DML 1/35 BMP-2E Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||December 2008||Manufacturer||DML|
|Kit Number||3508||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Neat sub-variant of BMP-2||Cons||Suspension arms molded solid to hull tub, Limited marks for Afghanistan type|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$32.95|
The BMP (Boyeveya Machina Pekhota = Infantry Fighting Vehicle) was the first infantry vehicle to enter service with the Soviet Army. Developed in the 1960’s, the BMP-1 made its first public appearance in 1967.
The BMP-1 carried a crew of three. The driver is positioned in the front left, the section commander in the rear, and gunner in the turret. It can also carry an infantry squad of eight, four on each side, seated back to back, each provided with a firing port for his weapon and an observation periscope.
The one-man turret of the BMP houses a 2A28 73mm smooth-bore gun and a coaxial 7.62mm machine-gun. The gun is fed by an automatic loader and fires HEAT or HE-FRAG rounds. A total of 40 73mm rounds can be stored. For long range engagement of enemy armor, the BMP-1 is armed with the AT-3 Sagger ATGWs, four carried inboard and one on a launching rail mounted on the barrel of the 73mm gun.
The BMP-2 is designed to remedy the shortcomings of the BMP-1. A two-man turret now houses a 2A42 30mm cannon, that is more accurate than the 73mm gun and has a better range. Mounted on the turret top is a launcher for the AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile. With the AT-5, all the gunner has to do is to keep the target aligned in his sights, and the launcher will give course corrections to the missile over a wire. This gives a better hit possibility at long range.
With a bigger turret, the BMP-2 can only accommodate six infantrymen in the rear. There are firing ports both on the hull and in the door. Like the BMP-1, the BMP-2 is also fully amphibious and has a full range of nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) protection and night-vision equipment.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The boxart shows a BMP-2E leading a wheeled APC through mountainous terrain around a couple of knocked out trucks. One truck is laying on it’s side and the other has it’s cab destroyed. Overhead, are two Soviet helicopters. The BMP-2 is shown in a two color wave pattern camouflage of sand and green with a stenciled white number 552 on the side. There are several infantrymen riding atop the vehicles and one infantryman with a shovel in his hand on foot by one of the knocked out trucks. This boxart is not by DML’s usual boxart artist Ron Valstad. It is signed by what looks like the name Y. Tokani and dated 1990.
One side panel has one paragraph histories of the BMP-2E in 6 languages marked each with the flag of the countries that speak those languages: Japan, England, Germany, France, Italy and China. Next to this is Cautions in the same six languages about not using glue or paint near an open flame.
The other side panel has 3 color photos of the model made up and one photo of a section of the tracks made up with the individual links. Next to this is th copyright date of 1990 and DML’s Hong Kong address and the statement that kit is not intended for kids under 3. Mention is also there that Italeri in Italy is the importer for DML in that country.
Inside the box is a black cardboard compartment that is stapled to the end of the tray. It holds the single medium gray hull tub part. This part has the suspension arms molded solid to it, so the model will only be able to be posed on dead-flat ground and not on undulated terrain.
There are 3 sealed cello-bags of 4 trees of medium gray parts and another sealed cello-bag with 2 dark green parts trees and the small decal sheet.
The instructions complete the kit’s contents.
There are two sheets of instructions. One sheet is common to this kit and DML’s other kit of a straight BMP-2 (not the 2E version of this kit). This is the larger of the two, and it is a single sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages.
Page 1 of this main instruction sheet shows a black and white illustration of the boxart of the DML BMP-2 other kit. This is followed by the history of the vehicle in the 6 languages mentioned above.
Page 2 begins with CAUTIONS in the same languages, followed by international assembly symbol explanations and a list of Gunze Sangyo brand paint colors suggested to use to finish the kit. The bottom of the page shows a black and white photo of the plain BMP-2 (not the 2E) version.
Page 3 through 5 give a total of 8 assembly steps.
Pages 6 and 7 give three 4-views, one 2-view and a single side view for 5 different marking and painting schemes.
The first scheme is a 4-view for a Soviet marked BMP-2 in a 2-color wave pattern of sand and dark green. The vehicle is devoid of any markings.
The second scheme is a 4-view for a Soviet marked BMP-2 in overall dark green. It has Order of the Red Flag insignia on the side of the turret and a white stenciled number 430 on the forward side of the side skirt. However, the Red Flag insignia is not on the decal sheet in the kit.
The third scheme is a 4-view for a BMP-2 with the DDR (East Germany) it is overall dark green and has the DDR emblem on the side of the turret (again, not on the decal sheet).
The fourth scheme is a 2-view for a BMP-2 with the Finish Army. It is in a 3-color wave scheme of tan, dark green and brown with a Finish roundel on the side of the turret (the roundel is not on the decal sheet).
The fifth, and last scheme, is a single side view of a BMP-2 with the Czech Army. It is overall dark green with the Czech red-white-blue sectioned circle on the side of the turret (again, this mark not on the decal sheet).
The second instruction sheet is a dedicated sheet for assembling the BMP-2E version (subject of this kit). It is a single sheet folded in the center into 4 pages.
Page 1 begins with a black and white repeat of the boxart of the BMP-2E. This is followed by the parts trees illustrations.
Page 2 begins with a listing of Gunze Sangyo paint colors, again, suggested to use to finish the model. The bottom of the page has the first 3 assembly step drawings. These steps are all for assembly of the mine plows. Part no. B35 is marked as being excess here and not needed to complete the kit.
Page 3 gives the balance of a total of 6 assembly steps. Step no. 4 shows assembly of a wood crate and spare track links. Step 5 is for the turret assembly and step 6 brings the whole together into the final assembly. Two more parts are shown here as excess. They are the side skirts, parts no. B2, B3, B10 and B11.
Page 4 has two 4-views for 2 painting and marking schemes for the BMP-2E. Both of these schemes are just labeled as AFGHANISTAN.
The first one is in a wave pattern of sandy brown, hemp and flat white that are mixed together, over a mixture of black and mahogany mixed together. It carries the marking of a white triangle followed by white stenciled 152 on the side of the side-skirts.
The second one is in an overall color of dark green mixed with light green. This one has the white number 480 on its side skirts and a white bulldog’s head on the turret. I recommend building the assemblies in the 4 page instructions first as there are a few other minor changes to make the kit the 2E.
Large medium gray letter A parts tree holds: the road wheels, idler wheels, drive sprockets, rear body panel and rear entrance doors, hatches, tools etc. (99 parts) Five parts are blued-out on the parts tree drawings, meaning that they are excess and not needed for assembly of the model.
Large medium gray letter B parts tree holds: the hull roof, the side skirts (that are excess for the BMP-2E version), and turret parts etc. (63 parts)
The 2 dark green parts trees in the kit are of individual tracks. They have not been assigned an alphabet designation, only called out as TRACK. Although shown as being 4 identical trees on the parts illustrations, two each of those trees are actually co-joined…creating two trees.
The medium gray hull bottom tub part completes the parts for doing a basic BMP-2 (not the 2E version). So, the basic BMP-2 also can probably be built from this kit if desired. However, as mentioned the decals shown for the schemes for that one are not all in this kit version.
The first of the medium gray parts trees that are unique to the 2E version is letter C tree. It holds different side skirts than the letter B tree above, also a wood crate and spare road wheels etc. (16 parts)
The second of the medium gray parts trees that are also unique to the 2E version is letter D tree. It holds the parts for the mine plows etc. (32 parts).
The decal sheet completes the kit’s contents. It holds white numbers and a bulldogs head. I usually try and show the decal sheets in my reviews, but always have had problems trying to get white marks to appear on the white backing paper of a decal sheet. My scanner just won’t make the marks appear. So, forgive me, this time for it’s absence.
I recommend this kit only to modelers that have a few other complex armor kits under their belts. This is due to the complexity of the kit and the number of parts in it.