Zvezda BMPT Build

So after considerable amount of times postponing this project, I decided to start the build of it and get it done as soon as possible. I’ve started building Zvezda kit as a starter, because from what I saw opening the box, this one is the easier one to be built.

The other that I will be building will be Meng Model BMPT, since the Trumpeter one is not yet released. The good news is, that there is a slight chance Trumpi making a slight turn to a BMPT-72, or Terminator 2, which is based on T-72, instead of T-90. That will give me even more to work with.

So back to the Zvezda. I haven’t built a Russian kit from ages, not only because I am not a big fan, but also because they haven’t showed up for it with…anything. Well, that is changed now, with their T-90 line, which was warmly welcomed and includes this BMPT kit as well.

Going through the parts of it, I can tell that there are just about enough. There aren’t many unusual complications compared to Meng, but on the other side, there are some letdowns. Like for example the plastic meshes, which are photo-etched in Meng’s set. Or the plastic material, which is clearly lower quality.

With that said, I must note, that Zvezda kit is ages ahead of everything they have done so far. It is well engineered, well organized within the sprues and have some small shortcuts, like for example, the pre-sagged track lines.

Onto the build – overall, it takes about 6-7 hours, maybe a little more, depending on how much energy one is putting into cleaning and fitting the parts. Compared to a Tamiya kit, every one of which is pretty much 5-5.5 hours built, this kit is not bad. And I am not trying to make it look bad, just the contrary. The Terminator is a complex vehicle, with a lot of parts over the upper hull, and its turret is made from various weapons systems, which means more detailing. Again, Zvezda somehow pull that off too, making it very neatly – a movable turret, with twin machine guns moving up and down. The alignment is easily done, and amazingly, movement is free and trouble-less.

The fit of everything is tight, but yes, it works just fine!

The suspension is not very complex, and I truly believe that is the way to go. Why? Well, because that is a armored vehicle with tracks, which means it goes dirty places, and it makes a total mess out of its belly. Besides, nobody, and I mean nobody checks the bottoms of the tanks at the shows. Even if they don’t have a vignette base or just a wooden pad – still, nobody checks.

A movable tracks and suspension, which are extras we can find in Meng’s kit are a bit useless. They can come handy if you place the vehicle over curvy terrain on a diorama, but that is doable with a bit of extra work with a fixed suspensions as well.

Zvezda’s biggest advantage according to my personal preferences is the fact that you have a track length consistent of several parts, like under 10 of them. There are two main lengths – upper with sags and lower, which sits beneath the wheels. The rest is pretty much several links that go over the idlers and sprockets and couple of more straight lines. This is a great time saver, especially when you don’t enjoy dealing with track links, like myself.

One thing that I don’t liked in the kit was the transparent parts, which are a bit outdated as a quality. They are easily cracked, and do not allow just any glue around them. On the other side of that is the fact that again – we are dealing with armored vehicle, which ones inside of a muddy conditions, and everything becomes a mess more or less. So some dirt over the transparent parts won’t hurt anybody.

The whole build took me more than a few days, because even not that much as working hours, some parts are fiddly and they need a break in between their treatment and assembly. Plastic looks a bit messy in the end of the build, but that is only because it’s quality is a bit of low level. However, once everything is primed, it appears even and without any problems at all. I was actually very surprised with the final appearance of the vehicle. Because it has very curvy surface with all that boxes and technical access panels, I needed to go with two hands of two primers. First I did it with Mr. Surfacer 1000, which covered the most of it, and then I did a go around with Surfacer 1200, which filled even the smallest stuff over it.

In the end I got a nice looking vehicle, and I bet nobody, or at least very few people can recognize that this is Zvezda beneath the Surfacer. Even if you can tell, it looks great!

The painting of the camouflage is another whole story, so this is for some other article, but a built of this kit was a lot of fun!

The kit itself is a cheap one, so I highly recommend it to anybody interested in armor. Even though it is not a company very popular among modelers, Zvezda did the job perfectly, and they deserve a praise. More on that BMPT story to follow soon….

You can get the Zvezda kit here: BMPT Terminator