Russian BTR-70 with MA-7 Turret

Published on
November 15, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Zvezda
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art


First made public to the West in 1980, the BTR-70 retained the same lines as the -60. Capable of carrying 8 troops, this eight-wheeled APC can motor along at 80km, or 50miles per hour. This vehicle is also amphibious and can enter the water on its own and move at 9km per hour. The MA-7 universal turret is being used for re-equipping APCs. The turret is fitted with the 12.7mm MG, 7.62mm MG, and smoke dischargers. This turret can also employ an AGS-17 30mm grenade launcher.


This kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a flip top. One problem is that the sprues are not in plastic bags and get rattled around, and a few parts were loose. With 230 pieces, there are some finely molded ones in this kit and they suffered some damage. Actually, both the lower and upper portions of the hull were also damaged in some way. The kit is made up of 6 sprues of green injected plastic and 8 gloss black tires of unknown substance, plus 1 small decal sheet and 1 thin clear strip (for making windows). I did not notice any sink marks, but there was some flash to be removed. There are a few injector pin marks on the tires, but only on one side. With all of those pieces I was surprised when I opened the instructions. A two page foldout, that’s it… and then I read them! 10 steps in all with 13 sub steps and you really have to watch those.


Steps 1 and 2 deal with the upper hull. The only problem here was the hatches. The two forward hatches have tabs you snap the hatch into, allowing you to pose it open or closed. These were broken off…all four! After trying for a bit, I decided not to fix them. Everything fit pretty well so far. Step 3 is the suspension and is the complicated part. The suspension is made up of 5 and 6 parts – 6 for the two front and 2 back wheels, 5 for the two middle wheels. This is also where some flash caused me a hiccup as a couple parts slide into the lower hull but were stopped by bit of flash (nothing a needle file couldn’t fix). There is a mistake on the instructions in this step. The two sub-steps for the 3rd and 4th wheels are switched. Step 4 is where the wheels and rear part of the lower hull (also damaged) are attached. Step 5 is for the lights and is pretty simple. Now the real fun!!! Steps 6-9 are for the turret and I really did not enjoy this part at all. Roughly 51 pieces make up the turret. The turret armor is a three-piece deal that you glue to the turntable. These did not fit for me. Not sure if I did something wrong, but when I fit them they were a bigger diameter than the base. A bit of sanding got them to fit, but then the roof was a bit too big and panic started to set in. I eventually got it to fit right and it actually looked ok; I even got the gun to elevate! After that it was all downhill…kind of. Once it’s together, you start adding the small stuff. The smoke dischargers are a bit of a pain as they require assembly before adding them to the turret (not sure why they did these like this). The grenade launcher is nicely detailed that, once built, is hidden by its case! The instructions are a bit vague as to where it’s attached and I had to test fit several times to see if I had it right, and even then the connection points are very small. Be careful handling the turret after it’s on, as any bump can loosen it. There are two handholds that were molded on the turret side; one of these was also damaged in shipment. The final step is mating the two halves and that went smoothly.


I used Testors Acryl Medium green for the exterior color. After the vehicle was glosscoated, the decals went on smoothly and sat down with a bit of Solvaset. The tires were a different story. I used Model Master flat acryl and this did not adhere well (in fact, it peeled off). I next used Model Master Enamel flat black then coated that with MM flat lacquer – this worked better.


I really don’t build too much armor so I’m not sure why Zvezda made it where you could pose the hatches open when there is nothing in the interior, not even a seat. Maybe Eduard or the resin folks will come up with something? This is a really nice kit, but I would not recommend it for beginners. Too many small and fragile parts. An experienced armor modeler should have no problem with this kit.

I’d like to thank the IPMS review corps for letting me build this kit. Also thanks to Dragon Models USA for supplying it.


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