Kit Reviews

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Trumpeter 1/35 scale Soviet BMP-1 IFV

By Jim Zeske
Published: May 6, 2013
Soviet BMP-1 IFV01
Click the photo for a larger view
Kit:  05555
Scale:  1/35
Price:  $45.99
Pros:  Nice metal barrel, photoetched metal, and individual track links
Cons:  Fragile suspension arms; no interior
Manufacturer:  Trumpeter, from from Stevens International, 856-435-1555, and from Squadron Products, 877-414-0434
Injection-molded, 463 parts (26 photoetched-metal, 1 vacuum-formed), decals
Soviet BMP-1 IFV04
Soviet BMP-1 IFV02
Soviet BMP-1 IFV03
Soviet BMP-1 IFV05
Soviet BMP-1 IFV06
Soviet BMP-1 IFV07

The BMP-1 was an innovative design for the then-Soviet army. Enabling a crew to fight from the vehicle while protected from nuclear, biological, chemical environments was a unique concept. The first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), the BMP-1 sent the world’s armies scrambling to create similarly capable vehicles — the Bradley, Marder, and Warrior, to name a few.

Trumpeter’s new BMP-1 is cleanly molded in light gray plastic with no sink marks or flash apparent. The kit includes separate track links, photoetched-metal details, and a metal gun barrel.

The kit was a straightforward build from the first time I looked at the instructions. Construction of the main hull goes quickly, as there are just two main parts. All of the hatches are separate, and most have interior detail. However, there is no hull interior per se. 

Suspension consists of separate arms, shock absorbers, and bumper stops. These all attached with no problem. But be careful with the suspension arms — they are easily bent or broken.

Clear parts are provided for the many periscopes that make up much of the kit’s exterior detail.  

The photoetched-metal screens for the engine grilles look convincing; I would consider adding sheet styrene backing under the screens to prevent viewing the empty hull.

The individual-link tracks feature good, clean detail. After being trimmed from the sprue, they just clicked together. If you do this carefully, the links will hold together without glue. However, I do recommend that you glue the bottom run of tracks (as I did) to give the model a solid base and prevent links from separating. 

The turret assembly is quick and easy. I was impressed with the clean look of the metal barrel for the main gun. 

I painted my BMP-1 using AK Interactive’s modulation paint system. There are decals for four vehicles. They applied well with the help of some decal solution.

My primary reference was BMP-1 Soviet Armoured Fighting Vehicle In Detail (by Jan Martinec, Wings and Wheels, no ISBN). I also used Segjej Suvorov’s BMP-1 (Wydawnictwo No. 312, ISBN 978-83-7219-312-4). Both of these books revealed that Trumpeter’s new BMP is much more accurate than previous BMP kits.

I completed my BMP-1 in 22 hours. It was a fun build, and it’s great to have a more-accurate model of the vehicle. The photoetched-metal parts and individual track links might be a little too much for beginners, but modelers of intermediate-or-better skills will enjoy the newest rendition of this IFV.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2013 FineScale Modeler

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5 stars
cool; excellent job! have to put that one on my wish list
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