Trumpeter 1/35 Russian BRDM-2 (Late)
The BRDM-2 was an amphibious armored patrol vehicle built in modest numbers and used extensively by the Armed Forces of the former USSR entering service in 1962. It replaced the older BRDM-1 and was exported to dozens of countries and continues to see service worldwide.
The BRDM-2 resembled a larger version of its older brother but was a whole new vehicle that was not only larger but much more effective as a combat vehicle on the modern battlefield. The –2 was larger and more boxy shaped than its predecessor and retained the –1's boat shaped bow and was still equipped with four large tires and four smaller, centrally located retractable tires that served to keep the vehicle from getting high centered and stuck while crossing trenches and ditches.
The -2 was powered by a 140 horsepower GAZ-41 gasoline V-8 and was capable of road speeds of just over 60 MPH and, when powering it's circular water jet, 6 MPH on the water. The most obvious visual difference in the vehicle was the inclusion of a turret. In order to operate the defensive weapons on the older vehicle, the crew had to expose themselves to enemy fire, which was a major problem.
The BRDM was armed with a 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun and a coaxial 7.62 PKT in a rotating armored turret and could effectively engage targets at 1000 meters without exposing the crew to enemy fire. It was also equipped with night vision devices and was capable of operating in nuclear, biologic and/or chemical environments. Besides the basic patrol vehicle, there were over a dozen variants in Soviet use alone. The vehicle was also modernized and converted by several of other user countries namely Poland, the Ukraine and the Czech Rep.
Dragon produced a kit over 20 years ago and now Trumpeter has treated us to an all-new kit of this very prolific combat vehicle. This version of the BRDM-2 is the "Late" version, which means the main armament could elevate to +60 degrees and the engine deck vent's armored covers had a mushroom shape type. The kit is comprised of over 260 plastic, photo etched and vinyl pieces, nylon thread, braided copper wire, and decals. A well-furnished interior is included for those who want to pose the vehicle with the hatches open.
The plastic parts are molded in the standard Trumpeter grey styrene and are very well done with nicely defined details. There is no flash present on my sample but there will be some cleanup required, as there are ejector pin marks on some of the interior sidewalls and some mold seams on some of the smaller pieces and suspension parts.
Besides the painting and markings, there is only one other option shown in the kit instructions, which is whether to model the kit with the ditching wheels down or up. Not shown in the instructions as an option are open or closed hatch positions.
The instructions tell you to pose these closed but the option is there to open them-why not, the kit comes with an interior. Also you could drill out the weapon ports on the hull side and model them open as well. Sprue breakdown is as follows:
Sprue Ax2: Suspension parts, seats and various fittings.
Sprue B: Lower vehicle body and some suspension parts.
Sprue C: Mix of interior, exterior and suspension pieces.
Sprue D: Clear parts for windshield, vision blocks and lights.
Sprue E: Vehicle roof, turret and fittings.
Sprue F: Mostly interior parts.
Sprue H: Exterior parts.
Wheels: Vinyl wheels.
Nylon Thread and Brass Wire:
Instruction Book: 17 assembly steps
CONCLUSION: Overall this looks like a very nicely done kit. The only real drawback I can see off hand is the Vinyl wheels, which are not popular with serious model builders. The interior is nice but along with the wheels I am sure this will be enhanced/modified and/or corrected by some after-market manufacturer. The sprue breakdown ensures that there will be many more versions to follow for as mentioned earlier this vehicle was widely converted for other duties. I would like to thank Stevens International for providing the review sample.