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ICM 1/72 BTR-152V APC Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer ICM
Subject BTR-152V APC Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72531 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat modern Soviet vehicle Cons Inside of driver’s compartment not very visible, due to being molded shut
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $12.80

First Look

The BTR-152 (also known as BTR-140) was a non-amphibious Soviet wheeled armored personnel carrier (BTR stands for Bronetransporter ( literally "armored transporter") that entered service in 1950 and by early 1970s was replaced in the infantry vehicle role by the BTR-60. However it remained in service in the Soviet Army until 1993 in a variety of other roles. It was also exported to many Third World countries where some still remain in service.

The BTR-152 was one of the first Soviet attempts at an armored infantry vehicle. It was developed from November 1946 at Zis plant by a team led by B. M. Fitterman, and was adopted by the Soviet Army at 24 March 1950. The vehicle was based on the existing Zis-151 truck chassis. Despite an improved engine, the addition of 5 tons of armor resulted in the vehicle having insufficient mobility.

Several upgraded versions were produced, rectifying many of the problems of the vehicle, such as the open roof and the mobility issue (the addition of a tire pressure regulation system, allowing tire pressure to be adjusted to optimize traction in soft ground).

Production of the BTR-152 was stopped in 1962 with around 15,000 vehicles having been produced. In the Soviet army it was phased out as an infantry transport between the late 1960s and early 1970s, being replaced by the BTR-60. It remained in service in the Soviet Army and later post-soviet Russian Army until 1993 in a variety of roles including command vehicles, mobile radio stations and ambulances. It was also exported to many Third World countries where some still remain in service.

Bf 109E-3
Bf 109E-3
Bf 109E-3

The kit is from the Ukrainian company of ICM. It comes in their usual end-opening type box. The box art shows a BTR-152V out in the snow. It is in overall dark green with the white number 253 on the front bumper and some white Arabic script on the side doors. These markings are not offered on the kit’s decal sheet.

The back of the box has a full color 3-view of a BTR-152V in Soviet markings. It has the order of the Red Flag insignia on the side doors and the white number 281 on the sides and rear. It is shown in a base coat of sand (Model Master No.1706) with a wave pattern of olive green (Model Master No. 1711) over that.

A side panel shows the box arts for 4 other AFV kits that ICM markets in 1/72nd scale. All are Soviet vehicles. One is a BTR-152K APC (Kit no.72521), a ATZ-4-131 fuel truck (Kit no. 72813), a Zil–157 stake-sided truck (Kit no. 72541) and a BM-24-12 multiple rocket launch system truck (Kit no. 72591).

Inside the box is one small sealed cello bag that holds all the parts in the kit. These consist of one medium sized tree of chalk white parts, a single body top part, a single floor/chassis part, 7 individual black plastic tires and a very small chalk white tree of parts.

The medium sized tree holds: leaf springs, differentials, interior seats and other details for the infantry squad rear compartment, a machine-gun etc.(37 parts) Parts are not numbered on the trees, so you will have to constantly refer to the parts tree drawings to locate things.

The small tree holds: the steering wheel, headlight grills, headlights etc. (8 parts).

The upper body part and the floor part complete the chalk white parts in the kit. Then there are the afore mentioned 7 black tires (one is a spare that mounts on the back of the vehicle)

The instructions, a sheet of IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS KIT (in no less than 20 languages – including English) and the decal sheet complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions is a single sheet that is folded in the center into 4 pages of 7 ¼” x 11” format.

Page 1 begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by a history of the vehicle in 4 languages, including English.

Page 2 begins with the parts trees illustrations, followed by the first 2 assembly steps and international assembly symbol explanations.

The top of page 3 gives the balance of the assembly steps for a grand total of 4 very busy exploded drawings. These will have to be carefully studied, so as not to make mistakes. The bottom of the page has two 2-views of marking and coloring schemes for the BTR-152V.

One is pretty generic marks for a vehicle with the Czech Army in the 1960’s. It is in overall matt olive drab (Humbrol 155) and carries the Czech circle insignia, in equal pie-slices of red, white and blue on the side doors.

The second one is also in the overall matt olive drab with the white number 982 on it’s sides and rear and circle that is divided in half, with a white upper half over a red lower half. A red star is in the center of the white half and the white letters CA in the red lower half. This emblem is on the side doors of this vehicle. It says it is the marking of a Red Army unit in 1960.

There are more markings than just these two selections on the decal sheet. There are Red Cross insignia for an ambulance vehicle, a East German emblem, a Order of the Red Flag insignia and several other white numerals. I’m guessing that this is a common decal sheet for this kit and some other AFV in ICM’s line?

This is an open-topped vehicle. You will be able to see the benches in the rear compartment from above, but I doubt that much of the driver’s area will be visible as the visors in front of the driver’s compartment are molded closed and so are the doors. It is a shame because you do get a steering wheel, dashboard and shift levers and driver’s seat to go in there.

I highly recommend this kit to those modelers that are interested in modern Soviet vehicles and work in 1/72nd scale. I could find no flash on parts or ejector pin marks. However, some of the pour gates on the parts trees are rather large, so care will have to be taken cleaning these stubs up on the parts after they are removed from the sprue.

For a look at this kit built-up, click here.