Panda Hobby 1/35 BMD-2

KIT #: PH 35009
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The BMD-2 is a Soviet airborne infantry fighting vehicle, introduced in 1985. It is a variant of BMD-1 with a new turret and some changes done to the hull. BMD stands for Boyevaya Mashina Desanta (Боевая Машина Десанта, literally "Airborne Combat Vehicle"). It was developed as a replacement of BMD-1 but it failed to replace it completely because of a downfall of Soviet economy in 1980s. NATO gave it the designationBMD M1981/1.

BMD-2 entered service with Soviet airborne forces in 1985. They took part in Soviet war in Afghanistan. Later they were used by Russian airborne units of SFOR including the Russian airborne brigade stationed in Tojsici which supported the Operation Joint Guard. It is also used by Russian airborne units stationed in Abkhazia. BMD-2s were also employed by Russian 234th Airborne Assault Regiment in the Russia-Georgia War in 2008, one of their number being lost in action.

BMD-2s were used by units of the Ukrainian Army, and by separatists of Novorossiya. Ukrainian Army BMD-2s were some of the first armored vehicles destroyed in the conflict. At least one BMD-2 was reported to have been used by separatists while they were besieged in the city of Sloviansk, and others separatists BMD-2s were recorded in action.


As many of you may suspect, this kit is basically an upgrade of their BMD-1 offering, which makes sense as that is what the real BMD-2 was.

The molding on the kit is very good with only a tiny amount of flash found on one of the lower air intake grilles. Photo etch is mostly used for cooling screens, fender ends and those flat bits that are on the top of the nose of the vehicle (I guess they are some sort of splash guard). All of the hatches on the body and turret are separate with interior detail so you can pose them open if you have a figure to stick in there. There is no detail inside the hull or the turret.

The kit's suspension is nicely molded with two-piece road wheels and idler with a three piece sprocket gear. What will take some time is the individual track links which each have a separate guide pin that will need to be installed. To quote the instructions "make 88". You are provides spares. As a note, there is no dedicated location on each track for the placement of the guides. It would have been nice to have had an indentation or something to help out. I also notice that the tracks don't look exactly like what I've seen in photos and others have commented on this. The turret is another nicely done assembly that will require a bit of trimming and some photo etch. There is a spotlight and what looks like a TOW missile launcher along with its various sensors that fits atop the main gun.

Instructions are well drawn and provide clear construction sequences with detail drawings where needed. I found my instructions to be quite lightly printed and somewhat difficult to see. Full color painting instructions are provided and show that most are an overall FS 34102 green, though the box art vehicle is in overall sand with light and dark green camouflage sections. Markings for four different vehicles are provided, with no indication of unit affiliation. The decal sheet is nicely printed with no issues in registration since they are all white.


Builders of Russian equipment will be happy with this one. I'm not sure about the track situation and I doubt if anyone other than a dyed-in-the-wool BMD enthusiast would be able to spot any glitch in this area. It will not be a quick build but with time and patience (traits that are key in any good model build), a super model will be the final result.


February 2015

Thanks to Panda Hobby and Glen Coleman for the preview kit. Get yours at your local hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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