The Soviet Union seemed to have a great fondness for amphibious operations, resulting in vehicles like the MT-LB. The MT-LB is basically a tracked scout vehicle with a low silhouette and a small turret mounting a single 7.62mm machine gun. The vehicle also has a troop compartment capable of carrying up to 10 infantry soldiers.
The simple yet sturdy construction of the MT-LB made it popular both in the Soviet Army and in foreign armies, resulting in many variants including the SNAR-10. The SNAR-10 is a standard MT-LB fitted with an artillery/mortar-locating radar. Similar to the British THORN EMI radar, this unit measures the slant range and bearing oftwo points in the incoming fire trajectory, pinpointing the position of the enemy unit. This is then passed on to the field artillery units who then engage the enemy target. The troop compartment is removed and a large turret is added, but other than that the SNAR-10 resembles the standard MT-LB.
Since these two vehicles are based on the same chassis it makes sense that they share several parts. In fact both kits share four sprues, with the SNAR-10 having a fifth sprue providing the turret and radar assembly. All parts are molded in white plastic and each kit comes with a small decal sheet, with the SNAR-10 having four options and the MT-LB having eight. Closer inspection reveals that these kits share the same track and roadwheel sprues as the 2S1 Gvodzika kit.
With only a few parts different between the two kits, the construction of each is basically the same and starts with the main hull. This is made up of five main pieces: the bottom plate, two side plates, front plate and rear plate. The main fenders are separate and fit into the side plates, with meshing tabs to provide perfect alignment (after careful cleanup, of course).
The upper hull comes next, and this is molded as one piece for the most part. There’s a separate insert on the back end and this is where the different parts for the SNAR-10 come into play. While the MT-LB has a rear deck that is mostly flat with a couple hatches, the SNAR-10 has a turret ring. Both vehicles have the same details on the forward hull, namely a machine gun turret, light posts, and an air intake assembly. The main turret for the SNAR-10 is made up of a two-piece main turret and a three-piece radar assembly. There are some additional upper hull details for the SNAR-10 and the instructions have you remove some of the rear hull plate material and add new details.
The decal sheets in both kits are small, but then again there isn’t much on these vehicles so the sheet doesn’t need to be big. The SNAR-10 has four choices, all of them in green. The first example is an East German vehicle from 1988, painted dark green, and carrying the DDR national markings on the turret and a white ‘5519’ on the rear hull. The second vehicle is from the Ukrainian Army in 1999 and is overall khaki green. The only marking on this one is the Ukrainian national marking on the forward hull. The third choice is a Soviet example from 1986, also painted in khaki green and carrying a white ‘061’ on the hull sides. The final option is from the Polish Army in 1992, painted in dark green and having the Polish national marking on the forward hull.
For really interesting schemes, though, you’ll want to get the MT-LB. A total of eight options are provided on the diminutive decal sheet, with the schemes spread through six countries. Starting with the Soviet Union & Russia, you get three options, the first being from 1989, a two-tone dark green and sand vehicle of the Soviet Naval Infantry. Next up is a Russian Army vehicle from 1997. This one was seen in Chechnia and has a base color of khaki but is heavily covered in clay. The third Russian vehicle is from 1999 and is overall dark green.
Moving a bit further out from Russia, the next option is from the Ukrainian Army in 1998 painted in overall khaki green and featuring a white 106 on the hull sides. Next up is a Polish Army vehicle from 1997, painted overall dark green, and has the Polish national markings on the forward hull. The final overall green MT-LB is from East Germany in 1988, with a white ‘0016’ on the hull and the East German national marking on the forward hull.
The last two schemes are from Iraq and Sweden, with the Iraqi one being the simplest of all. It’s basically overall sand, with no individual markings at all. The Swedish example is much more complicated and interesting. A splinter camouflage consisting of light green, dark green and black covers the hull, but unfortunately you’re left to your imagination as to what the top or right side looks like. A white square with an X in it is on the hull sides, while the name ‘Freke’ is on the forward hull in yellow. Also in yellow are serial numbers for the front and rear hull plates.
Either of these kits will be a fun build, but my nod would have to go to the MT-LB purely for the very interesting camouflage schemes. That said, it would be interesting to build both side-by-side, perhaps in a small diorama of sorts. While the parts will need a bit of cleanup the build of either kit should be fairly quick, making these a perfect weekend project.