The original BMPT Terminator was designed to be a combat support vehicle for urban combat. It seems to have been conceived from combat experience gained in the first Chechen War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The BMPT itself was built on a modernized T-72 chassis with the main armament consisting of four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers and two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons. The BMPT-72 Terminator 2 is the successor to the original BMPT Terminator 1 and like the original is built on the T-72 chassis. However, the BMPT-72 is only being built as a retrofit kit for export to countries that have old T-72s. This new kit from Tiger Models is the first kit of this very unique vehicle.
One of the first things that you note when opening a Tiger Model kit is the unique packaging. This isn’t my first kit from this manufacturer and they always seem very concerned with keeping the parts in one piece. Everything is individually bagged and the turret and brass barrels have their own pre-molded plastic protective bubbles. This careful packaging really paid off in the long run as I had no issues with damaged, missing or warped parts. The quality of the molding here is second to none, all of the parts are molded in a light tan plastic that is extremely high quality. I had no issues with flash or warped parts. There are some mold lines on a few parts, especially on the slat armor but that’s to be expected and is very easy to clean up. An odd thing that Tiger Models also included in this kit is a small package of stickers with sprue letters on them, they are for tagging your parts trees as you remove excess plastic from them, a really nice touch that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the instructions.
The first few steps of the assembly are for the running gear and proceed without any problems. There are two different types of wheels included here but the instructions don’t say which option to use on which vehicle. However, if you check the painting guide you will see that the A8/A7 wheels appear to only be used for painting option A. The kit features poly cap wheels and workable torsion bar suspension, which makes setting the wheels correctly a breeze. The only thing to make note of in the suspension build is in step 2, as for three sets of the torsion bars on each side you have to connect them to a second part using a piece of photo etch. To allow the suspension to articulate, Tiger provides the two parts to be attached with long plastic pins that you need to melt down with a hot screwdriver. This is an interesting choice but works extremely well and if you are careful it provides an extremely strong bond. The instructions have you perform this before installing the torsion bars into the hull, but I did this after installation and had no problems.
Moving on to the tracks, this kit has glue free snap-together moveable tracks. It also helpfully includes some track assembly jigs with separate instructions. These tracks seem to almost be a carbon copy of some of Meng’s more recent T-72 tracks, they are the same system of individual links that you snap a separate guide horn onto with poly caps for the end. Be very careful when attaching the horn (B2) to the pads (B3), as the rods connecting the pads are very fragile and can break easily. I found that in some cases that prying the slots open on B2 helped out a lot. Also pay attention when sliding the poly cap pins on, as they do have a top and bottom. One issue with the tracks is that the kit doesn’t include any information on how many links to make per side. Luckily I have Meng’s Terminator 1 kit and based on that kit with a little trial and error I decided on 81 links per side. Lastly, this kit does include the optional trackpads as a separate part, B1, but again the instructions do not say which options to use them with so just check your reference photos. The vehicle I was building did show them in the reference photos that I had, so I chose to install them. They are very thin and easy to bend out of shape, so while they are designed to just snap in, I had to glue most of my pads down.
Moving on to the main hull, be careful in Step 9 there are a lot of holes to drill and most are not accessible after this step. The top of the hull mated with the rest of the hull pretty well without the use of any filler. Step 11 is the first part of the build that has you using photo etch and be very careful here. Almost all of the photo etch in this step is not labeled correctly. PA14 should be PA24, PA6 should be PA19, PA17 should be PA7, PA9 should be PA12 and PA18 should be PA23. Also, PA23 should be PA10, however, this is optional, as PA10 replaces detail that is already molded on. This is a very complicated step but adds some really nice detail once it’s complete. In step 12 there is another issue with the instructions, as it shows the front reactive armor plate in a graphic for “grey parts need to be cut” but the before and after look identical to me and I don’t see any grey parts. In Step 14 you have the option to use photo-etch or plastic parts, I found the photo etch very thick and difficult to work with. If you want to use it definitely use any bending or forming tools that you have.
In Step 16 it has you install the armored covers for the cooling slats (F11), I left these off until after painting, but they are handed so pay attention. There are small tabs to set them at the correct angle, I painted mine upside down and had to remove the tabs during assembly. The only major fit problem that I had with the hull was in Step 18. When installing the large side skirts there was a pretty large seam on the rear of both C2 and C3. I filled it with my usual Bondo putty without any issues. The rest of the hull assembly is pretty smooth, but I recommend leaving all of the slat armor off until final assembly to make painting much easier. Lastly, be careful in Step 21 as there is another mislabeled part, S22 on the left side of the turret ring should be S21.
The turret assembly went fairly quickly without too many problems. The only real issues I had were some minor fit problems. In Step 26, parts N26 and N27 didn’t fit really well, so there was a nasty seam that needed putty and wet sanding. In Step 28, S19/S18/S17 and S14/S13/S16 had quite a few seams that needed filling and sanding. Also, part S13 was mislabeled as N13. There were also quite a few seams on the main 30mm autocannon assembly in Step 30, N21 and N74 that needed some filling. As did S7/S8 and the bottom of N74 when I attached it to S7/S8 subassembly. In this step, there is also an unlabeled piece of photo etch, a small plate that covers the front of S7/S8 with holes for the gun barrels and it should be labeled PA21. As shown in this step as well there are two options for barrels, two piece plastic or some very nice brass replacements. The last part of turret assembly is the missile tubes. I assembled the housing first and found some fits issues along the panel lines that need light filling and sanding to correct. After I had finished that I found that I couldn’t easily install the missile tubes, as they have pins on the bottom that I had to trim off to make them fit. A better option may be to install the tubes before completing the housing but that may make correcting the panel fit issues more difficult.
The last part of the assembly is adding the final details; I did parts of this after painting but wanted to address it now. Be careful when installing N71/N72 in the final step they are fidgety, very small, and very easy to break. I installed N40/N41 after the first coat of paint and the fit wasn’t great. It felt like the parts numbers may have been reversed but they are handed so it should be easy to get the right one in the right place, I also had to do some minor filling on these parts. The kit does include some very nice missiles to use as a display, complete with stands. The missiles have photo etch fins that will need to be bent, so you will need some form of roller tool to get the curves right. Lastly, the kit includes some nice braided wire for the tow cables. I was surprised by how pliable it was, as most of the time braided steel wire is nearly impossible to form because it is too stiff. The wire that Tiger included is much easier to work with.
Last of all there is the painting and the decaling The instructions provide for very interesting options: three vehicles from various arms shows in 2013-2014 in a variety of splinter camo schemes and a fourth vehicle from a victory day parade The painting guide provides paint call outs for MIG paints but helpfully has Tamiya equivalents listed in the key. There also seems to be a misprint on option B for the yellow, as the titles of the MIG paints don’t match the numbers listed. I chose option B as I really liked the contrast of the grey colors and I wanted to try my hand at a splinter scheme. While researching the Terminator 2, I found a small company called RN Models that makes reusable masking sets for all of the marking options for this kit. Using their masks as a first step certainly made the splinter scheme much easier. This kit does have a small decal sheet but as the vehicle has never been in service and is mostly seen as at arms shows on display there are no markings on most of the vehicles. The exception being a small “01” for a rear light, but unfortunately, I had trouble getting the decal to lay down over the light, so I left it off.
Overall this is an impressive kit. It builds up quickly and for the most part, fit really well. There are quite a few minor errors in the instructions and a few fit issues that make the assembly interesting. However, with planning and a little experience, you will have an extremely nice and impressive example of this very interesting modern fighting vehicle for your display case.
My thanks to Tiger Models and IPMS for giving me the opportunity to review this excellent kit.
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