Concord 7507 Russia's BMP Infantry Combat Vehicles

John Prigent

Concord Mini Color Series 7507, Russia's BMP Infantry Combat Vehicles, by Steven Zaloga and David Markov, ISBN 962-361-672-4, Concord Publications Co, 52 pages, 157 colour photographs, 4 colour plates.

Yes, this book does cover all the BMP vehicles, but coverage of the BMP-1 is restricted to modernised examples  with several armies.  The BMP-2 gets rather more exposure, both in its original Soviet configuration and as the latest export model seen on display at an arms fair in the United Arab Emirates.  The Indian-built BMP-2, or Sarath, gets a short section to itself before attention turns to the BMP-3.  Engineer and other specialised versions of several of these are also shown.

The BMP-3 and its derivatives actually take up most of the book, and coverage here is excellent with overall shots and plenty of detailed closeups.  The latter are of the UAE version, and include its interior – ideal for modellers.  The Russian Naval Infantry's BMP-3F is here too, and so are versions with reactive armour and with the Arena active defence anti-missile system.  As well as these, separate sections deal with the BMP-3 Rys reconnaissance vehicle, the 2S31 Vena self-propelled 120mm mortar vehicle, tank destroyer missile carriers and engineer versions.

Six 1/35 scale side-view drawings of the various BMP-3 versions are included, though alas there’s no multi-view plan – not even of the basic BMP-3.  You may feel that with only four colour plates something is missing from the book, but you’d be wrong.  The photographs are in colour, and show a good variety of markings and colour schemes not just Soviet or Russian ones.  The UAE BMP-3 is here as seen in Kosovo with KFOR, and so are South Korean BMP-3s as well as the Indian Sarath with some really striking colour schemes.

Highly recommended, especially to builders of the Skif BMP-3 kit