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.
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.
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.
T-90 has been in the fantasies of a lot of Braille scale folk in the recent years. There was the ACE kit, then more recently the Revell cast and welded turret models. Tracks on all were on the underdetailed side. This set from OKB Grigorov solves the problem.
Now with the Zvezda T-90 out you’d imagine we have the definitive kit with great tracks. Alas, although Zvezda did create an impressive kit, the tracks supplied are extremely tense, and the entire running gear can be snapped away trying to put the track runs on.
Below is the galery of the completed model. It’s painted in a number of Revell enamel greens – various mixtures of ##48, 65-69 and 361 to simulate faded paint, areas where water of fuel accumulated, crew walked (or couldn’t, e.g. around the edges of the hatches and the hinges). Edges and certain areas were highlighted with green pastel chalks, then some Promodeller washes to pop the details. Decals do silver, because I did not gloss the surface underneath them.
Bronco have done a fantastic job on the kit, which does not have any assembly issues, or serious problems with accuracy. Building is very easy for such a large and well-detailed kit thanks to clever engineering; assembly process is supported very well by the instruction booklet (although several views of the completed steps wouldn’t have hurt). Outside the erroneous “cast surface” effect on the superstructure and the ejector pin marks on the fenders I don’t really have anything to complain about this kit. If I have the opportunity – I would build another one without any hesitation.