ARM: Review - Trumpeter 1/35 scale BTR-60PB APC

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 scale Kit No. 01544; Russian BTR-60PB APC;
556 parts (467 in grey styrene, 50 etched brass, 23 clear styrene, 8
black vinyl, 8 clear vinyl); retail price US$49.95
424 parts (367 in grey styrene, 41 etched brass, 8 black vinyl, 8
clear vinyl); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in styrene; nicely done
driveline, full interior in the control and fighting compartments
Disadvantages: no major errors noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for Soviet and =93Third World=94 armored vehicle and
wheeled armor fans
When the Soviets adopted the first BTR-60P vehicles in the early
1960s it soon dawned on them that it was ill-prepared to operate on
modern battlefields due to the problems of air burst artillery raining
fragments down on those below, as well as the twin problems of both
chemical and nuclear battlefields as the open design did not lead to
protection of the troops. As Soviet testing at Sary Shagan and other
locations had shown, if protected properly troops could survive long
enough on a nuclear battlefield to carry out combat missions.
The next vehicle, the BTR-60PA, corrected these problems with an
armored roof, but then restricted combat from inside the vehicles to a
limited number of firing ports which meant nothing heavier than small
arms. Since the US was then fielding the M113 and the UK the FV432, a
heavier weapon was needed to deal with them as well as low flying
ground support aviation. The solution was to add a small turret fitted
with both the 14.5mm KPVT machine gun, a hard-hitting anti-material
weapon, and a 7.62mm SGMB (later PKT) machine gun for antipersonnel
duties. This vehicle, the GAZ-49B or BTR-60PB, was fielded in 1966 and
became the most widely produced variant of the series.
Trumpeter has followed up its very nice BTR-60P kit with the PB and
it is even better. While 243 parts from the first kit have been
retained - mostly running gear - this kit adds another 260 styrene and
nine etched brass parts to provide for the later model vehicle.
The new kit is a match for the quality of its predecessor. Many parts
are well protected (delicate ones are wrapped in foam inside the poly
bag) and it also comes with two frets of etched brass. The kit also
provides for a complete interior to the =93control compartment=94 - the
Russian term for the driver=92s and commander=92s seat area =96 and the
=93fighting compartment=94 with the turret and seats for the dismount
infantry squad.
Its construction is more akin to recent kits like the AFV or
Trumpeter Stryker vehicles than the old DML BTRs. The first three
steps cover just attaching the bump stops and suspension A frame
brackets to the lower hull. You also have an option for the early
(winch in the front of the hull plate) or late (absent) hull front
plates. Also, the hull pan needs to be modified to correct it for the
PB by removing bits from the P kit.
It takes eight full steps before the lower hull pan is flipped over
to start on the interior. Given the details on these kits it is odd
they do not provide an etched grating for the water jet intake on the
rear of the hull floor. Once again in Step 8 it offers option for
early or late tow hook fittings.
Step 10 again covers early or late fittings for the hull rear with
the folding towhook assembly or no hook.
Step 11 begins interior assembly with some holes needing to be
drilled before installing the two floors for the =93control compartment=94
and the =93fighting compartment=94. This version has two seats at the
front for the driver and commander but three sets of lateral crew
seats (two jump seats and two benches) for the rest of the crew. There
is a considerable amount of internal binning and stowage added here as
In Step 17 a decal is provided for the driver=92s instrument panel, but
as it is embossed many may simply want to paint and drybrush it.
Step 18 starts the upper hull assembly. Note that if installed at
this point parts J11 =96 the clear glass windscreens - will need to be
masked. Details are added in 19-22 to include viewers and the
overpressure blower (L7-20-21-25). The R-123 radio and its booster are
added in Step 22.
Step 23 covers the engine deck and also more early and late options
for the fighting compartment hatch. In Step 27 the headlights are
added, and while the box art shows all four as infrared (appearing
black) two of them are clear and two are infrared; which is which
appears to vary but the dominant version appears to have white on the
bottom and IR on the top.
Work on the turret does not begin until Step 35 and covers the
breeches of the weapons. This appears to use both the KPVT and a PKT
machine gun for a later model. Once more there are early and late
turret shell options so pay attention to the directions.
The very nice KPVT barrel (with a =93slide molded=94 open flash
suppressor) is installed in Step 36. Pay attention as it appears this
turret set of parts is also intended for the later BRDM-2, BTR-70 and
BTR-80 kits forecast for later in 2012, so only one part is of use for
this version.
Decals and finishing directions are provided for only three vehicles:
a =93parade queen=94 version with white trim and Soviet Guards badges in
Soviet Khaki #2 (an olive drab shade); one with bort number 185 in
white from a Guards motorized rifle regiment; and one with a three-
color camouflage scheme (sand and red brown over Soviet Khaki #2).
However, Trumpeter does provide a =93number jungle=94 for creating any
other bort number desired.
Overall, this is a very widely used and useful vehicle, and one which
has deserved being kitted for some time now. Hats off to Trumpeter for
=93answering the mail!=94
Cookie Sewell
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