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Soviet BMP-1 IFV

Trumpeter 1/35 Soviet BMP-1 IFV Kit First Look

By Dave Manter

Date of Review December 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Soviet BMP-1 IFV Scale 1/35
Kit Number 5555 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros 100% new tooling, great details, much needed subject Cons No interior
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $45.99

First Look

Soviet BMP-1 IFV
Soviet BMP-1 IFV
Soviet BMP-1 IFV

The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, meaning "fighting vehicle of infantry". The BMP-1 was the world's first mass produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

It was a revolutionary design combining the properties of an armored personnel carrier (APC) and a light tank. The Soviet military leadership saw any future wars as being conducted with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, where unprotected infantry would soon be either killed or incapacitated by radiation or chemical or biological agents. A vehicle like the BMP would allow infantry to operate from the relative safety of its armored, radiation shielded interior in contaminated areas and to fight alongside it in uncontaminated areas. It would increase infantry squad mobility, provide fire support to them, and also be able to fight alongside main battle tanks.

The Trumpeter Soviet BMP-1 IFV kit consists of 436 plastic parts on 14 sprues, 26 photo etch detail parts and a metal main gun. Molding and detail is up to Trumpeters normal high standards. Seam lines and flash are minimal. Knockout marks are either very small or nonexistent on the parts. All of the doors and hatches feature very nice detail on the inside, but no interior is provided in the kit. However, if you decide to leave the hatches open, you will have plenty of detail. Some key features of the kit are:

  • The gunners hatch can be open or closed
  • Accurate, easy to assemble 73mm smoothbore gun and mantlet
  • Detailed headlights and tow hooks
  • Accurately detailed AT-3 Sagger antitank missile and launcher
  • Photo etch intake and exhaust grates
  • Rear doors can be open or closed
  • Well rendered propulsion vanes
  • Observation windows/gun ports are well produced
  • Trim vane can be raised or lowered
  • Well molded and accurately depicted running gear and suspension system
  • Drive sprocket, road wheels and idler wheel are accurately molded and easy to assemble
  • Infantry hatches can be open or closed
  • Commander and driver's hatches can be open or closed
  • Armored side skirts and individual track links further enhance details
  • The main gun can be made with the included metal barrel or from a one piece plastic barrel

Decals are provided for four vehicles. One Soviet, two Czech and one East German are included. All are in plain green. The instructions are well laid out and should be easy to follow. The upper and lower hull parts fit very well. No problems should be encountered with this kit.

Definitely another winner from Trumpeter!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review copy!

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