(These pictures are a bit misleading as both hulls are closer to
the camera than the plans and so seem larger.)
hull tops are similar with the newer ACE kits having both the drivers
and commanders hatches open (the older kits having all the hatches
closed) The S Model kit has the commanders hatch open, but the drivers
hatch shut. The kits differ slightly in layout, starting from the
engine access hatch on the bow differ in size, with the ACE being
slightly too large and the S Model being slightly too small, this
is really only a problem when both kits are together.
that and next to the driver, is another panel with a smaller panel
and two circular access plates. The position of these differ from
the drawings, but going by photos are correct. The S-Model ones
seem to be in the correct position, but lack the diagonal bend of
the real thing as shown by the yellow line. The ACE ones seem to
be too far apart, but has the diagonal bend however in the wrong
position. Both drivers hatches have the correct number of episcopes,
the ACE although open lacks the raised lip around the hatch. The
S-Model has the lip on a closed hatch and lacks the forward tilt
of the real thing. Behind is the commanders cupola which is open
on both models and correct. To the right are the radiator covers.
Both models have mesh depicted, but the edging on the ACE kit is
too low whilst on the S-Model it is raised instead of being flush.
The S-Model also has a weird diagonal line through it, presumably
from the moulding process; whether it will disappear with paint
is unknown as it doesn't seem to be a flaw in the mould. Further
to the right is the exhaust, the ACE part is separate but solid,
the S-Model is missing the lip surrounding the exhaust.
picture of the real thing shows some of the missing items and the
comes the turret, which will be covered separately. From this picture
they both look to be about the same, but the ACE one is slightly
larger in diameter, which will cause problems shortly. On the left
hand side, just to the front of the turret, is a small circular
access plate. It is raised on both kits, with the S-Model having
a line that runs to the NBC pack. The drawings shows this to be
just a flush access plate and this is backed up by a lot of photos.
However, the S- Model variant is also correct and can be found on
some vehicles, although it is some sort of breather pipe. Its exact
purpose is unclear, so far I have found it on some NVA, Czech and
Hungarian vehicles but not on Iraqi. I have even seen the port welded
over, so check references when building. To the left of that is
the FTP 200M air filter for the NBC system, the ACE one is too raised
with the dome in the middle being too small, the S-Model looking
comes the crew compartment. As can be seen, this is where the two
kits differ the most, with the S-Model being slightly longer. This
is because of the larger turret diameter of the ACE kit : it has
"squashed" the rear end making the hatches shorter in
length and the crew scopes slightly out of place. Although the S-Model
hatches looked slightly odd at first, they are in fact correct.
Between the hatches at the top, is the snorkel, which is better
detailed in the ACE kit and lacking in the S-Model. Missing on both
kits is the fuel vent that sits on the left hand in the red marked
area. The ACE episcopes are moulded solid with the S-Model scopes
being hollow. If being built as a model they would have to be filled,
as a wargaming kit it is up to the owner as to how far they go.
The more adventurous of you could fill this S-Model episcopes with
some transparent plastic in order to simulate the glass.
S-Model open periscopes.
ACE kit also has the rear fenders attached to the top hull, whereas
S-Model have them attached to the bottom. There is no detail along
the sides of the ACE kit and so the gun ports will have to be added.
S-Model has the gun ports, but they are raised instead of being
flush. S-Model also supply them as PE parts with enough spares to
make a BMP 1P (minus smoke launchers) should you so choose.
hull bottom in the ACE kit comes as a multi part item made up of
the floor, sides and the rear doors. S-Model provide a hull tub,
which already includes the rear doors and fenders, onto which a
plate with the wheels is attached, which makes for a much more solid
and easier build. As can be seen the S-Model lacks any underneath
detail, which unless you are going to put it upside down, isn't
a problem. ACE have gone the extra mile and added the detail, although
it differs slightly to the drawings. Don't worry about the proportions
of the different areas as the photos are deceptive, with the ACE
hull being tilted back and the S-Model being tilted forward.
As can be seen the road wheel positions
in the two kits are correct, with both having the shock absorbers,
however none have the bump stops for limiting suspension travel.
The keen eyed among you will have noticed that there is no idler
mount and that the trailing arms project out more on the S-Model.
This is because, having a one piece track and wheel section, there
is no idler mount and because the ACE side is too deep and covers
more of the trailing arms.
red line in both cases is the bottom according to the drawings.
we can see that the rear is also deeper, with the red line being
the corresponding point.
to the S-Model rear being attached to the hull it is impossible
to show it against the drawings, but have checked and it is correct.
can be seen, the water vanes are already attached to the fenders
and are solid in both kits. On older ACE kits some were issued with
is some difference in
the turrets with the ACE turret being slightly larger in diameter
at the base, this has caused problems as previously mentioned to
the hull roof. It also creates a problem with the turret itself,
with the top diameter being slightly smaller and this results in
the turret front slope to be to sharp.
can be seen the S-Model fits the drawings, whilst the ACE is slightly
is where the kits differ in a big way, ACE provide separate wheels
with link and length track, whilst later releases will have a new
flexible track with greater detail. S-Model being basically a wargaming
kit provide a one piece track and wheel unit.
ACE provide a two piece sprocket
with separate road wheels and a one piece idler which should actually
be a two piece with a central gap, the softness of the moulds means
a lot of clean up to get a good fit on the tracks. S-Model provide
a nicely detailed part with a solid sprocket and one piece idler
which provide the same amount of outside detail as the ACE when
assembled (the later flexible tracks will provide greater outside
detail than both). The problem for modellers with the S Model track,
apart from the sprockets, are the track guide horns, which are solid
running the width of the track instead of just on the outsides.
only way to fix this is to replace the whole affair with after market
items. Unfortunately, apart from the ACE track, I only know of the
Calibre 72 or Armory wheels, so unless ACE release their new tracks
separately (as they have with the BMD series) or until someone comes
up with some, you're stumped.
kits provide other items such as lights and hatches separately.
Below are the pictures which, I believe, speak for themselves. There
are no faults in either and the only difference is the moulding
process. ACE does however provide a tarpaulin round the turret,
but no depiction of the retaining straps. I must point out however
that the ACE is an old kit and I have included small pictures of
the New ACE kit from their website. For larger pictures, visit the
and gunners hatch
ACE drivers hatch with the exhaust.
mantle with S-Models Commanders and turret lights.
antenna and coaxial MG.
The AT 3 Sagger
Bow plane and lights.
New ACE sprues
New highly detailed ACE tracks.
provide a set of PE containing the light guards, firing point covers,
new wings for the Sagger ATGW, tow hooks and eyes and also the trim
vane retainers in both the closed and open positions so the vehicle
could be displayed just entering or leaving water. All these are
fine with the exception of the tow hooks, which are too thin, these
items are plastic in the ACE kit and so better proportioned.
has in the past released variants of the BMP with a small PE fret
covering items such as the gunners sight and more importantly the
water vanes on the rear track guard. Unfortunately it doesn't look
like the new releases are going to include any.
provide markings for 8 countries (Russia, NVA, Poland, Czech, China,
Iraq, Vietnam? and Greek, technically this should be a BMP 1A1)
although only four are shown in the instructions. The markings are
generic and so not complete for any, the difference is in the countries
flags displayed on the BMP. The Iraqi lack any sort of Arabic numbers
or registration. ACE provide specific and complete markings for
different vehicles and it depends on which kit you have as to which
markings you'll get. The new release has markings according to the
website for 5 different vehicles (4 Russian and 1 Iraqi). Earlier
releases had markings for 5 vehicles (NVA, Czech,Soviet, Polish
and Finland). The S-Model decals, although in register, are quite
thick when compared to other makes. ACE decals are normally thin
and in register.
would be unfair to ACE to cite the sharper detail of the steel moulds
of S-Model, however that said there is the small dimensional error
of the turret and crew compartment. The turret can be replaced with
a correct sized one without too much trouble and as long as the
two aren't mixed the error is not so noticeable, which leaves just
the tracks gear, the detailed ACE or the single piece S Model. To
make a detailed model, you will have to mix the two, which ever
way round : S-Model turret and details on to the ACE kit or the
ACE tracks onto the S-Model. I am not going to say which is best,
I have given you the facts to make your own minds up.
is an old ACE kit with closed hatches
can be seen both kits look like what they are meant to represent
main reference for this comparison, was done using the M-Hobby BMP
drawings, which are considered to be the best.
are plenty of walkarounds on the internet for those wishing to add