Skif 1/35 MT-LB Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2005||Manufacturer||Skif|
|Kit Number||0214||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||First kit of this interesting Soviet/Russian APC||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$32.95|
The MT-LB is an armored personnel carrier that supported the two track development technology path for Soviet combat support vehicles - wheeled and tracked. The MT-LB provided armored tracked personnel transportation while the BTR-60/70/80 series provided the wheeled vehicles.
The MT-LB is an especially effective combat support vehicle in that it is low-profile, all-terrain, mildly amphibious, and can keep up with the tanks. One adaptation of the chassis provided the replacement for the SA-9 Gaskin mounted on the BRDM chassis, this was the SA-13 Gopher.
Skif continues to produce some interesting kits focused on contemporary Soviet and Russian combat vehicles. This release as well as the MT-LB-based SA-13 kits are nicely done.
Molded in an olive green styrene, the kit captures the shape and details of the MT-LB. Presented on five parts trees, plus two frets of photo-etched parts, and two sets of rubber band tracks, the kit is flash-free and has nicely molded detailing.
One of the nicer aspects of this kit is its full interior. Details are provided for the interior of the troop compartment, small aisleway around the engine compartment forward to the two-place driver/gunner crew compartment. While there is always room for more detailing (radios, ammo storage, etc.) this is a great starting point.
The overhead hatches for the crew and troop compartments can be positioned open as well are the rear entry doors. Good thing since there is an interior to reveal.
For whatever reason, transparencies are not provided for the windshield glass, instead the instructions have you apply the photo-etched armored shields down over the windows as it would be when operating under fire and seeing the area through the periscopes. Unless you are presenting your vehicle under combat conditions, you can cut some acetate to replicate the windows and prop the shields open with wire.
Photo-etched parts are also included for the headlight protection, side viewing ports, fender edges and other miscellaneous details.
Markings are provided for Russian or Ukrainian service vehicles.
The Skif MT-LB adds another interesting armored personnel carrier to the list of Soviet-era combat vehicles that I've wanted for some time. The interior is a definite plus and I'll just have to add some Warriors and/or ICM figures to the vehicle and have an Afghanistan-era vignette.