ARM: Review - SDV 1/87 OT-64 2A APC

Kit Review: SDV Model 1/87 scale Kit No. 87 109; OT-64 2A Armored Personnel Carrier: 62 parts (56 in green styrene, 8 in black styrene);
price 320 Czech Koruna (about US$15.90) (Note: this kit is also marketed by Arsenal M in Euros with their own unique kit numbers, but is more expensive)
Advantages: nicely done model of this very different vehicle; well detailed suspension
Disadvantages: all main hatches in the troop compartment are closed up
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all CSSR and Czech Army fans (including IFOR)
    When the Soviets transitioned from the BTR-152 series to the 8 x 8 BTR-60, not all of the Warsaw Pact members thought it was a smart move. The Soviets put the engines at the rear of the vehicle, which meant that dismounting infantry had to leap over the side to exit the machine. While it made for some spectacular propaganda photos, it was a sure death sentence for anyone in combat.
    The Czechs and Poles jointly went out and designed their own vehicle. Dubbed the OT-64, it was also called the SKOT – an abbreviation for the Czech term “Medium Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier”. The first vehicles were accepted for service in the Czech army in May 1965. The design was also adopted by Poland and in later years the vehicle and its derivatives were sold to Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Iraq, India, Cambodia, Lybia, Hungary, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Uruguay.
    The OT-64 was a better design – the crew were located in the front of the hull, followed by the engine, and the dismount team was located in a troop compartment at the rear of the vehicle with rear opening doors as well as roof hatches, so they could either fight mounted or dismounted.
    The OT-64 2A was a developed version of the design in production from 1967-1969, which added a similar turret to that used by the BTR-60PB to the design. Mounted amidships on top of a riser to provide for full traverse without impediment, the turret mounted a 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun and a 7.62mm SGMT or PKT machine gun.
    SDV has done a really nice job of turning this vehicle into a kit and provided a number of details for it. The suspension is simple but effective. Personally I think that the plastic axles are too flimsy, so I would recommend using suitable size wire for them instead. The rear mounted screw drives for amphibious use are also provided as is their driveline.
    The model has separate OVM and pioneer tools, a nice touch some larger scale kits do not offer.
    A set of decals is provided which covers numerous options including IFOR. However, no painting directions are included. Colors would be olive drab for Czech army vehicles or white for IFOR.
    Overall, a nice kit of a very different vehicle.
    Thanks to Jan Podubecky for the review sample.
    Models can be ordered direct from SDV at their e-store: http://www.sdvmodel.cz . The Czech Koruna currently converts to US dollars at a rate of Kr 20.2 = US $1.
Cookie Sewell
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