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Trumpeter 1/35 BTR-50PK Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2011 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject BTR-50PK Scale 1/35
Kit Number 1582 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons No interior details
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $43.95

First Look


The BTR-50 is a Soviet armored personnel carrier (BTR => Bronetransportyer or armored transporter). The BTR-50 is unlike Soviet APCs that preceeded or followed it as it used tracks for mobility whereas others in the BTR series are wheeled vehicles. The BTR-50 was adapted from the PT-76 amphibious tank and the BTR-50 employs the same floating hull and propulsion system.

The early BTR-50s were open-topped vehicles like previous APCs in the BTR family, but experience showed that the troops in the back were exposed to air-bursted shrapnel so the BTR-50P (standard production model) was changed to a closed crew compartment and designated BTR-50PK. The troops inside could still bail out of the vehicle during an assault through two overhead hatches.

Trumpeter has released its latest installment of the cold-war Soviet armor with this BTR-50PK. The kit is very simple in layout and yet has loads of promise for the AMS modeler that would want to do some scratch-building.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus the upper and lower hull. Also included in the kit are vinyl track runs (rubber-band track) and one fret of photo-etched details.

So let's get to the features:

  • Nicely detailed suspension system
  • Propulsion ducts from ventral intakes to aft exits
  • Positionable aft duct covers
  • Positionable top and rear fighting compartment hatches
  • Positionable engine compartment hatch
  • Poistionable bow plate
  • Detailed fenders and mounting frames
  • Nice exterior details including pioneering tools, fuel tanks, lighting, etc

The decals provide generic East German Army markings as well as Soviet Guards parade shields and a set of generic numbers so you can depict your choice of hull number. Note that the Guards shields are not usually carried on Soviet combat vehicles except during parades and special events. Only hull numbers are usually the only visible markings in Soviet service.

Here's another nice installment in the Soviet Army arsenal and it comes at a very reasonable price. It will look great straight out of the box and AMS modelers can have some fun with this gem as well. In any case, this is definitely a step up from the only other BTR-50 had we've had to date, that being the venerable BTR-50 currently produced by Glencoe.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review copy!