Meng Russian “Terminator” FIRE SUPPORT COMBAT VEHICLE BMPT 1/35TH
In the early 1960’s, infantry fighting vehicles appeared, which represented a substantive improvement of infantry’s combat vehicles in firepower. Through time, experience on the battlefields and the change of tactics, ground forces were ready for a new type of weapon; the Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
In 1984, the research office of Military Academy of Armored Forces Of the former Soviet Union put forward a plan for an infantry combat vehicle based on the T-72 Tank. At the beginning of 1987, three prototypes of the BMPT, “Object 781” were produced. After several trials and tests, a new plan was developed for the “Frame” in 1991. This plan was to develop the prototype of the BMPT “Object 782” on the tank chassis of the “Object 187”. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the funds for this plan were diverted and further development was forced to cease.
During the Chechen War in 1994, Russian units endured a lot of casualties and lost a lot of equipment in street battles. In view of this situation, the new leader of the Chelyabinsk tractor plant decided to use private funds and restart the BMPT project. They designed and modified the T-72 tank chassis to make the BMPT a multi-function combat vehicle. In 1996 the prototype of “Object 787” was produced. It was equipped with two 30mm 2A72 automatic guns and two 7.62mm coaxial machine guns were mounted on each side of the turret.
Yet, politics interfered and once again the project was stopped. In July of the same year the plan was resumed. Many more tests were run and the T-72 tank chassis was replaced with T-90A ones (BMPT “Frame-99) and introduced at the 2000 Russian Expo Arms. Its weapons included a 30mm 2A42 automatic gun, four 9M133 “Kornet” AT-14 Spriggan anti tank missile launchers. Mounted on the fenders at the front are two 30mm AG-30 grenade launchers. With its fire-control system, the BMPT could effectively shoot long distance targets in complex conditions. Through time more configurations were added.
Packaged in a very colorful box with great artwork are 28 sprues with too many parts to count (!?) One of the main trademarks of Meng is a quality product. The plastic is clean and crisp with lots of exquisite detail and construction is very well thought out.
The kit features; Very detailed suspension with separate self entrenching device, individual torsion bars with jigs, detailed rear plate, separate track links with jigging system, separate front upper glacis plate, detailed upper hull, highly detailed front fenders, cables, grenade launcher compartment, armored plating for grenade launcher compartment, detailed turret and gun assembly with many extra parts, detailed missile launcher system assembly, KMT-8 mine cleaning system assembly and EMT electromagnetic countermine system assembly. Accurate drawings for several configurations. 5 color pages with 3 choices for painting references. Also a small fret of photo etch is included to simulate access hatches and various detail.
I am not a Russian/Soviet armor builder perse, nor am I an avid armor builder but the kit got my attention. Its history and development was very difficult but at the end there was a product to be reckoned with on the battlefield. Its shape and versatile use in practically all conditions makes it a subject well received by the armor modeler and will lend itself to be the focus on many dioramas. Although not a subject for an overnight build, unless your high on caffeine, the fit makes it a pleasure to assemble. Meng’s quality and execution makes one want to “buy without seeing”. No matter the subject. There is not much more to say about it. Even if it is Russian…