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SDV 1/87 BMP-1 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2006 Manufacturer SDV
Subject BMP-1 Scale 1/87
Kit Number 87009 Primary Media 48 parts in olive green styrene
Pros Most accurate kit of this vehicle in this scale so far; options permit some modifications as needed; model has separate drive wheels Cons Molds are rough
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $14.50

First Look

Once again, I was at the Great Scale Train Show in Timonium (Maryland) today and found the same vendor from which I purchased the SVD T-54A selling this kit.

SDV is a Czech company who, like many smaller Eastern European companies, has a marketing arrangement in the West with other companies such as Modellbau Tom of Germany, who appears to offer some of their other kits in the West. (Their Tatra 813 and 815 series trucks are probably the best known.) This kit was directly imported from what I understand, as it is not marketed by Modellbau Tom nor carried in the US by Walthers.

This kit is a very well thought out kit of the BMP, proving "break points to permit other variants such as the BMP-2 and the various Czech-produced vehicles to use a single set of molds. It splits the hull just behind the engine compartment, perhaps not the best place to choose, and then provides "drop in" hatch modules for the rear deck to match whichever variant is chosen.

Assembly is a bit odd, though, for while seats are provided for the driver and commander the hatches are molded shut. The front deck is optional, and a simulated transmission and engine top as well as the firewall are included; apparently this is due to the fact that the driver's compartment is visible with the hatch open to the engine.

The lower hull is correct – which is more than I can say about the 1/35 scale kits of the BMP! – and comes with accurate five-spoke drive wheels.

The turret is the original BMP one with the 2A28 Grom 73mm gun and the AT-3 Sagger ATGM mounted on a rail above it. Again, the gunner's hatch is molded closed. All of the rest of the BMP-1 bits are included, and although some are crude it will build up as a very nice replica of the BMP-1.

Markings and directions for painting are extensive and cover CSSR, USSR, DDR (and FRG!), Romanian, and Polish vehicles, as well as a camouflaged Finnish one (the others are in Soviet green or Warsaw Pact grey-green.) National insignia and six sets of numbers in two sizes are included, as well as Finnish registration numbers.

Overall, this is a nice kit of sorts and is far better than its competitors – ROCO, Roskopf and Piro ones from 30 years ago or more – and half the price of the resin CMK or white metal Trident ones.

Thanks to Jan Podubecky for the review sample.