Polish BRDM-2 Zbik (Wildcat) Conversion
Hussar Productions, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
Poland bought 450 BRDM-2 armoured scout cars, 418 9P133 "Malyutka" and 9P148 "Konkurs" tank destroyers and 32 BRDM-2RS NBC reconnaissance vehicles in 1965. Later, Poland obtained some 9P31 Surface-to-air missile launchers. As of 2004, the Polish Army operated 600 BRDM-2 armoured scout cars and vehicles based on it.
Currently, the Polish Army operates 200 BRDM-2s, 120 BRDM-2s modernized to BRDM-2M-96, BRDM-2M-96i, BRDM-2M-97 "?bik-B" and BRDM-2M-98 "?bik-A" level, 12 BRDM-2s modernized to BRDM-2M-96ik "Szakal" level, 100 9P133 "Malyutka" and 18 9P148 "Konkurs" tank destroyers, 12 BRDM-2RS NBC reconnaissance vehicles, an unknown number of 9K31 Strela-1 self-propelled surface-to-air missile launchers as well as BRDM-2 R-1A and BRDM-2 R-5 command vehicles. Also one BRDM-2 was modernized to BRDM-2M-96ik "Szakal Plus" level.
Modernized BRDM-2 armoured scout cars will serve with the Polish Army for at least a couple more years.
For MSPO 2002, two Polish BRDM-2M-96i were converted into a fire unit and command vehicle with a radar of the German Rheinmetall Defence Electronics ASRAD-R missile air defense system. The system won the "Defender" award at that year's event.
Polish BRDM-2M-96ik "Szakal" was shown at the Land Combat Expo 2004.
Two BRDM-2M-97 "?bik-B" armoured scout cars took part in a military parade in Kraków on 17 May 2008. Seven BRDM-2M-97 "?bik-B" armoured scout cars and six 9P148 "Konkurs" tank destroyers took part in a military parade in Warsaw on the Polish Army Day, 15 August 2008.
BRDM-2, BRDM-2M-96 and BRDM-2M-96i armoured cars were used by Polish units of SFOR. Polish KFOR units also use BRDM-2M-96 armoured scout cars and BRDM-2RS NBC reconnaissance vehicles. Polish Forces in Iraq operated 12 BRDM-2M-96ik "Szakal" and 14 BRDM-2M-97 "?bik-B".
10 BRDM-2M-96ik were used by Polish forces of ISAF. However, these are now back in Poland, as are the 12 vehicles used in Iraq.
F i r s t L o o k
In conjunction with their 1/35 scale BRDM-2 Jackal conversion reviewed here on Missing-Lynx a couple of weeks ago, Hussar Productions is also offering a comprehensive multi-media conversion of the Zbik (Wildcat) for Trumpeter's BRDM-2 kits.
This is an impressive package with 60 parts in light cream coloured resin, two black 3D printed part, three parts in turned brass, a photo-etched fret, decals for four marking options and instructions.
Although this is a very thorough conversion, there is not much surgery required to kit parts at all. Once you have removed the parts from their casting blocks, assembly wil be fairly straightforward to most experienced modellers.
Resin parts include a full set of replacement road wheels with an intricate tread pattern. A spare tyre is included too.
This vehicle also has a new and unique turret, which is presented as a single resin casting.
The turret hatch is cast closed.
Hatches, rear walls, engine deck louvres, tools and much more are also cast perfectly in pale cream coloured resin.
The engine fan assembly is made up from resin and photo-etched parts.
Mudguards, mesh, wing nuts and many other detail parts are also supplied on the generous photo-etched fret.
The intricate spare wheel mount and the turret basket are 3D printed in black.
The antenna and machine gun barrels are presented in luxurious turned brass.
Markings for three vehicles finished in three colour camouflage are included on the decal sheet.
Instructions are supplied one folded A3 sheet and a double-sided A4 sheet in full colour.
C o n c l u s i o n
This is a really interesting conversion based on Trumpeter's 1/35 scle BRDM-2. Detail and casting quality is excellent, and Hussar has used a clever mix of resin, 3D printing, photo-etch and cast brass to deliver this transformation. There's nothing terribly scary here in terms of assembly. Hussar's Jackal conversion will be within the skill set of any modeller who has a few resin conversions under their belt. Now all we need is a few crew figures!
Thanks to Hussar Productions for the sample
Text and Images by Brett Green