And now for something Soviet. This wheeled APC is or was in service by a lot of former Eastern-Block countries and this means it can be used in a wide variety of settings. Time to take a look at Trumpeters 1/72 scale kit of this vehicle.
The BTR-80 was developer in the 1980’s as a replacement for the ageing BTR-60 and the BTR-70. Armed with an 14.5 mm KPVT and 7.62 mm PKT machine guns and an optional 30 mm 2A72 autocannon in the turret, it’s armor could withstand up to 12.7 mm bullets. Together with 8-wheel drive, a 190 hp diesel engine and amphibious capabilities it is quite a capable machine. Production started in 1986 and it first saw service in the Soviet Afghan War.
Inside the box we find one large sprue with most of the kits parts, 57 parts to be exact, a separate lower- and upper hull and 8 vinyl tires. So this kit consists of 67 parts in total. The instruction sheet is the typical Trumpeter one: a large folding sheet of paper with clear instructions on them. It shouldn’t be too hard to follow these instructions, but you do need to pay attention. Most of the 57 parts on the sprue are (related to) the suspension parts. With eight wheels there is quite a lot to do on this kit.
All these parts are well molded and don’t have any significant problems. The hull parts are well molded and have a lot of detail on them. Sadly all the hatches are molded in place, requiring a lot of work if you want to open them. And the lower- and upper hull don’t seem to match up properly, requiring at least some putty-ing and sanding. A set of clamps is also needed, as they don’t match up perfectly.
One more thing: the tires. They look great as they have some really well-defined profile and barely visible mold-lines. Even the sprue gates are tiny and shouldn’t be that hard to clean up as they are barely visible already.
The decal sheet is tiny, it only has a few red stars and all seem to be in register the transfer film isn’t too thick. No complaints here.
Absolute beginners might want to look somewhere else to get their BTR-80 fix, as this isn’t the best kit out there. Getting the eight wheels aligned properly might be enough of a challenge to the inexperienced modeler, adding a not so well-fitting hull to that mix might not go that well. But anyone with a few kits under his belt can have some fun with this little kit.