In 1959 the Soviet Union started using the first BRDM, a 4-wheel drive amphibious scout car. The simple yet durable construction quickly led it to become the standard light wheeled reconnaissance vehicle throughout the Warsaw Pact. The rough terrain capabilities was improved by the addition of two sets of small wheels between the main wheels. These could be lowered to aid in crossing gaps or to add flotation.
Several versions were built, including three different anti-tank options. It was eventually replaced by the newer BRDM-2, although many remained in service for decades.
This is a fairly basic model, but that doesn't mean it isn't well detailed. The parts come molded in an off-white plastic and while there is a bit of flash, for the most part they are crisply molded. The breakdown of the parts is a little odd but suits the difficult shape of the vehicle. There's no interior included, so if you want to have hatches open you'll be in for a bit of extra work.
The one-piece hull bottom gets a good chunk of the other parts, with separate drivetrains and leaf springs for the main wheels, and three-part assemblies for the smaller wheels on either side. Sandwiching all of this in place are the separate sidewall pieces. Some careful sanding on the hull bottom edges will result in a perfect fit, thus eliminating any need to work on the wheel wells.
Moving to the top sides, the upper hull is provided in two pieces, with the main top hatches separate. The usual details are provided separately and include headlights, viewports, tools, machine gun and antenna mounts, among others. Some of the finer details might better be replaced by thin wire or plastic card, but even out of the box the results should be decent enough.
The decal sheet included is small, but that doesn't mean a lack of choices. BRDM-1s didn't have much in the way of markings, so this small sheet has enough markings for a total of seven vehicles. There's limited information given on each and all but one are listed as being finished in khaki green. The options include examples from the Soviet Guard, DDR Army, Polish Army, Soviet Army, Poland, Soviet VMF, and Egyptian Army. This last one is painted in overall light sand. Some more research is in order if you want more specific information about any of these vehicles.
This looks to be a fairly quick build and with the simple finish it could easily be a weekend project. While it most likely won't fall together like some kits, a bit of cleanup and some careful planning should alleviate the majority of the potential problems. It's a welcome addition to Soviet armor in 1/72.