|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty 1 (Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты 1; БМП-1), meaning "infantry fighting vehicle". The BMP-1 was the world's first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). It was called the M-1967, BMP and BMP-76PB by NATO before its correct designation was known.
It was a revolutionary design combining the properties of an armored personnel carrier (APC) and a light tank. The Soviet military leadership saw any future wars as being conducted with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. A vehicle like the BMP would allow infantry to operate from the relative safety of its armored, radiation-shielded interior in contaminated areas and to fight alongside it in uncontaminated areas. It would increase infantry squad mobility, provide fire support to them, and also be able to fight alongside main battle tanks.
The BMP-1 was first tested in combat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War where it was used by Egyptian and Syrian forces. Based on lessons learned from this conflict and early experiences in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, a version with improved fighting qualities, the BMP-2 was developed. It was accepted into service in August 1980.
In 1987, the BMP-3, a radically redesigned vehicle with a completely new weapon system, entered service in limited numbers with the Soviet Army.
This one is molded in a nice light grey plastic with most of the sprues individually bagged and with the usual foam wrap around those parts that might be easily damaged. The kit includes a nice photo etch fret that is used for some small exterior parts as well as engine intake screens and the exhaust louvers. It is not all that extensive so those who dread photo etch will find this set pretty painless.
The kit also includes individual plastic track links. Now I realize that these will add to the build time of the kit, but they really do all a lot to the kit and look better than just about any other track option. Just take the time needed to complete these. Kit building should be relaxing and not a race. Only web site editors will be in a bit of a hurry to build a kit!
The kit is a curbside without interior, however, that does not stop Trumpeter from providing nice detail for the inside of the rear and upper hull hatches. The kit also provides a nicely detailed turret and gun along with its externally mounted anti-tank missile. Suspension members are nicely molded with separate shocks and suspension links. Also nicely molded are the road wheels. The vehicle has a bow plate that can be shown either stowed or extended and one does have to determine which one wants as it affects some of the attaching parts.
Instructions are up to Trumpeter's usual high standards with nicely drawn construction sequences that provide detail drawings where they are needed. Four markings options are provided, none of which are identified as to unit or nation. All are in overall Soviet armor green. Two options are Czech, one with a white stripe on the side and back that will need to be painted. Another is East German and I have to assume the box art vehicle is Soviet. Decals are nicely done and provide the minimalist markings that these vehicles carried. All painting information is provided on a two-sided, full color painting and markings guide. This guide provides a variety of paint makers so you should find at least one of them in your area.
Trumpeter have really been providing some interesting Soviet/Russian military vehicles as of late, and this one just adds to the growing list. It will surely make into a very nice model when done. I would bet that other variants will be kitted in the near future as well.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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