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In-Box Review
135
BTR-152D Russian Troop Carrier
UM 1/35 Russian Armored Troop Carrier
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by: HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]

Introduction
The BTR-152D variant was designed to be a powerful ani-aircraft weapon on the chassis of the BTR-152 by fitting quad 14.5mm Vladimirov heavy machine guns with a capacity of 2000 rounds before needing reloading.
    "It was as fun as a new toy for a child. You put in a round and watch it do magic." ~Oleg Brutovshy~

The Machine


Let's begin with the firing system that was manned by a gunner and no less than four loaders. The frame was made of thick welded load bearing armor to support multiple applications, to last over many decades, cost effective to make, and "be in the shop then out" for turn around time.

A carbureted six cylinder 110 HP engine with almost twice as much torch, in front of the armored frame, supplied the power necessary to propeller the BTR-152.

The wheels have pneumatic adjustable tires allowing the operator to use the internally generated air supply to control the pressure and thus the grip depending on the surface terrain. It was the first armored vehicle to have control over tire pressure to conform to ground conditions, giving it an exceptional cross-country ability. This allowed the BTR-152 to move into a fight and then quickly exit even with numerous bullet holes. Configured with entrenching tools, this armored carrier could get out of many disabling situation. The D version is equipped to carry eight troopers plus the crew and was designed as a defensive platform to deal with incoming hostile aircraft. The designers made the vehicle ready for as many situations they could think and thus it was sent in quite a few places around the world.

The first of the BTR-152 line was produced in 1947 and deployed in the Soviet Army as well as the socialist block for well over 30 years.

The kit was made in Ukraine by UM Models.

Insight
At the age of under 10 I vividly recall a man down the street who loved engines. He, as with all of us Modelers, enjoyed different versions of relatively similar things. Sure a cylinder is a cylinder regardless of whether it is as big as your fist or as wide as the arms can reach, (I have experience with being on the wrong side of the business end of both).This man's hobbies were modeling and then grease covered metal and moving parts. On an early October dark morning a roar came from his house and in the middle of the night I came running. What I found was him tweaking a Russian 6 cylinder monster of an engine. I laugh about it now, but can only imagine the sound those Russian troops had to listen to. After it quieted a little he explained what it was and where it came from. Lord only knows how he got the thing during the Cold War, but he did. That same engine type, I heard as a kid, is in UM's BTR-152D.

The Kit
Here's a break-down prior to the full build article I'll be posting soon.

  • Five frets of green plastic.
  • One fret of photo etched.
  • Seven rubber/vinyl tires.
  • Small decal sheet.
  • Comprehensive instruction booklet.
  • 234 parts.
  • Love letters from Russia (kidding, there was no love in them.)


Out of the box I loved this kit and I'll tell you why. First it has many fun elements such as (for a goodies inspired builder) photo etch, nice tires, strong plastic, and a set of decals that I'll discuss later and ask for your help with.

My initial look was focused on the plastic. Yes it has some minimal burring, but nothing that can't be easily over-come. Second being the instructions. This was a delightful challenge and I'll tell you why. The size, a treat for my eyes, was great and so easy to read with sections broken down into as few as possible steps. I love this. There were, however, points when I was having to look ahead at the next steps to see the completed sub-assembly due to some molding vs instruction guidelines.

Next up, the add-ons. A small fret of PE is supplied which made me smile because it gave me a sense of having bought a high-end model kit. It did not disappoint! Finally, I went about how the kit was constructed and, importantly, any customer support, should I need it... I'll save you the effort, good luck and please get back to me.

Over all the parts are very well detailed. Even down to the hex bolts when under a magnifying glass were superb. And I mean superb for ANY kit, although they had a bit of a hick-up with mine from an absence of a tire rim plastic. I will not hold that against them... it happens.

Upon opening the box a builder's ease begins. All the sprue trees are labeled (helps if you speak Russian, but C,D,A and Limburger cheese are all spoken in the same language.)

At first I thought the plastic was ridged, yet soon found it excellent to side-cut and even better to sand (more about that in the full build).

The shake your head moment comes now! The decals are 'interesting'. Only in a few photos have I found references to any BTR-152 having been marked, let alone with regimental insignia's. This leaves you with a choice to use them or not. Let me know your thoughts. It troubles me that they are thick and have more than the expected (for these days) rim of carrier film. Someone had fun adjusting the roller plate and form wheels in the printing press that day.

You'll also find the parts are surprisingly detailed for an average priced kit and with enough of them supplied you should have some fun. Place this kit between a Tamiya and Dragon with respect to part count and fun ratio.

The instructions are pretty good, and with icons on the bottom of each page you won't have to continually flip back to the beginning page. Also arrows point to exactly where a part is to be placed.

I would have liked some longer pins on the attachment points. They were very soft considering the exceptional detail of the other parts.

Overview
And there you have it, great plastic, decent instructions, and a pretty cool looking machine. Now I will say that it took me a some time to decide if this will be an Armourama feature or an AeroScale review because it is an anti-aircraft subject. I flipped a 99.999 silver coin and it landed on AeroScale. Jim will ultimately deside.



SUMMARY
Highs: Great detail and instructions, nice photo etched.
Lows: Decals had no reference where to be applied and some elements were missing a minimal amount of plastic.
Verdict: I want to buy more of these and from this manufacturer. It was a fun build.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 231
  PUBLISHED: Jul 29, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Canada
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 79.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.50%

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's about to publish the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft hav...

Copyright 2017 text by HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

This is not really a subject for Aeroscale, definitely one for Armorama. That's my two pennyworth tim
JUL 29, 2017 - 12:34 AM
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