Panda-Hobby 1/35 9A317 TELAR w/9M317 of 9K37M2 BUK-M2 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2019||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||9A317 TELAR w/9M317 of 9K37M2 BUK-M2||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35034||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch, White Metal|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
During the Cold War, the former Soviet Union developed the concept of the Integrated Air Defense System which provided layers of protection over critical assets from an enemy air attack. These air defense assets were divided between the Strategic (homeland) Air Defense and the Tactical Army Air Defense Forces. One such system on the tactical air defense side was the KUB, known in the west as the SA-6 Gainful. This system was assigned to the Army Division level to protect headquarters, forward supply depots, etc., while overlapping (in many cases) the forward air defense assets like the SA-9 Gaskin and the ZSU-23-4 air defense gun system. Each SA-6 regiment had several batteries assigned, with each battery consisting of a radar tracking and guidance system (Straight Flush) plus a number of missile transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) carrying three missiles each. The SA-6 missile was considered to be deadly by western analysts as it used doppler-based guidance similar to the US HAWK and I-HAWK missile systems. The SA-6 saw its combat debut in support of the Egyptian Army during the 1973 war, and indeed, the SA-6 killed a number of Israeli aircraft, forcing many to stay close to the ground where the ZSU-23-4 was waiting for them. As it turned out, the Israelis developed tactics to defeat the SA-6, and like the SA-2 Guideline, if you can destroy the radar, the missiles were useless.
Based upon that combat experience, Soviet engineers worked to develop an improved version of the KUB system and what came from that effort was the BUK (SA-11 Gadfly). With the experience of another divisional air defense system, the SA-8 Gecko that introduced the TELAR (transporter, erector, launcher, and radar) concept, the BUK was built upon a larger chassis that could carry four improved missiles plus its own tracking and guidance radar system. Destroy one radar vehicle and the others in the battery were still fully operational and launching at you. The engineers also made the system backwards compatible with the KUB so the system could fire and control SA-6 missiles, if needed. Unfortunately, the BUK saw some action in support of the insurgency in eastern Ukraine when it fired upon Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, killing everyone aboard. While the Russians denied that any BUK TELARs were in the Ukraine, Ukrainian users on Twitter were showing videos of BUK TELARs being hastily trucked back into Russia after the shoot-down.
Even as the SA-11 system was being fielded, work was aready in progress to improve the system further. The 9M317 (SA-17 Grizzly) missile was an incremental improvement over the SA-11 that featured an improved target seeker and improved aerodynamics. At the same time, the large radome housing a dish for the target tracking radar was replaced with a much thinner radome that housed a phased array annenna system for the SA-17's TELAR (BUK-M2). The SA-17 reportedly entered service in 2008 and more recently, the BUK-M3 system begain entering service a few years ago wtith new TEL using a similar chassis as the BUK M1 and BUK-M2, but featuers a radarless plinth and 12 missile cannisters (three times the missile load of the previous two BUKs and operates with the radars on those previous BUKs.
Here is the follow-on kit from Panda Hobby - the SA-17 Grizzly TELAR, or as technically described by the kit title: 9A317 TELAR w/9M317 of 9K37M2 BUK-M2. This M2 version represents the updated system that followed the initial production system. However you want to describe it, this is another nice-looking kit from Panda with a few surprises. The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on 11 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower hull, one tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and one box of white-metal track links.
Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed lower hull
- Detailed suspension and road wheels
- White metal individual track links connected by metal pins (included)
- Detailed upper hull with photo-etched engine deck grille
- Positionable crew doors/vision ports (though should be left closed as there is no interior provided)
- Detailed 'turret' that houses the radar and missile launchers
- Positionable comms antenna mast
- Missile launchers can be posed in stowed or launch position
As with the SA-11 release, this kit provides four SA-11 and four SA-17 missiles, though the SA-11s are not used in this release according to the instructions. As the BUK-M1 TELAR has been seed with the SA-11 and SA-17 missiles loaded, you can also see both missiles on the BUK-M2 TELAR if you look online as it would only make sense that the Russian Army air defense troops would want to use whichever missiles are available for training as well as in action.
Markings are included for TELARs in Russian Army service while the color profiles provide eight schemes.
While Meng was first to market with their 1/35 BUK-M1 (SA-11) kit, Panda Hobb is the first with this BUK-M2.
If you'd like to see how the BUK-M1 kit built-up, look here.
This is a great time to be an air defense modeler with the variety of kits that have entered the market. Given that there were only a few SAM and self-propelled AAA kits on the market years ago, we now have a wide variety of subjects available in styrene and resin including:
- SA-2: Trumpeter 1/35 missle/launcher and missile/transloader as well as the HQ-2 derivative; Airfix 1/72 missile/launcher (now a collectible)
- SA-3: one kit of the missiles and twin-rail launcher had been announced but never released
- SA-4: Trumpeter 1/35
- SA-5: Trumpeter 1/35
- SA-6: Trumpeter 1/35 TEL and just announced radar
- SA-7: DML weapons sets
- SA-8: Trumpeter 1/35
- SA-9: DML 1/35 and Verlinden 1/35 conversion
- SA-10: Trumpeter 1/35 and Gran 1/72
- SA-11: Panda Hobby 1/35 and Meng 1/35
- SA-12: Trumpeter 1/35
- SA-13: Trumpeter 1/35 and Skif 1/35
- SA-14: DML weapons sets
- SA-15: Panda Hobby 1/35
- SA-17: Panda Hobby 1/35
- SA-19: Panda Hobby 1/35
- SA-21: Trumpeter 1/35
- SA-22: Trumpeter 1/35 and Meng 1/35
- ZU-23-2: Several in 1/35
- ZSU-23-4 Shilka: Several in 1/35
- 2S6: Panda Hobby 1/35
- HAWK: Renwal 1/32
- Chaparral: AFV Club 1/35
- Bloodhound: Airfix 1/72
- Patriot: Several in 1/35
- M42 Duster: Several in 1/35
- M247 Sergeant York: Tamiya 1/35
- Nike Ajax: Freedom 1/35
- Flakpanzer Gepard: Several in 1/35
This list is far from complete but it gives you an idea of how far we've come from the days of the Renwal HAWK and Airfix SA-2 and Bloodhound. With the addition of this SA-15 (9K330 Tor) kit to the list, we have models of modern air defense systems now available as well as systems from our recent past.
Here is a list of paints Panda Hobby identifies for the colors of this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands (note that in the instructions, the detail colors are identifed with GSI Creos colors, but the camouflage colors are identified using paints produced in China and we've substituted those colors with available equivalents):
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.