With the release of the ACE BTR
series and shortly thereafter the ICM kit, it was inevitable that
there was going to be a comparison between the two manufactureres
I will split the comparison into two the BTR-60P and the BTR-60PB,
although there will be parts that are applicable to both versions.
BTR-60P Upper Hull
Both the ICM and ACE kits scale out to about 1/72nd scale, I say about
as each reference I have give different measurements!With the exception
of the ICM kit as mentioned in the lower hull part below.
So which is best?? The short run technology of ACE or the Steel Cut
moulds of ICM? Well that all depends on what you want, both kits have
the same hull details in all the right places, where they differentiate
is in the hull bow. Here ACE have the upper hand, with theirs being
the correct shape and the ICM kit being wrong, in that the angles
are too shallow, making the bow too sharp.
With the roof being open there is of course a lot of interior, this
is where the moulding of ICM takes the lead and everything is finely
moulded and from what I can work out correct, the ACE moulding is
somewhat chunkier but also correct.
ACE gives a choice of 3 weapons to mount around the outside, ICM gives
just the one choice, the same gun as found in the BTR-152 kit.
All the hand holds and light guards on the ACE kit must be made from
wire, ICM provide all these as finely moulded parts, in fact so fine
that there will be problems getting them off the sprues and a lot
of mine were already broken in transit.
As with the P the hulls differ in shape slightly, but this time also
in details. Again the front of the ICM kit is too shallow giving it
a sharper nose than the correct ACE kit, which is correct in all angles
on the nose. Apart from that both kits differ in the Engine area,
with the ACE kit again having the correct profile. However the engine
intakes differ on both, with the ICM being correct in shape but too
small, the ACE intakes are more appropriate for the PA version, or
they are a very early intitial production version of the PB. Personally
I have only seen one very bad photo with this arrangement, most pictures
having the ICM version. Saying that the ACE version is also appropriate
for a TAB-77 the Rumanian Licence built BTR-60. For those wanting
to correct this area as both kits are not correct, the ACE kit would
be easier as it is the correct shape to start with.
When it comes to hull details, the ICM kit wins, with its finely moulded
details, open side hatches, which are of the correct size and shape
as opposed to the ACE kit where they are to large, mainly in height.
Again ICM provide all the handholds and intricate guards as finely
moulded pieces, but again a lot of mine were broken in transit. The
ACE ones as usual must be made from wire.
With it being the PB version there is also the turret to consider,
here it is a tie with the ACE version giving an optical illusion of
being too shallow, as far as I can work out, the turret walls are
at the wrong angle and should be slightly steeper. The ICM turret
is too tall, However the ICM kit does have the most beautiful moulded
barrel and it is worth the price of the kit just for that piece alone.
Here There is a vast difference between the kits, with the ACE hull
being a one piece and the ICM being a multi piece affair. One thing
to note, are that the fenders are moulded onto the lower hull on the
ICM kit and the upper hull on the ACE kit. The ICM fenders are too
wide and need to be reduced in width to bring the kit down to the
correct 1/72nd scale width.
The ICM lower hull is a very much simplified affair, while the ACE
kit is correct showing all the correct recesses, one correction needs
to be made to the ACE kit at the rear, 2 plastic inserts need to be
made and glued as shown, otherwise when the hull is assembled, you
will have a gaping hole from one side to the other.
The suspension components are a work of fiction on the ICM kit but
how much of it can be seen, I am not yet sure, whereas the ACE suspension
seems to be correct from what I can tell. What is nice on the ICM
kit, is that the water jet can be positioned opened or closed, with
a nicely detailed propeller, the ACE kit has this moulded shut.
Lastly we come to the wheels, with ACE providing highly detailed rubber
tyres, fitting on a plastic rim, ICM provide black plastic tyres in
two halves, that fit on a rim, although the ICM tyres do have the
correct tread pattern! They don’t show the individual blocks
of the tread. The ICM wheels/tyres are slightly too large. Both kits
have different wheel hubs and actually both are correct,
another interesting note, is that
the Ace tyres fit nicely on to the ICM hubs! Which is handy for doing
the GRAN vodnik, but I digress.
ICM provide a set of generic decals for two BTR’s
ACE provide a set of marking for 4 vehicles on the P and 8 on the
Both kits have their plus and minuses,
the ACE kit is correct in size and shape and although a few details
are wrong, there is nothing major. The ICM kit although nicely moulded
does suffer from a few shape problems around the nose and rear, it
is also too wide and needs to be corrected. On the PB version,both
kits need to be corrected around the engine deck area to be correct,
of course that is entirely up to the individual, so really it comes
down to Accuracy of shape(ACE) or ease of build (ICM) and is entirely
a question of choice.
Soviet APC’S, War Data 12, by David Eshel
Soviet Wheeled Armoured Vehicles, Concord, by Steven Zaloga
Soviet Armour and Artillery design practises1945-present, Darlington
prod, by Hull,Markov,Zaloga
Modern Soviet Armour, AA&P, by Steven Zaloga