9K35 Strela-10 SA-13 Gopher

Trumpeter No.    05554, 1/35

Short History:

 

The MT-LB (Russian: Многоцелевой Тягач Легкий Бронированный, Mnogotselevoy Tyagach Legky Bronirovanny / Light Multi-Purpose Armoured Towing Vehicle) is a Soviet multi-purpose fully amphibious auxiliary armoured tracked vehicle, which was first introduced in the late 1960s. Initially, the vehicle was known as the M 1970 in the west. In the 1970s, the Soviet Central Auto and Tractor Directorate began a development program to replace the AT-P series of artillery tractors (which were based on the ASU-57 airborne self-propelled gun) with a new generation of vehicles. The MT-L was developed to meet this requirement based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank chassis. The MT-LB is the armoured variant of the MT-L. Entering production in the early 1970s, it was cheap to build, being based on many existing components, e.g. the engine, which was originally developed for trucks. It is built at the Kharkov Tractor Plant and under license in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola and Bulgaria.

 

What`s In The Box :

 

 

MT-LB is something that we all have waited for so long. It is not it`s never made before in plastic until Trumpeter release, Skif MT-LB was only kit in plastic in 1/35 on the market. Model was not so bad but a lot of after-market parts were needed also a lot of putty, sending, etc, a lot of annoying work. After a long time we have now fantastic new release. One of the first things that really pleasantly surprised me is that this kit it totally detailed from outside and inside. Probably a lot of modern armor builders know that this vehicle has a lot of hatches, Trumpeter made fantastic detailing inside, so that you can make them all opened. Ok, let’s see what is in the box. Kit is packed in standard hard-box cover like most 1/35 of their kits, with really nice colorful box art cover. Kit contains 10 sprues in gray color plastic, lower and upper hull, one transparent sprues, eight sprues in brown plastic (track detailing), tracks (link by link), three PE, brass wire and decal sheet. All parts are packed in plastic bags. Assembly instructions contain 19 steps on 16 pages.

Assembly starts with the lower hull and interior details. Highly detailed transmission is provided. On some vehicles it can`t be seen, but in this kit, access hatch can be make as open, so this detail can be seen. Complete V-8 diesel engine is provided and it is also detailed very nice. It is so well detailed that you will have to follow instructions of it on the two pages. Fire wall is included for interior between engine and rest of space inside. Commander and driver compartments are also provided and detailed. Benches and rest of the sets for crew are also included. For easier detailing of control panel of the driver decals are provided.

 

Assembly of interior is finishing in step 12, from where outside details starts. Torsion bars are not provided to be workable and are not complete (inside detailing of this is not provided). For construction of running wheels, two parts will need to be glued. Same like with 2s1 “Gvozdika” kit. As this is amphibious vehicle, PE is provided for water driving controllers and in-scale thickness. All hatches can be made open or closed. Main gun inside the turret can elevate up or down.

 

Tracks :

Tracks are something that will be painful for most modellers who decide to use the tracks offered in the box. They are made link-by-link and are very nice detailed but something that is making them “painful” is that for every single track, you will have to glue two “teeth”, which are provided separately from main track parts. To complete tracks for one side, you will need to glue 107 tracks, which means 214 “teeth” have to be added just for one side. After market tracks can always be nice replacement. This vehicle is using few different types of tracks, so I guess that we will see offering as a separate release from Trumpeter soon.

 

Painting & Markings:

 

Instructions for painting and markings are given in full colour for eight vehicles. Painting guide is suggested by Ammo of Mig. There is no unit and place where vehicles has served, but it`s not hard to guess; Middle East, Ukraine conflict.

Colour guide is provided for: Humbrol, Model Master, Tamiya Color, Mr. Color and Ammo of Mig. I would like to suggest new range of A.Mig colors that are dedicated to Russian armor painting and Middle East. Visit their site to find more info.

Conclusion:

Excellent model. Trumpeter did a great job with this one. There is long time; modellers who like to build Soviet vehicles finally have a descent MT-LB. MT-LB become popular for modellers when it’s took a stand as a one of most used AFVs in recent crisis. A lot of pictures can be found on the web as an inspiration how to build it and paint it. There are a lot of versions of this vehicle; some of them are announced from Trumpeter. It only left to wait.

Highly recommended.

Review kit provided by: Hobby Easy

www.hobbyeasy.com

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