Soviet designed, and very first, Mechanized Infantry Fighting Vehicle (MICV) BMP-1 that is. This one is a Khurasan Miniatures 15mm/1:100 scale version. I ordered these back in May, and they were worth the wait. Khurasan is a small miniature company based out of New York (the state, not the city). While small in corporate footprint, their work is nothing less than spectacular in the world of 15mm wargaming on this side of the pond (as the majority of the hobby is produced in merry ol' England).
Being a fan of Osprey's publication of Ambush Alley Games "Force on Force" and "Tomorrows War" I jumped at the chance to spend my tax return money (thankfully I got one this year...) on a good force. Having spent some time in service in the USAF TACP training to hunt Soviet trained and equipped forces (no matter how long the Cold War ended, American and Soviet methods and equipment are still the two most proliferated in the world, even with local modifications and upgrades), I decided to dig up some TO&E from an old manual (FM-100-2-3) and make a Mechanized Rifle Regiment (MRR) rifle company. Another good reference is the suggested force list in the back of "Force on Force". I like the FM reference a bit more, with some added information from sources that have come forward since the end of the Cold War. I've read about extra machine gunners attached to platoons, and in the Warsaw Pact Forward Area MRRs facing NATO, a couple of extra BMPs at the company level carrying laser/optic jamming gear. Such variations are to be expected, as any good military organization can be that flexible.
|Good cast parts on the BMP, with some 15mm QRF Strykers|
in the background...
I ordered three BMP-1s from Khurasan along with their Motorized Rifle Platoon set of miniatures. I look forward to getting the miniatures done next. Today I'm going to discuss my building of the first BMP. Upon opening the plastic bag and pouring out the parts, I must say I'm very impressed by the quality of the resin casting from this small company. Very little cleanup was needed compared to other resin parts I've worked with from bigger manufacturers. Just some slight mold lines here and there to tidy up, and the mold sprue lines were sized just right to make them easy to remove with just a No. 11 hobby blade and not have to grind with a rotary tool. Mold lines were so well chosen on all the parts, including the pewter, that I hardly spent any time scraping or filing. I did have to clean a bit of the sprue from the rear of the vehicle to make room for the doors. If you look closely enough, you will see that Khurasan made the master with a very good 3D print. This does not effect the detail in any way, as being familiar with armored vehicles, slight imperfections are only going to add to the realism when they are painted.
|A close inspection of the deck shows the 3D printed pattern of the master, dwarfed by many fine details|
including the drivers periscopes and screws holding the vents and other panels in place.
|Only a little cleanup needed here.|
Assembly was pretty easy. I did have to reference some photos of BMPs to ensure I got the right door in the right spot. I thought about making the doors open and getting some crew figures, but the rigors of handling during a game would make that a bit labor intensive on the constant repair side. Last thing I want to do in a game is fix a miniature or lose a part. I am only worried about the the AT-3 on the turret over the barrel. In 15mm, these are TINY and don't have a lot of surface area for glue to form a bead and hold it in place. Caution will need to be exercised when handling this piece! Keep the super glue solvent handy along with tweezers, this is a part you will likely glue to Mr. Hand during assembly. For once, luck was with me and I did not glue myself to the project leaving 1:1 scale finger prints.
Assembly went well with the tracks fitting the body of the BMP with a tighter tolerance than some more expensive plastic kits I've built in the past. The only gaps were the along seams that exist on the real vehicle. No filler putty was required. Each of the road wheels could be glued into place along the bottom of the body, however I like the way the tracks were flexed slightly on the bottom. This can add to the model when based on the appropriate terrain, as few armored vehicles I've ever seen have perfectly level tracks in contact with the earth.
I look forward to priming and painting this kit. Khurasan Miniatures are well worth every penny and any wait to receive.
|BMP-1 from Khurasan completed|
|BMP-1 from Khurasan, rear troop doors.|