Home > Reviews > Modern > Meng Model 1/35 scale Tyrannosaurus Series Kit No. TS-010; Russian “Terminator” Fire Support Combat Vehicle BMPT

Russian “Terminator” Fire Support Combat Vehicle BMPT

Meng Model, 1/35 scale

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Summary

Stock Number and Description Meng Model 1/35 scale Tyrannosaurus Series Kit No. TS-010; Russian “Terminator” Fire Support Combat Vehicle BMPT
Scale: 1/35
Media and Contents: 1,520 parts (579 in black styrene, 471 in dark green styrene, 429 black vinyl, 15 clear styrene, 25 etched brass, 1 nylon string)
Price: USD $84.95
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Matches the T-90A kit for quality; tremendous amount of detail provided; KMT-8 mine clearing installation a bonus
Disadvantages: With 980 parts to them and five-part track links the tracks are not likely to win many fans
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all modern Russian armor fans

FirstLook

Back in 1984 I found a great T-shirt for sale in a military shop just off Fort Rucker, Alabama. It had a crazed US Green Beret with one each of every small arm or light crew served weapon on his back, a rifle in his hands and a bayonet between his teeth. The caption was “We’ve got so many ways to blow you away you’re bound to like one of them!” That pretty much sums up the concept behind the BMPT tank escort vehicle.

The Soviets had experimented with tank escort vehicles for some time after they found the BMP series to be too lightly armed to survive in some situations, and tanks by themselves were too “blind” to deal with all threats. This was crystalized into a series of prototype vehicles carrying different armament combinations and onboard personnel, some with dismount teams and some with more heavy weapons, but all based on the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank. The feeling was that they could easily convert them from early model T-72 tanks which were no longer suitable for modern tank-versus-tank combat in Europe.

After the slaughter of the New Year’s Eve 1994-1995 attack on Groznyy in Chechnya, this brought such a vehicle back to the fore. The revived project was given the project designator “Ramka” (frame) and when a vehicle was produced to meet the requirement, it was designated Article 199 by the Uralvagonzavod.

The new vehicle was very heavily armed and designed as a tank escort under urban combat conditions. It carried the following armament: two 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon; two AG-17D 30mm grenade launchers; one 7.62mm PKTM machine gun; and four 9K120 “Ataka” antitank guided missiles. The vehicle had a crew of five: commander, gunner, driver-mechanic, and two grenadiers. The commander and gunner controlled all but the grenade launchers, each of which was in its own sub-turret and had its own operator.

The reason for the armament is as follows. The 30mm guns are its main weapon, and the idea is to have one loaded with HE-FRAG rounds and one with AP. The machine gun is for suppression of infantry, and the missiles are fitted with specific warheads based on threat and mission. They carry tandem warhead HEAT rounds for tanks, but in city conditions they are more likely to be fitted with thermobaric (volumetric) ones to deal with bunkers and apartment buildings. One of these is capable of wiping out all living creatures within a confined area the size of a two room apartment as well as causing it to collapse. The grenade launchers are for dealing with pockets of infantry (in this case fighters and “illegal armed bands” to quote the Russians).

The BMPT is heavily protected with tank level base armor, at least “Kontakt-5" explosive reactive armor, and “reshetka” grill armor over less vulnerable spots of the vehicle.

While the “production” version of “Ramka” first was shown in 2002, so far only three have been sold to Kazakhstan. But with all of its armament the Russians soon dubbed it the “Terminator” after the Arnold Schwarzenegger cyborg character. A new variant dubbed “Terminator 2" is now being shown, which has a modified turret but eliminates the hull mounted grenade launchers and their two operators.

While Zvezda has announced a kit of the Terminator, Meng has beaten them to the market and this kit has been out now for a couple of months. Like their T-90A kit before it, this kit was designed with the cooperation of Gur Khan (Aleksey Khlopotov), a Russian armor historian and writer.

Like the T-90A this one is also a stunner. The amount of detail that Meng has given this kit is truly incredible. It provides the Russian armor modeler with a kit of similar detail level to the DML Tiger I and Panzer III/Sturm III kits with separate torsion bars and detailed shock absorbers among other nice touches. But this one drops the previous kit’s nicely done V-92S2 engine for a complete KMT-8 mine clearing installation - track-width mine plows and electromagnetic radiators to detonate electromagnetic fused mines.

The directions come in a handsome if somewhat confusing book with the history in Chinese, English, Japanese, and Russian. There are 41 steps in the construction of this kit. One thing that Meng has done and few others attempt is to provide aids to assemble the kit. This one includes three: a set of jigs to assemble the five-part track links, a gluing jig to set the pitch of the torsion bar/road wheel arms, and a painting mask for the road wheels.

Most of the kit assembles in the fashion most armor modelers expect, starting with the lower hull and suspension. As it is a “one-off” there are no holes that need to be drilled as all of them are provided in the components. While 1,129 parts are carried over from the T-90A kit, they are basically just the suspension and tracks.

This kit does provide the best Soviet-style lever action shock absorbers (parts E-7, E-9, B-14, B-22and they even may be permitted to operate if care is used on assembly.

Step 7 covers the tracks, and this is a very tedious step. Each track link consists of a link, guide tooth, and two end connectors; a separate part covers the rubber track face pads (part H-2) for those who want the newer “asfal’tnyy” (pavement) tracks. The good news is that Meng provides a three piece assembly jig (Parts J) for asemblying sets of six links at a time. The end connectors are vinyl so I am not sure how well they will hold; some comments on the Internet would indicate they work well but take a lot of time to fiddle around with during assembly. (I was amazed that the best tracks so far are the ones from the Zvezda kit that are link and length with separate teeth; they did that with less than 40 parts.)

The upper hull assembly is similar to other kits. The entire fender tips are slide molded and one piece styrene affairs, a nice touch. A styrene spring and fillet finish off each one. This vehicle has a different glacis layout and thus is a bit different than the tank. As before the engine deck area is the best rendering of this area of T-72/T-90 series vehicles around.

The upper hull work proper starts with Step 15 and the bulky side pannier/stowage bin assemblies. There is no unditching log nor auxiliary fuel tank assembly needed on this particular vehicle so those parts are excess.

Step 23 covers the sub-turrets and shows the double hatch arrangement - an armored hatch with a flip-over treadplate cover above it. Both sub-turrets may be left to rotate.

Step 25 is the start of the main turret. This gets to be very complex so care is needed with some of the subassemblies.

The 30mm cannon module consists of some 17 parts; while the 30mm barrels are styrene (parts L19) they have very nicely done slide-molded muzzle brakes. The module is held in vinyl keepers in the arms of the elevated mount to permit elevation. Note that the directions invert the assembly in some steps so pay close attention to which end is up!

The missiles consist of four parts (sides and end caps) and are fitted to their racks in pairs. They are left loose when fitted to the turret to permit elevation.

Three options are given for the KMT-8: not mounted, travel, and operating. Assembly of the main element starts in Step 37 and if care is taken the plow elements may be left moveable.

Finishing instructions and decals are provided for three (albeit most likely the same one in different years!) different vehicles: Arms Exhibition, Nizhniy Tagil 2009 (standard Russian Army three color - sand/black/dark green); Arms Exhibition, Nizhniy Tagil 2011 (sand with dark green and red brown patches); Arms Exhibition, Nizhniy Tagil 2013 (sand with medium brown and dark brown angular patches) No decals are included, which is a bit of a shame that none of the Kazakhstani vehicles are presented.

Overall while it again has the overwrought tracks it is an excellent kit of a unique if currently “low density” vehicle.


 

Sprue Layout:

A 8 Glacis, scraper blade, lower glacis
B 33 Engine deck details, reshetka armor panels, details
C 33 Fender bins, details
D 25 Side skirts, lights
E 29x3 Road wheels, smoke grenade launchers, torsion bars
F 30x2 Skirt ERA boxes, idlers, fuel tank racks and ends
G 18 Turret base, elevated mount, details
H 72x8 Track pads, guide teeth
H 48x8 Black vinyl - end connectors
J 3 Track assembly jig
JIG 1 Clear styrene assembly jig
K 44 Hatches, handles, antenna, details
L 32 Fender tips, 30mm cannon assembly
M 57 Auxiliary turrets, Ataka missiles, hull details
MC 1 Etched brass (stencil)
N 14 Clear styrene
P 53 KMT-8 main elements
Q 6 KMT-8 components
R 12 Drivers, idler mounts, driver’s hatch
T 12 Black vinyl mantlet covers, hoses
X 25 Etched brass
1 Nylon string
1 Upper hull
1 Lower hull
20 Vinyl poly caps
1 Turret shell
2 Metalized stickers for mirrors