ModelCollect 1/72 TOS-1 Heavy Flame Thrower
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Cast metal hull, DS-style tracks|
TOS-1 (Russian: ТОС-1 - тяжёлая огнемётная система, English: Heavy Flamethrower System) is a Soviet 220mm 30-barrel (original system, Ob.634 or TOS-1M) or 24-barrel (Ob.634B or TOS-1A) multiple rocket launcher and thermobaric weapon mounted on a T-72 tank chassis. TOS-1 was designed for defeating enemy personnel in fortifications, in open country, and in lightly armoured vehicles and transport. First combat tests took place in 1988-1989 in the Panjshir Valley during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The TOS-1 was shown for the first time in public in 1999 in Omsk.
The TOS-1 is not used by the artillery units of the Russian Armed Forces but is found in NBC defense units (Russian: войскa радиационной, химической и биологической защиты (РХБЗ)).
The idea of a heavy short-range MLRS to launch rockets equipped with incendiary and thermobaric warheads arose in the late 1970s. The combat system consisting of the combat vehicle, rockets, and loading vehicle was developed in early 1980s at KBTM in Omsk and was named TOS-1, remaining a secret development for a long time.
The TOS-1 is intended to engage military personnel, equipment, and buildings, including fortified constructions. The combat vehicle acts within the combat order of infantry and tanks. The large mass of the launcher and the need for a high-level of protection (due to the relatively short range of 3,500 m (11,500 ft)) helped determine the use of the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank. The TZM reloading vehicle was built on the chassis of a KrAZ-255B cross-country truck and equipped with a crane for loading/unloading of the launcher.
In 2001, the improved TOS-1A system entered service. The improved system's range has been extended to 6 kilometers and its ballistic computer has been upgraded.
The nickname Buratino matches the name of the hero of a Russian version of a Pinocchio-style tale (by Alexey Tolstoy), because of the big "nose" of the launcher
This is one of several 1/72 scale kits of modern Russian armor produced by ModelCollect. This particular one has a cast metal hull that has been pre-primered. This is reminiscent of Tamiya's 1/48 armor line and in many ways, performs the same function as providing some 'heft' to the completed model. Not all of ModelCollect's kits are like this with some having standard plastic hulls and others coming with photo etch. This one does not have p.e. but does come complete with DS-type gluable and paintable tracks.
With eight plastic sprues, this is not what one would call a quick build. The sprues are in two resealable bags. One holds all the T-72 bits used in this kit. This set is the upper hull and all the various road wheels and bits used on the chassis. The other bag has all the parts for the weapons system. You will notice some gaps in a few sprues as ModelCollect has removed the bits on these sprues not used in this particular boxing.
The large rocket launching assembly is designed to be modeled in the lowered position. There are three short pieces on the rocket mount that, if you wish to show the rocket launching assembly in the firing position, you'll have to lengthen with something from your spares box. Even then, you'll need to scratch build the forks in the front of the tank (they are molded into the hull) and add bits to the rear stability pad assembly as those are modeled up. It would have been nice to have the ability to be able to model this in the firing position, but there it is. I like the DS style tracks as it means you can paint everything then add the tracks.
The instructions are nicely done with well drawn construction steps. There is one markings option and that is the vehicle on the box art in a three color camo scheme. Color information is with Gunze paints. The decal sheet is nicely done and there are a lot more markings than are needed with this one. This is because this same sheet is used with a number of other kits. I found a nice You Tube video of Iraqi TOS-1s that you might find useful.
This is a very nice kit of a vehicle I did not know existed until the kit arrived at my door. The molding is well done and I like the metal hull and DS style tracks. It would have been nice to have the option to model it in the firing position. In all, it is well worth the asking price to build a model of a vehicle which has not been widely produced, but has been used in combat in several conflicts.
Thanks to Rick Apple of William Tell International, the importer of the kit, for the review sample. You can get these in the US from www.freetimehobbies.com, and www.houseofhobbies.com.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page