SIGA Models 1/72 BRDM-1






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Scott Van Aken




"The BRDM-1 amphibious scout car first appeared in the Spring of 1959 and was designed by VK Rubtsov of the Dedkov OKB who later designed the BRDM-2. The first prototype was completed in February 1956 and went to the Black Sea area for official government trials. It was accepted for service with the Soviet Army the following year and production began late in 1957. The BRDM Model 1957 has an open roof and the BRDM-1 Model 1958 has a closed roof with twin hatches, this being the standard production model. Total production of the BRDM-1 is believed to have amounted to around 10 000 vehicles.

The hull of the BRDM-1 is made of all-welded steel with the engine at the front and the crew compartment at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the left with the commander to his right. Both are provided with a hatch to their front that is hinged at the top and opens forwards, and a windscreen with a wiper blade. The hatch cover has a vision block for when the hatch is closed. A vision slit protected by a vision block is provided to the left of the driver and right of the commander. There are two firing ports in each side of the hull and two large hatches in the forward part of the roof that open to the rear. The rear of the crew compartment slopes at an angle of about 30 and is fitted with a two-piece hatch that opens either side of the superstructure. There is a firing port in each hatch.

On either side of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels, are two belly wheels which are lowered by the driver and give the BR DM-1 improved cross-country performance and also allow it to cross ditches. The BRDM-1 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by a single water-jet at the rear of the hull. Before entering (tie water a trim board, which is stowed folded under the nose of the vehicle when not | in use, is erected at the front of the hull. Standard equipment includes a system that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressures to suit the type of ground being crossed. The vehicle is not fitted with an NBC system and when introduced was not fitted with any night vision equipment. A white light searchlight mounted on the left side of the hull is operated by the driver. A communications reel and wire is mounted on the left side of the superstructure towards the rear.

The vehicle is normally armed with a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun pintle-mounted on the forward part of the roof, which has a limited traverse of 45" left and right and can be elevated from -6 to +23.5. Some vehicles are fitted with a 12,7mm DShKM heavy machine gun mounted at the forward part of the roof with a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun mounted at the rear.

Crew: 5
Configuration: 4x4
Unloaded weight: 5500 kg
Length: 5.7 m
Width: 2.25 m
Height: 1.9 m
Max speed: (road) 80 km/h (water) 9 km/h
Engine: GAZ-40P 6-cylinder in-line petrol, water-cooled, developing 90 hp at 3400 rpm
Main armament: 1 x 7.62 mm MG
Ammunition: 1250
Ready to launch missiles: n/a
Armour (max): 10 mm
Status: Production complete, in service with Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, CIS, Congo, Cuba, Guinea, Mozambique, Sudan and Zambia. In many of these countries it is now in the second line units or held in reserve."

For those of you who think that I'm all of a sudden well versed in Russian/Soviet military equipment, I must confess that the above information was courtesy of a lengthy internet search!



According to the side of the box, this and other military vehicles from SIGA are made by a partner company, Ace of Kiev, and reboxed with different decals by SIGA. The now common whitish-grey plastic is very well details and devoid of sink marks or ejector pin marks. The somewhat thickish parts all have some level of mold seam flash on them, but nothing that cannot be easily removed. The sprue attachment points are relatively small though I would use a razor saw to remove some of the smaller parts.

Construction seems pretty straight-forward with most of the 76 parts being confined to the little hand holds, lights, vents and other items that seem to be stuck onto military vehicles. It appears that the upper hatches can be built in the open position, however, with no interior that would seem to be a bit pointless unless you are into scratch-building.

The instructions are quite good, breaking construction down into three major and two sub assemblies. The small decal sheet is well printed and thin, offering markings for seven different vehicles from the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, and Egypt. All except the Egyptian BDRM-1 are in khaki-green with the latter being in a sand color. A plus are several color photos of the actual vehicle on the side of the box. They should come in very handy during construction.


Overall, this looks like a neat little kit. The subject is interesting and unusual and construction does not seem to be too involved. If semi-modern military equipment is your forte, then you should look into this kit.

Review kit courtesy of SIGA Models. Thanks for your support.

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