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Panda-Hobby 1/35 BMD-1 AFV Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2014 Manufacturer Panda-Hobby
Subject BMD-1 AFV Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35004 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros New tooling, nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $21.95

First Look


The BMD-1 was designed in 1969 to serve as an armored scout and combat vehicle to support the airborne forces derived from the Soviet Army's BMP-1 combat vehicle. Like the BMP, the BMD is amphibious, tracked and has a low profile.

Designed for air transport and parachute landing, the BMD-1 is armed with a 73mm main gun, a coaxially mounted AT-3 missile launcher, and a coaxially mounted 7.62mm gun. Experience with the BMD in Afghanistan was less than impressive, and the airborne forces quickly 'requisitioned' BMPs, BTRs and other vehicles that had better armor and/or mobility.

Panda Hobby has produced a new BMD-1 in 1/35 scale and looks nice out of the box. Molded in green styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees plus the upper and lower hull, four trees of rust-colored styrene, and one fret of photo-etched details.

The kit features nice shapes and details compared to the previous BMD-1 standard - the Zvezda kit which I built nearly 10 years ago. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Positionable hatches at all crew positions (no interior details)
  • Positionable water jet doors on stern
  • Ducts from ventral intakes to water jet exits on stern
  • Individual track links for more natural track sag
  • Photo-etched engine deck screens
  • Movable turret
  • Optional 9M14M ATGM
  • Separately molded crew periscopes (not molded in clear)

This is a nice rendition of the BMD-1 and should be a relatively quick build. Remember when you're weathering this vehicle that the hull and turret were aluminum, so rust isn't appropriate except on the tracks. It was no wonder that the airborne troops in Afghanistan ditched these vehicles as the aluminum armor wasn't going to stop much, similar to the problems with US troops in Vietnam with the M113 APC.

My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for this review sample!