Russian BRDM-2 Late
Trumpeter, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Saul Garcia
The BRDM-2 was an evolution of the BRDM-1 improving its mobility with a better engine, firepower with a turret, and capabilities such as infrared and operating in an NBC environment. In production from 1963 to 1989, replacing the BRDM-1 and offered for export.
Widely exported, to over 38 countries, it has seen many variants during its production. Three production batches become obvious. The first had trapezoidal engine hatches (as on the previous Trumpeter kit). To improve ventilation, the second batch replaced these with rectangular openings covered with pivoting louvers. The third has baleen type mushroom shaped covers to prevent water from entering the engine compartment. Of course, there were several small changes to the hull such as stowage and the addition of doors on the rear hull to access stowage lockers.
The turret went through changes based on the supplier as these were the same turrets later used for the BTR-60. Changes here came with the addition of a larger trough under the gun barrel, a periscope on the roof, and mounts for smoke grenades. Localized production in Poland incorporated some improvements such as removing the belly wheels and adding a crew door on the side to address shortcomings of the original design.
F i r s t L o o k
This is the sixth 1/35th scale polystyrene plastic kit of the BRDM-2 and the second of the late type with the third engine hatch design. Trumpeter has released an early model and the UM command model Dragon released a BRDM-2 (late model), BRDM-3 (9P137), SA-9 AA variants. There have been resin kits of the subject by Verlinden (under the Trophy Models label) and MB Models. Attractive box art covers a compartmentalized box with the sprues individually wrapped in heavy cellophane and the hull in its own partitioned section. This area also houses the string, cable, polyester caps, and photo-etched brass fret.
A sixteen page instruction book guides the modeler to completion in thirteen steps although a fourteenth is included to show overall views of the completed model. A separate full color painting and markings guide is printed on one sheet of glossy paper. The instructions are easy to follow although their use of words takes some getting accustomed to. File/Sand is obvious but Repair is meant to Fill/Sand details.
The plastic is the now familiar gray colored polystyrene which is a touch flexible and easy to cut, sand, file. A fairly complete interior is included from the engine bulkhead forward, including the turret interior, although very little will be seen through the available hatches. The fighting compartment hatches can be positioned open although this is not offered in the instructions.
The first step covers the opening of holes, filling, filing off, and sanding of details to prepare the upper hull for the late features. While the filler hardens, we go to the lower hull tub in step two to add the wheel arches, sides, and some belly plate details. The belly wheels are built during the third step and the option to have them down (deployed) or up (stowed) is offered. The fourth step adds drive train details.
The belly is completed in the fifth step and the hull tub flipped over as a floor pan is added along with the water jet. The next two steps cover the interior which is fairly complete but lacks color call outs on any of the items. Also, one adds the fighting compartment roof to the upper hull at step seven. Steps eight and nine continues the external detailing of the upper hull and mating of the upper and lower hull.
From steps ten through twelve, the external detailing is completed along with the road wheels. These are nicely done but they are polyvinyl and I plan to replace mine with the E.T. Models set. Step twelve also begins the construction of the turret interior.
The thirteenth and final step covers the exterior of the turret and mating it to the hull. As mentioned, the last step are overall views of the completed model.
M a r k i n g s
Two sets of markings are provided. One is for a Bulgarian BRDM-2 in SFOR service and the second is in camouflage.
No markings are shown but the decal sheet does include some Guards emblems and several sets of white numbers. Sadly, the Bulgarian serial should be in red instead of the supplied black.
C o n c l u s i o n
I really like this kit and it is far ahead of the Dragon model plus easier on to build than the MB Models and Trophy Models resin kits. I am sure they are planning at least three more variants. I will venture to state I expect the second (middle production) engine hatch model, a Polish model (belly wheels removed and plated over with side egress doors), and the BRDM-3.
R e f e r e n c e s
Text and Images by Saul Garcia