Crosshair Models


Kit #: 72001

The kit

The Soviet BMP-1 has a definite role in history of post-WW2 vehicles, so it was not forgotten by 1/72 manufacturers: ACE and, recently, S-Model released their versions, which were compared by Simon Barnes in this article which I found most useful while preparing this preview. However, Crosshair decided to enter the market with a resin model of BMP-1 which was conceived to be the "definitive" 1/72 model of this particular vehicle. Nothing was left aside and, with the objective of creating a braille scale model with the detail normally found in 1/35, Crosshair produced a resin model with the number and finesse of parts which can only be found in plastic injection kits: 166 resin parts, 26 transparent plastic parts, 88 photoetched parts are numbers which speak for themselves.

My kit arrived packed in a sturdy cardboard box, and when I opened it I could clearly see the attention it was put into it. Parts are found into small bags and bubble wrapping was added for extra protection, so no piece was broken. The instruction leaflet is rather big and it is certainly far from what we are used to find in most resin kits: I was astonished by the incredible number of details and rather terrified by the work ahead. A pdf color version of the instruction leaflet, which is even more impressive with different colors for resin, transparent and photoetched parts, can be downloaded from Crosshair site (just click here).

The grey resin is of top quality, so casting of the parts is excellent everywhere, with some small details (like hexagonal bolts) which are difficult to reproduce even in plastic. Attachment points to casting blocks are rather extensive somewhere, but the owner of Crosshair assured me that this nuisance will disappear starting from the next model in their catalogue (which, according to their site, should be a BMD-1).

I checked the dimensions of the model against M-Hobby drawings, which are known to be the most accurate, and they look in-scale.

The 88 photoetched parts are a very complete set which most people would buy separately, while the 26 clear parts help create very realistic vision blocks and episcopes. There is also a painting mask which is intended as a mask for clear parts, so that they are not accidentally painted during the airbrush work, and a small piece of metallic wire mesh for the grills.


The Hull

The hull is one massive part, with a huge attachment point to the resin block which will take some time to remove. Casting is excellent with lots of small details.

The driver's and commander's hatches are open but, being a resin casting, you have no interiors.

The diagonal bend on the frontal-right side, which is lacking in both ACE and S-Model BMP-1s, is there. The circular access plates close to that bend are in the same position of the S-Model kit and reflect the position you can see in most photos of the real vehicle. As you can see in photos, the snorkel is very well detailed and the fuel vent situated posteriorly is present. The hull bottom, as it is visible in the photo, is perfectly detailed, so the vehicle could be positioned upside down if desired.

I spent a lot of time comparing all details with photos of the real vehicle and could not find any error. Well, there is one exception: the vent on the frontal-right border, outlined in red in the photo below, although present in both S-Model and ACE vehicles, is surprisingly absent here. I contacted Crosshair to inform them, and the lead designer (Krasimir Stefanov) wrote me that he had noticed it already, and that the next batch will have this error corrected.

Many elements can be built either in open or closed position: the lights, which require assembling of resin, transparent and photoetched parts, the trim vane, the gun ports (which have photoetched detail inside), the posterior vision ports. All vision blocks and episcopes are made from transparent plastic. Radiator covers have photoetched wire meshes.


The wheels and tracks

As it is visible in the image on the left, the process of assembling wheels and tracks is coincident to the one of an injection plastic kit. Link and length tracks are accurate, with a good level of detail. Track guide horns are separate and in-scale. Sprocket and idler wheels are in two pieces. Bump stops are present, with the superior piece as a photoetched part. Road wheels show a great level of detail: even the four bolts in a cross-shaped pattern along the spokes are present.

The turret

The turret is correctly shaped, but the hatch is sadly closed. The elevation of the gun can be modified, the AT-3 Sagger have photoetched fins (the missile is also sold separately as kit no. 72002). The level of detail can be seen on the image on the left. The small handles and the leather straps along the sides of the turret are very delicate photoetched parts.


Building the kit will take a lot of time but it certainly deserves it. As it is evident, this kit should hold a central position in an hypothetical museum of resin Braille Scale models, as it brings the technology to new levels. The objective of creating the "perfect" 1/72 BMP-1 is practically achieved, even because Crosshair Models have confirmed to be willing to hear eventual complaints and suggestions from their customers and to correct inaccuracies, apart from the obvious free replacement of broken or missing parts. Naturally, this quality does not come for cheap, as the kit has a retail price of 47.50 euro but, if you are into soviet post-WW2 vehicles, you should not miss this one.

Highly recommended.

Review sample kindly provided by Krasimir Stefanov from Crosshair Model, whom I wish to thank.


[1] BMP Infantry combat vehicle, Steven J Zaloga, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1990 ISBN: 962-361-006-8
[2] BMP-1 Walkaround

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Article Last Updated: 24 March 2014