|Scott Van Aken
The BTR-60 is the first vehicle in a series of Soviet eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs). It was developed in the late 1950s as a replacement for the BTR-152 and was seen first time in public in 1961. BTR stands for Bronetransporter (БТР, Бронетранспортер, literally "armoured transporter").
The initial BTR-60P was open topped and covered with canvas during inclement weather. Later versions armored the roof, which reduced capacity from 16 to 14 troops. Two small side doors were provided in the later versions to allow for troops to exit and enter the vehicle. This kit is of the last production version with a roof mounted gun. For more information on this vehicle, visit the link at the end of the article.
Molded in light grey plastic, the detailing of the parts is excellent. They are free of flash, sink areas and other molding glitches with crisply done details. As the lower hull of his vehicle is used in other variants/kits, there are going to be some holes to open and some bits to fill to properly portray this variant. This is true of the upper hull section as well. There is plenty of detail for the suspension and the kit provides us with rubber tires to go along with things. I was pleased to notice that there is a pretty complete interior with this one and not just the driver's compartment. About the only thing not provided is an engine. The floor of the interior is a two-piece insert on which all the other bits are fitted. I was pleased to notice that Trumpeter actually provides interior painting info, something I have found missing from other kits. I should also mention that the driver's instrument panel is provided as a decal in case you were not up to painting this. A full 15 of the 34 construction steps are concentrated on the lower hull and interior.
The upper hull is a busy place as well for there are quite a few view windows to install as well as the various hatches and other pieces of equipment. While these are shown in the instructions as being built closed, there is no reason you cannot have them open to show off all the work you did on the inside. It is the outside of the body that take most of the photo etch. Two nicely done frets are included with the kit to add this extra detail. While the kit shows the water doors as closed, you can mold these open to show the prop if you so wish.
The rest of the kit is for the gun and its turret. This is a pretty complete assembly that includes the gunner's seat and all the usual bits you would find in the turret. From the look of things, the gun can be built to elevate and of course the turret simply sets in the opening for it so you can have it traverse as well.
Typical of Trumpeter, the instructions are very well drawn, providing a clear indication of where all the various pieces ar to be fit. It seems that all of these were pretty much painted the same camouflage scheme of tan, green and black, though I am sure there were variations to the pattern. Despite having a decal sheet that includes a variety of numbers, none are shown on the painting and marking guide so I guess it is just a painting guide. The box art is of little help here either as no numbers are shown there.
Those of us who like wheeled vehicles will be pleased with this new APC from Trumpeter. It has a ton of detail and should make for an excellent addition to your collection.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the review kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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