The following introduction is supplied by ICM:
Kozak -2 belongs to the MRAP class of combat vehicles. Special vehicles designed to protect the crew from mine explosions and ambushes. The tasks that the Kozak - 2 can perform include patrolling, escorting vehicles, communications and fire support for personnel in combat. The vehicle was developed by the Ukrainian company PJSC RPA “Practika”. The crew and troops are equipped with anti trauma seats with 5 point safety belts. The vehicle can be armed with a heavy machine gun or a 7.62mm machine gun, both of which are mounted in an armoured turret with a circular rotation. In the Ukrainian army, the armoured vehicle is in service with airborne assault troops, marine and reconnaissance units, and has also been supplied to the National Guard and the State border guard service of Ukraine. Since the beginning of full scale war, Kozak-2 has been widely used by various units of the armed forces of Ukraine.
This offering from ICM is provided in the usual manner, of a flip top cardboard tray, an additional card lid is supplied with an artwork showing a representation of this vehicle in the field. The moulded parts are provided in a re-sealable plastic bag, also present in that bag are 4 smaller bags containing the clear elements, a small photo etched fret and vinyl rubber tyres. An examination of the sprues reveals small gates, well moulded parts with good access for part removal.
An additional release for this vehicle is a 6 colour paint set Item 3040. The paints in this set:
US Dark Green
These are provided in an end opening card sleeve which inside provides the 6 paint colours in 12ml plastic bottles, with sealed lids so that you know they have not been messed with.
In what is a reasonably typical ICM fashion the chassis is a multi part assembly with ease of assembly helped by cross members connecting along a reasonable length that helps to ensure that the frame remains square. The leaf spring suspension is moulded in two halves and so you get a good level of detail, but will mean that there will be seam lines that will need to be hidden. There is no full engine in this release, instead you get a small moulding element representing the oil sump and the bottom of the gearbox. Another aspect of the chassis that ensures that it is square, is that it is mounted onto a flat plastic area with positive securing points.
The axles of this vehicle with additional shock absorbents are replicated in reasonable detail. As are the drive shafts that give this vehicle it’s 4 wheel drive ability. A disappointment for me is that you cannot show the front wheels turned left or right, which is something that I find gives a more pleasing look on finished models. Due to the mine protection aspects of this vehicle the shaped armoured plate does hide a lot of the underside, and while my knowledge of this vehicle in service is extremely limited I find myself wondering if this is one of those family of vehicles that can continue to get away even if a wheel station is damaged or destroyed as it has that distinct look about it. Finally for the underside, I am rather pleased to see that the manufacturer included a step rail for accessing the vehicle as the door are quite high off the ground, making access and egress and easier prospect for heavily equipped troops.
The interior of the model pleasingly builds up from the flat floor plate from which you attached the chassis. The seats have a very pleasing level of detail to them, with the protective frame nature of the seats are very well replicated, but despite having supplied photo etch in this release nothing has been included to replicate the harness detail. The console at the front of the vehicle is well laid out, but I am surprised not to find any decals to replicate in instruments. A nice inclusion in this release is that the side walls of the model have an inner and outer panel with good door furniture additions and that give the model the scale thickness of that armoured protection, for the individuals inside. The clear parts are well replicated, but they do not have that greenish appearance usually seen in a ballistic glass formed by the various layers that make it up.
Externally the bodywork panels appear to have a pleasing level of detail to them, but they do have a tendency to exhibit flow lines, however, these do not appear to have caused any issues with the finish. The doors of the vehicle are also provided with an inner and outer panel, which helps to mimic the beefy appearance to them. Unfortunately it does not appear that ICM intended for them to be displayed in the open position and to achieve this the modeller will need to do some cut and shut work on the hinge detail as the doors open out away from the vehicle, and also the locking system of the door is missing. Exterior detail is lifted via the addition of grab handles that are no doubt used to secure equipment and so allowing more space inside the vehicle. There are also a number of tools present alongside storage for fuel and water. Rigid tow bars are also supplied and secured to the left side of the vehicle.
The vehicle has been equipped with the ability to create its own smoke screen via smoke grenades. What I believe to be an air ventilation system or possibly a snorkel for wading is included in the rear. Against it being a air filtration system is the gun turret access in the roof, and against it being a snorkel is that it is mounted at the rear away from the engine. Something that will upset some modellers are the vinyl rubber tyres that are an unpopular feature, with that said tread detail and protective plate on the wheels is nicely replicated. The tyres as long as they are given a suitable level of protection from the harsh chemicals we use in weathering should result in a pleasing representation.
The armoured turret for this vehicle is open topped, but does have a hatch in the roof to prevent things from being thrown into the vehicle from the outside when the turret is not in use. Armoured glass vision ports are mounted in the sides of the armoured plate, along with armoured glass ports in the front armoured plate. I noticed what I thought maybe a weakness in the turret in that the rear finishes much lower down than the sides and front. However, it has occurred to me that when the hatch is open that will provide the individual with the added rear protection required. A Russian style heavy machine gun which I believe is the NSV gun along with its ammunition box which interestingly feeds from right to left rather than the more common left to right would appear to be reasonably well detailed looking at the model offering against on-line reference. ICM has provided 4 finishing options for this release which are:
Kozak-2, 35th Separate Marine Brigade of Ukraine, January 2021
Kozak-2, 36th Separate Marine Brigade of Ukraine, August 2021
Kozak-2, Reconnaissance Unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, November 2022
Kozak-2, An unknown unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Autumn 2022
A large number of decal sheets are included with this release, 3 in total. 2 of these provide the digital camouflage for the various finishing options, and the 3rd contains the various markings. Some may choose to go down the decal option, however, an alternative is to cut the decals up and use them to create a set of masks which some will likely find a more pleasing proposition.
This release from ICM in 1/35th scale of the Kozak-2 is a surprisingly large model, easily the size of a truck model. The detail present would appear to be accurate when viewed against on-line images and so resulting in a pleasing model offering. I personally am disappointed that the harness detail is missing from the release and would have liked to have seen the ability to show the wheels turned and the doors open as an included option. With that said I can only count the lack of harness detail as a fault. A pleasing possibility is that having looked through the various on-line images it would appear that various alternative finishes may be in the future for us. It is my belief that this model will prove to be very popular with modellers due to the current conflict and overall quality of the model.