In the past couple of weeks I’ve reviewed, built and now completed a pre-production example of OKB Grigorov’s first full plastic kit, the US light tank M24 Chaffee.
As I have demonstrated in the posts so far, the pre-release communication from the company and some of its friends and loyal customers has been 100% correct: what you see is a complete plastic kit with high level of detail, representing particular features of the actual vehicle, and with minimal compromise with fidelity despite the small scale.
As you are aware OKB Grigorov is also offering the so-called “Mammoth edition” of their injection molded M24 Chaffee. There are several PE frets and a machined brass gun barrel included in that boxing.
First off are the side skirts. You’ve noticed in my original review of the plastic parts that the skirts are represented in styrene, and that their edges are beveled to appear visually thinner. For those of us who are not satisfied a fret numbered P72017 offers replacement side skirts complete with fastener detail.
Last time I reached the point where suspension arms were set in place but no wheels were added. First let me take you back a little and show you the bottom of the hull with some suspension detail.
As you can see we have a pretty busy suspension set and this is positively something you want to take your time on. Consult your references on the position of the arms, as I had mine too folded in which caused negative consequences with track runs as you will see shortly.
The main point is this is a very detailed kit, and the only ejection pin mark you’ve seen so far is on the inside of the commander’s hatch. There are no more, period.
Last night I shared some details of the test shot. Tonight I am posting a few images of the build process.
As you have already noticed this is a complete kit, not a short run one, with a lot of parts and excellent detail. Despite being a test shot the set that I have fits very well. What you see here is bare plastic and glue with the minimal cleanup required so parts fit. No filler or primer was used.
I started with the turret. The locating pins and the shape of the guiding surfaces helped mate the upper and lower part nearly perfectly. I used a bit too much glue, so needed to clean up a bit.
This post is a special treat, as it’s the first time I am getting a kit that is not available in the market yet. In fact I am lucky to have been the first to get a copy of OKB Grigorov’s Chaffee outside the factory and OKB themselves.
Onto the shots. 4 grey sprues, well over 200 parts, some great detail, all hatches open, separate OVM tools and a lot more!!!
Let’s start with the hull parts.
Note detail on the conical return roller bases, the suspension arm sockets and bump stops, the shock absorber attachment points. The suspension arms are separate parts as are the final drive housing covers.
L-29 Delfin was the main jet trainer of the Warsaw pact countries for over 30 years. Since it was introduced there have been 3 kits in 1/72: Kopro, Bilek and Special Hobby, none of which did justice to this important aircraft. Luckily in 2016 Avantgarde Model Kits brought a contemporary model to the market, 3 years after their 48th scale kit was introduced. AMK’s first 1/72 release features 4 grey and 1 transparent part trees in plastic, a fret with photoetched parts, and a large decal sheet with markings for 5 different aircraft.
AMK’s beautifully crafted Kfir kit in 1/72 is the latest addition in my collection. I love the way this kit is prepared, molded, detailed, the abundant loadout and 2 airframe versions with 5 decal options it provides, all at a very affordable price. Just look at the loaded box!
8 part trees for the airframe itself, 4 types of weapons in more than sufficient quantities and large decal sheet for 4 different operators.
Instruction sheet: long fold-out affair rather than a booklet. Simple black and white diagrams with enough space for notes, logical sequence and clear part placement.
The Soviet BRDM-2 family of vehicles (Boyevaya Razvedyvatelnaya Dozornaya Mashina, Russian for “Combat Reconnaissance/Patrol Vehicle”) is based on an armored 7-ton, 4-wheel drive amphibious chassis.
It features a pair of retractable chain-driven wheels on each side, that can be lowered to help with trench crossing. The most numerous variant features a cupola with a 14.5mm KPVT machine gun with a coaxial PKT 7.62mm which is available in the S-Model kit. The chassis also was used as a basis for chemical recce machine, a command vehicle, a short range surface-to-air missile (quadruple 9K31 Strela) and an ATGM carrier with quintuple 9M113 Konkurs launcher, known as the 9P148 that you also see featured here.
The BMPT (marketing callsign “Terminator”) is a Russian fighting vehicle, based off a T-72/T-90 chassis with a 5-man crew. It is intended as an urban warfare vehicle supporting main battle tanks and infantry. Armament consists of
4 Ataka ATGMs on the turret sides (up to 6km range),
two 30 mm 2A42 cannons (known from the BMP-2) in the center,
and a PKTM machine gun (7,62x54mm) at the top.
Two AGS-17 grenade launchers in the front sponsons further add to the firepower.
The machine is clad into reactive and bar armor from all sides, and the kit represents that very well. Not everyone “gets” the vehicle (even the Russian MoD hasn’t ordered any), so the only customer to date is Kazakhstan. Since I am tired of seeing the same 2 examples in reports from arms expos and the thing looks a bit too post-apocaliptic – I devised a scheme of my own. Markings come from Dragon Humvee set and a Space Marine set.
2 years later than the actual completion date I am finally uploading a gallery of my rendition. It was an absolute joy to build bar the tracks which can be easily broken when trying to bend them around the wheels.
The kit is built mostly OOB except
OKB Grigorov’s T-90 tracks,
copper cable for the lower rims of the fuel drums on the back,
decals from New Penguin’s Airborne Combat Vehicles Markings set 72002,
and 0,3mm brass rod antenna, which I bent numerous times during the first week. I got so angry I placed the model in a box so I don’t do it again.