This kit is the latest entry in the ACE lineup of [former] Warsaw Pact and modern Russian vehicles. It is the second kit of the BRDM-1 made available in 1/72d scale over the last couple of years, the other one coming from ARMO in resin.
ACE kits are limited-run. This means that the molding quality is not going to be to the same standards as with the large plastic model companies such as Hasegawa or Revell. But this kit represents the best molding I have yet seen come out of ACE. There is a little bit of flash, and some of the parts will need to be carefully sanded to fit with the others. However, unlike some other limited-run kits I have seen, the high quality of the master parts for the ACE kits is readily apparent. The detail on the plastic parts is abundant, and for the most part, fairly sharp. The only sinkmarks I see are on two of the tires, which can be easily filled with putty.
The kit includes a complete undercarriage and detailed suspension. The smaller "support" wheels can be built either retracted or deployed. The roof hatches are molded open (but as one piece - they need to be separated), but unfortunately, the front windscreen hatches, and the rear fighting compartment access hatches, are all molded shut. Detail on the hull is very crisp and clean, including ventilators, vision slots and firing ports.
The smaller details which are to be glued to the hull are very well made for a limited-run kit, and are so delicate, that great care is going to be needed to successfully remove them from the sprue. The SGMB machinegun is really quite beautiful, as are the tools, cleats, headlights, and other smaller parts.
The very small decal sheet manages to provide markings for five different vehicles (three Soviet, one Polish and one East German). The decals are very thin and very well printed.
According to Bronekollektsiya #3/2000 - Soviet Armor 1945-1995, this kit scales out almost exactly 1/72d.
As I mentioned above, I feel that this is one of ACE's best kits, and it will build into a superb model.
Comparison to Other BRDM-1 Kits
There are two other BRDM-1 kits available. One of them, by MM (Siga), is a re-boxing of this ACE kit, but with different decals, and better instructions.
The other BRDM-1 kit is from ARMO, and is resin (see Construction Review). While it has extremely nice molded-on detail, and is very simple to build, it is crippled by incorrect dimensions. The kit is far too wide and makes the vehicle look positively stumpy. Also, it has no detailed undercarriage or decals. I feel that the ACE kit is superior, due to its correct dimensions, good decals, and much better instructions.
THANK YOU to Alexey at ACE Models for providing the review sample.