BTR-60P & PB Comparison by Simon Barnes
02 Sept 2005  

With the release of the ACE BTR series and shortly thereafter the ICM kit, it was inevitable that there was going to be a comparison between the two manufactureres kits.
I will split the comparison into two the BTR-60P and the BTR-60PB, although there will be parts that are applicable to both versions.

BTR-60P Upper Hull
Both the ICM and ACE kits scale out to about 1/72nd scale, I say about as each reference I have give different measurements!With the exception of the ICM kit as mentioned in the lower hull part below.
So which is best?? The short run technology of ACE or the Steel Cut moulds of ICM? Well that all depends on what you want, both kits have the same hull details in all the right places, where they differentiate is in the hull bow. Here ACE have the upper hand, with theirs being the correct shape and the ICM kit being wrong, in that the angles are too shallow, making the bow too sharp.
With the roof being open there is of course a lot of interior, this is where the moulding of ICM takes the lead and everything is finely moulded and from what I can work out correct, the ACE moulding is somewhat chunkier but also correct.

ACE gives a choice of 3 weapons to mount around the outside, ICM gives just the one choice, the same gun as found in the BTR-152 kit.

All the hand holds and light guards on the ACE kit must be made from wire, ICM provide all these as finely moulded parts, in fact so fine that there will be problems getting them off the sprues and a lot of mine were already broken in transit.

BTR-60PB Hull
As with the P the hulls differ in shape slightly, but this time also in details. Again the front of the ICM kit is too shallow giving it a sharper nose than the correct ACE kit, which is correct in all angles on the nose. Apart from that both kits differ in the Engine area, with the ACE kit again having the correct profile. However the engine intakes differ on both, with the ICM being correct in shape but too small, the ACE intakes are more appropriate for the PA version, or they are a very early intitial production version of the PB. Personally I have only seen one very bad photo with this arrangement, most pictures having the ICM version. Saying that the ACE version is also appropriate for a TAB-77 the Rumanian Licence built BTR-60. For those wanting to correct this area as both kits are not correct, the ACE kit would be easier as it is the correct shape to start with.
When it comes to hull details, the ICM kit wins, with its finely moulded details, open side hatches, which are of the correct size and shape as opposed to the ACE kit where they are to large, mainly in height. Again ICM provide all the handholds and intricate guards as finely moulded pieces, but again a lot of mine were broken in transit. The ACE ones as usual must be made from wire.

With it being the PB version there is also the turret to consider, here it is a tie with the ACE version giving an optical illusion of being too shallow, as far as I can work out, the turret walls are at the wrong angle and should be slightly steeper. The ICM turret is too tall, However the ICM kit does have the most beautiful moulded barrel and it is worth the price of the kit just for that piece alone.

Lower Hull
Here There is a vast difference between the kits, with the ACE hull being a one piece and the ICM being a multi piece affair. One thing to note, are that the fenders are moulded onto the lower hull on the ICM kit and the upper hull on the ACE kit. The ICM fenders are too wide and need to be reduced in width to bring the kit down to the correct 1/72nd scale width.
The ICM lower hull is a very much simplified affair, while the ACE kit is correct showing all the correct recesses, one correction needs to be made to the ACE kit at the rear, 2 plastic inserts need to be made and glued as shown, otherwise when the hull is assembled, you will have a gaping hole from one side to the other.

The suspension components are a work of fiction on the ICM kit but how much of it can be seen, I am not yet sure, whereas the ACE suspension seems to be correct from what I can tell. What is nice on the ICM kit, is that the water jet can be positioned opened or closed, with a nicely detailed propeller, the ACE kit has this moulded shut.

Lastly we come to the wheels, with ACE providing highly detailed rubber tyres, fitting on a plastic rim, ICM provide black plastic tyres in two halves, that fit on a rim, although the ICM tyres do have the correct tread pattern! They don’t show the individual blocks of the tread. The ICM wheels/tyres are slightly too large. Both kits have different wheel hubs and actually both are correct,

another interesting note, is that the Ace tyres fit nicely on to the ICM hubs! Which is handy for doing the GRAN vodnik, but I digress.

ICM provide a set of generic decals for two BTR’s
ACE provide a set of marking for 4 vehicles on the P and 8 on the PB version

Both kits have their plus and minuses, the ACE kit is correct in size and shape and although a few details are wrong, there is nothing major. The ICM kit although nicely moulded does suffer from a few shape problems around the nose and rear, it is also too wide and needs to be corrected. On the PB version,both kits need to be corrected around the engine deck area to be correct, of course that is entirely up to the individual, so really it comes down to Accuracy of shape(ACE) or ease of build (ICM) and is entirely a question of choice.


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