BTR-3E1 Ukrainian APC & BTR-3RK Ukrainian
|Kit #: 72175 & 72176||
Edited by Al Magnus
Wee Bit of Vehicle History for the Modeler
Looking at the box art, up on the turret we see the two launch tubes for the Barrier 130-mm anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM),
the long barreled 30-mm auto cannon, and six smoke dischargers. Not visible is the barrel of the medium coaxial machine gun on the left side (our right) of
the main gun. The hulls have the characteristic boat-like hull similar to the Soviet BTR-60 through BTR-80 series with eight large tires and trim vane folded
down on the bow. Novel to this and Soviet/Russian 8x8 BTR's are the constricted side doorways located between the center wheels along with roof hatches,
contrary to the rear entry of common NATO 8x8 vehicles and the Ukrainian BTR-4.
The BTR-3RK kit is a tank destroyer variant with basically a new turret atop the same hull as the BTR-3E1 model kit box art above.
The 30-mm auto-cannon appears to have been deleted in favor of four ATGM launchers.
Above in center are the eight soft plastic tires, and the engine vent hatches on sprue-G, common to both kits. At left is the
sprue-F from kit 72176 for the BTR-3xx tank destroyer variant. At right is sprue-F from BTR-3E1 kit 72175 for the APC variant. Extra, unused parts are crossed
off in red. Though no interior detail parts are included I appreciate that the front visors, hatches, and the side doors can be modeled open.
Reflecting the large number of kit parts, the exploded-view assembly instructions are very detailed and, in my opinion, very complicated; this is not a quick-build beginner's model kit. The above view of the suspension sub-assemblies is a good example of the complexity. The only real negative I will express is that ACE prints their assembly instructions in a less readable Kelly-green ink (I have darkened the scans to better show the details). Assembly of the hull and suspension is basically the same for the two model kits but the turrets differ greatly. Immediately below we see assembly of the APC turret for kit 72175 while at bottom is the turret for the tank destroyer variant kit 72176. The etched metal fret is for kit 72176 and differs from the fret in kit 72175.
The scan below displays painting and marking instructions and the two water-slide decal sheets that come with each model kit.
The small sheets has some vehicle markings while the large decal sheet holds pixel camouflage patterns which I presume we cut out and apply over the base olive
color and gloss coat. I've not yet used this approach to this camouflage scheme but my first impression is positive! I recently tried to replicate this pixel
pattern in 1/72-scale by masking and airbrushing, and found it difficult and unsatisfactory. I apologize that the markings on the small decal sheet is hard to
discern due to light color paper; see Henk of Holland's website for a better view.
Preview sample purchased by the author.