The BTR-80 is an eight wheeled armored personnel carrier designed in the former Soviet Union. Production began in 1986 and it was a replacement for the BTR-60 and BTR-70 of the former Soviet Army. The basic vehicle possesses eight wheel drive, a turret mounting a 14.5 mm and 7.62 mm machine gun and its frontal armor is capable of resisting 12.7 mm and smaller projectiles.
This review is focused on the Trumpeter 1:72 scale Russian BTR-80, kit number 07267.
The kit is moulded in light grey plastic and includes one large sprue with 57 parts, a separate upper and lower hull, eight black vinyl tires and a decal sheet for one vehicle. The moldings have crisp details with minimal flash. A few parts display ejection pin marks, but for the most part these areas will be hidden after construction. Unfortunately, all hatches are molded in place so the option of having them open does not easily exist.
The instructions are a single sheet folded to create six pages. They include a title page, a parts diagram, assembly instructions as well as painting and decal placement diagrams. Two painting options are offered with one being an overall green colour and the other a three colour camouflage. The instructions are divided into eight steps and are for the most part clear and concise.
Step One begins with the build up of the preliminary suspension components along with several lower hull detail parts. These details include troop steps and front and rear towing points.
Step Two is the adding of additional suspension components to those previously installed in the first step. Care will have to be taken with these suspension parts to ensure that they all line up properly or all eight wheels might not touch the ground.
Step Three simply involves putting the vinyl tires onto their respective rims and then gluing these onto the axles. As there is some concern that these vinyl pieces will react negatively with any surrounding plastic, I would choose to paint the rims before gluing the tires to them.
Step Four has the upper and lower hull glued together and the addition of a few upper hull detail pieces. The detail pieces are mostly hand grab rails and a search/headlight. From dry fitting the two hull halves I foresee that there will be a need for putty and sanding of the front nose area and where the rear armor plate meets the top of the upper hull. During the gluing process I also see a need to use some form of clamping of the two hull pieces as they do not mate perfectly.
Step Five is the placement of various details on the upper hull. These include trim vane activation levers, headlights and front and left upper hull storage items.
Step Six adds more upper hull storage to the right side as well as a top grab rail along with two further hull front pieces (headlight and lifting eye).
Step Seven is the construction of the turret. An inner elevating mechanism is placed inside the turret top and the upper and lower turret pieces are glued together. The final parts are the addition of the gun barrel and the turret rear smoke dischargers.
Step Eight concludes assembly by attaching the turret to the upper hull and placing two more detail items on the hull front by the drivers hatch.
Some may find this a simple model kit but with proper care it should build up to a fine representation of the subject vehicle. The detail is in many ways as good as kits found in larger scales. For the more experienced builder there is room to enhance the kit with items such as the replacement of the plastic hand grips with brass wire. On the actual vehicle there are additional grab rails that could be added for the sake of accuracy. Drilling out the exhaust ends would also add to the finished vehicle. Except for a few personal issues such as molded on hatches I still would recommend this kit.
A Build Log
has been started in the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.