Panda Hobby 1/35 Kurganecs-25 BTR Object 693

KIT #: PH 35024
DECALS: one option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2016 tooling

The Kurganets-25 is designed to bring the Russian tracked troop carrier fleet up to standard with Western designs like the American M2 Bradley and British Warrior, which outclassed their Soviet Cold War BMP-series counterparts, while being lighter than the T-15 "heavy APC" based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform tank chassis. There are two versions of the vehicle: a heavily armed IFV carrying 6-7 troops; and a lightly armed APC carrying eight dismounts. Other variants proposed for the Kurganets include an armored ambulance, an 82 mm Vasilek mortar carrier, anti-tank vehicle, armored recovery vehicle, a reconnaissance vehicle, a command vehicle, and an armored engineering vehicle. The vehicle represents a departure from traditional Russian low profile designs, having a higher floor more suited for mounted combat rather than troop carrying, which also provides better IED and mine protection. While the T-15 is expected to be deployed with T-14 tanks in armored formations, Kurganets-25 platforms will equip mechanized units.

Panda Hobby is really going all out to produce very modern Russian military vehicles. This is the latest addition to their growing line and is just as nice as their previous kits. It is molded in a tan plastic and has superb surface detailing.

The lower hull is almost full with an open back. The suspension mounting points, which are often separate in other kits are molded into the hull. If you love road wheels, you'll love this one as there seven pair on each side along with an idler wheel and a sprocket. You will be spending quality time assembling the tracks. Each link consists of three parts; an upper section, lower section and guide tooth. There are 89 links per side. That pretty well covers the lower hull.

There is no interior so while the various upper hull hatches could be modeled open, they are shown closed. Photo etch is used for the engine intake and exhaust screens as well as some covers around thescreens in the rear. The rest are mostly used on the turret as bases for handholds and brackets for the small pods that are around the turret. I have included the Panda-provided CAD drawings to help illustrate the location of these bits. The turret contains what looks like a standard machine gun and can be both rotated and elevated. There are quite a few sensors on the turret and those will take up a goodly number of parts. I should mention that there are large sections of what I'm assuming is reactive armor on the sides of the vehicle that cover the upper track run.

Instructions are nicely done with detail drawings where needed. The one marking option is for an overall medium green vehicle. There is a full color painting guide, but the only color it mentions is the overall FS 34102 green. I'd have to assume that the road wheels have rubber on them and that the tracks are not green.  The decal provided matches the markings shown on one vehicle displayed at a parade. For those who don't like dirty AFVs, a parade vehicle would be just the ticket.


This is a great addition to any modern military vehicle collection. We have to thank Panda Hobby for taking the initiative on modern Russian vehicles and providing this and other new types to us.


November 2016


Thanks to Glen Coleman and Panda Hobby for the preview kit. Get this one at your local hobby shop.

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