage colour options.  The base colour remains the same, adding either subdued digital camouflage decals, or the brighter yellow and brown option, which you may recognise if you have one of the other recent boxings, as it’s the same sheet.  It’s entirely up to you and/or your references which combination you go for.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Armed Forces of Ukraine
  • Armed Forces of Ukraine, Camouflage Version from 2021






Decals are by ICM’s usual partners, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




It’s not a brand new kit, so a little work tidying up the parts will pay dividends, but it’s an example of a Ukrainian workhorse that’s capable of supporting its soldiers with a barrage of around 720 missiles from a battalion to decimate their target with only three minutes of set-up during this terrible war.


Highly recommended.


Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.



Review sample courtesy of



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