Trumpeter 1/35 BTR-70 APC (early)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The BTR-70 is an eight-wheeled armored personnel carrier (Russian: бронетранспортер, BTR stands for Bronetransportyor literally "armoured transporter"), originally developed during the late 1960s under the industrial designator GAZ-4905. On August 21, 1972, it was accepted into service and would later be exported to the Warsaw Pact and other allies. Introduced as a successor to the earlier BTR-60, it most closely resembles a BTR-60PB. Other improvements include heavier armor plating and tires less prone to puncture. In other respects, the vehicle is very similar to the BTR-60PB, with a more powerful petrol engine configuration and armament of a primary heavy machine gun and secondary PKT machine gun on a roof mounted turret.
The vehicle's designers moved the side troop doors. On the vehicle's predecessor, these doors were located above the beltline between the second and third pairs of wheels on both sides of the vehicle. On the BTR-70, the doors are below the beltline between the second and third pairs of wheels. As Soviet doctrine calls for unloading troops from the vehicle while it is in motion, the door location increases the chances that a soldier will be pulled under a wheel and injured or killed, although it also means that the troops can get out quicker while exposing them less to the enemy.
Like the vehicle's predecessor it is fully amphibious with minimal preparation. A licensed Romanian copy was designated the TAB-77 and had various improvements and changes to make local production easier, including a better turret and different engines.
Trumpeter continues with its interesting releases with this BTR-70 kit. This is not a small vehicle, measuring about 9 inches in length. As is the norm with many armor kits, this one includes a nice photo etch fret that includes various screens, guards and other bits and pieces that are appropriate for the medium. All the doors and hatches are shown as being modeled closed, but if you really wished, it would not be difficult to have them open. This is not a curb side and while there is no engine, there is a full crew compartment as well as a complete driver and commanders position up front. This includes a full radio suite as well as various equipment containers
A goodly number of the parts are used to build up the suspension on this one. With eight wheels this is not a small task. You get a full suspension for each wheel that this includes support arms, brake and steering assemblies as well as shocks, which are two for the fore and aft wheels and one for the center ones. Wheels are plastic with a polycap on the inside so you can simply plug them in. Tires are very nicely done and are rubber/vinyl. For the outside of the vehicle there is quite a bit of equipment that gets stowed outside as well as a lot of hatches and covers. The turret is complete with a full machine gun and a gunner's seat. This version does not seem to have a hull mounted gun, just the one in the turret.
Instructions are well drawn and from the look of it, you will spend the first several steps removing bits and filling in a few spots as well in order to properly do this variant. Color information for the inside is minimal but should get you going in the right direction. There are markings for two overall green vehicles, neither of which is identified. One is the box art vehicle with the white stripe down the side and while rimmed wheels. It appears to be from a guards unit and the white is typical of a parade vehicle, so this one will be spotless. The other is a more standard vehicle with white tactical numbers and logos. I guess the naval ensigns are to be used as you wish as they are not shown on either markings guide. The decal sheet provides an instrument panel and additional numbers to allow the builder to do a more unique vehicle.
This one will make quite a comparison with the US M113 or M2 APC or perhaps a LAV-25. It will be a rather large and quite impressive model when you get it done. Those interested in Soviet/Russian vehicles will want to add this one to their collection.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can get yours at your local hobby shop or other 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.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page