Trumpeter 1/35 BM-21 Grad MRL
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The BM-21 launch vehicle (Russian: БМ-21 "Град"), (Grad) a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher, and a M-21OF rocket were developed in the early 1960s. BM stands for boyevaya mashina, ‘combat vehicle’, and the nickname grad means ‘hail’. The complete system with the BM-21 launch vehicle and the M-21OF rocket has designation as M-21 Field Rocket System. The complete system is more commonly known as a Grad multiple rocket launcher system. In NATO countries, the system (either the complete system or the launch vehicle only) was initially known as M1964. Several other countries have copied it or developed similar systems.
The system has been exported to many nations and copied by some. Since 2006 Hamas has fired 122mm Grad rockets, copies made in Iran, and Eastern-bloc versions modified to expand their range and lethality, into Israel. The rockets were believed to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip via tunnels from Egypt. Some of the rockets were of a Chinese Grad variant. Hamas sources said they were pleased by the performance of the Chinese variants of the BM-21 Grad rocket, which demonstrated a far greater range and blast impact than Palestinian-made rockets, as well as Russian-origin Grads or Katyushas.
Photo etch is only for the truck. This is used for a variety of small items like bits on the spare tire carrier, the defroster vents atop the dash, hood latches and other grille items, motor belts, a small bulkhead on the underside of the bed, a tray in the back and some very convoluted rear bumper items. Good luck bending this straight piece into these items.
Instructions are well drawn and actually rather busy, thanks to all the parts. There are 30 construction steps with the only color information being provided being that for external painting, so you will need to do a web search to figure out the color of the engine, transmission and the interior colors. Decals (not shown) are for a single truck in overall Soviet Army Green and consist of what look to be plates and a pair of Guards emblems for the doors as well as the instrument panel. Considering the number of countries that use this, one would have thought that perhaps some additional markings options would have been provided.
If you have not already figured it out, this is a very parts intensive kit. But you need a lot of little parts to provide the sort of detail many modelers demand from their kits. Due to all the small parts, I would not recommend this one for the beginner. However, if you want a pretty neat vehicle and take your time in construction, you will be rewarded with a superb model.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can get this one at your favorite hobby retailer.
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