ARM: Review - SDV 1/87 scale BMP-1

Kit Review: SDV Model 1/87 Scale Kit No. 87 009; Limitovana Serie -
Bojove Vozidlo Pechoty
BMP-1; 48 parts in olive green styrene; price about US $14.50
Advantages: most accurate kit of this vehicle in this scale so far;
options permit some modifications as needed; model has separate drive
Disadvantages: molds are rough
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all fans of the BMP series vehicles
Once again, I was at the Great Scale Train Show in Timonium (Maryland)
today and found the same vendor from which I purchased the SVD T-55
selling this kit.
SDV is a Czech company who, like many smaller Eastern European
companies, has a marketing arrangement in the West with other companies
such as Modellbau Tom of Germany, who appears to offer some of their
other kits in the West. (Their Tatra 813 and 815 series trucks are
probably the best known.) This kit was directly imported from what I
understand, as it is not marketed by Modellbau Tom nor carried in the
US by Walthers.
This kit is a very well thought out kit of the BMP, proving "break
points to permit other variants such as the BMP-2 and the various
Czech-produced vehicles to use a single set of molds. It splits the
hull just behind the engine compartment, perhaps not the best place to
choose, and then provides "drop in" hatch modules for the rear deck
to match whichever variant is chosen. As
Assembly is a bit odd, though, for while seats are provided for the
driver and commander the hatches are molded shut. The front deck is
optional, and a simulated transmission and engine top as well as the
firewall are included; apparently this is due to the fact that the
driver's compartment is visible with the hatch open to the engine.
The lower hull is correct - which is more than I can say about the
1/35 scale kits of the BMP! - and comes with accurate five-spoke
drive wheels.
The turret is the original BMP one with the 2A28 Grom 73mm gun and the
AT-3 Sagger ATGM mounted on a rail above it. Again, the gunner's
hatch is molded closed. All of the rest of the BMP-1 bits are included,
and although some are crude it will build up as a very nice replica of
the BMP-1.
Markings and directions for painting are extensive and cover CSSR,
USSR, DDR (and FRG!), Romanian, and Polish vehicles, as well as a
camouflaged Finnish one (the others are in Soviet green or Warsaw Pact
grey-green.) National insignia and six sets of numbers in two sizes are
included, as well as Finnish registration numbers.
Overall, this is a nice kit of sorts and is far better than its
competitors - ROCO, Roskopf and Piro ones from 30 years ago or more
- and half the price of the resin CMK or white metal Trident ones.
(For further information, either see
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for availability and cost.)
Cookie Sewell
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