Trumpeter 1/35 Russian BTR-40 APC
KIT #: 05517
PRICE: $53.99 SRP  
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


The BTR-40's development began in early 1947 at the design bureau of the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (Gorkovsky Automobile Factory) under the leadership of V. A. Dedkov. The concept was a successor to the BA-64B armoured car which went out of production in 1946. The design team also included L. W. Kostikin and P.I. Muziukin. Two prototypes designated BTR-141 were completed in 1947. The first was armed with two coaxial 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine guns on a rotatable mount which was protected by armour plate at the front and sides. The second had no fixed armament. Neither one was accepted for service. In 1950 two new prototypes were produced. Those had a different shape of armour including an upright rear armour. Again one prototype had no fixed armament and the second was armed with two coaxial 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine guns. These were accepted into service as BTR-40 and BTR-40A respectively.

The vehicle's drawbacks, such as its poor cross-country performance and problems with crossing water obstacles, compelled the design team to produce, in late 1954, what was planned to be an amphibious variant of the BTR-40. It received the designation BTR-40P (with the 'P' standing for pławajuszczij - "swimming"). During the design process, the vehicle moved away from the APC concept and became an amphibious armoured scout car. It received a new designation - BRDM.


Typical of Trumpeter armor kits, this one is superbly detailed with a myriad of parts, some of them quite petite, so have a fine-toothed razor saw available to take care of these parts. The kit includes a small, but well done photo etch fret that includes items like grab handles, some brackets of various types and case straps, to name a few. Five superbly done rubber/vinyl tires are included as well. These are quite thick and pretty heavy compared to plastic versions.

The kit is not a curbside. It comes with a very complete engine compartment. In fact, the first full page of instructions are on the building of the engine. The kit's suspension is equally detailed and even includes some of the leaf spring hangers as separate bits (remember for fine and petite parts I mentioned? Even the transmission and transaxle assemblies are loaded with detail. This all fits into a segmented body that comprises a lower hull and side plates as the main components. The suspension bits fit snugly into the various recesses in the hull.

Since this is an open vehicle, it makes sense that you'd have a rather complete interior as well. This means a well detailed drivers station with decals for the dash instruments. In addition to the two seats in front, there are a pair of seats for the rear section along with various containers and what look like mounts for machine guns, though none are supplied. What are supplied are tarp hoops. A section of copper wire is provided to allow you to make headlight guards. There is a four view of these guards in the instructions to help you out.

Markings are included for two vehicles. One is the box art APC in overall Soviet Armor Green while the other is a Guards unit vehicle #242. This one is in a green, brown, light grey color, though the underside and interior are still in standard green. The small decal sheet (not shown) is well printed and includes instrument gauges.


This looks very much like a 'must have' kit for post-war Soviet APC fans or those who just like to build wheeled vehicles. It was used by a number of nations in the Soviet bloc so you could easily model one of those if you so wished.



Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer

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