The BMD-2 has entered production in 1985 and is an evolution of the BMD-1 from which it keeps the chassis. It is fitted with a new turret mounting the 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon and a AT4 Spigot (or Fagot in the Russian nomenclature) firing post.
The kit is released by Zvezda and comes in 2 sprues for the main parts, 4 for the running gear, 1 for the clear parts and 2 vinyl tracks. One decal sheet is provided too. The instructions are in Russian with some English commentaries. The booklet comprises of 8 pages of which 5 concern the building per se and 1 the decoration step.
The carving is correct and the detail level good and above Skif model one. The overall assembly is easy and requires few sanding and putty.
The building begins with the 4-part hull. The towing hook location needs to be
clarified in the notice. The wheels are not set in place waiting them to be
painted. The suspension arms are fragile and must be handled with care. The
idler arm is not glue at this stage, it enables to figure the tightness of the
tracks as expected.
The upper hull is fitted with the vision blocks prior the final assembly on the lower hull. The vision blocks are cleverly represented by clear parts which back faces are painted clear blue. The hull halves fit is good, the only area needing to be sanded is the bow MG's locations.
The mudguards are thinned as well as the headlights guards. The headlights clear parts F1 are not used as their diameter is too short. They are replaced by a drop of Crystal Clear.
The auxiliary tanks need some putty then a smooth sanding prior being glued in place.
The turret comes in many parts of which the clear vision blocks. The searchlight support is poorly detailed but lacking good pics it is not improved. The liaison arm with the main gun is too thick. The gun muzzle and the side vents are drilled.
The turret roof is detailed with a missing round air intake in the vicinity of the firing post pedestal. The lifting eye B18 at the back of the turret must be glued on the top of the turret unlike what the notice states.
The blanket B26 is not used and the straps are made of lead foil and the buckles of flattened brass rod. The left side sight protection is too short and replaced by another one made of metal rod.
The firing post is detailed : the 2 round glasses on the front face and the gunner sight are slightly carved.
The kit tracks are in soft vinyl. Each comes in 2 parts which hardly figure the real vehicle ones. Hence, they are set apart and replaced by the resin set from LionMarc. The box comes with 200 resin individual links which are finely detailed (noticeably the particular guide horn shape) and as many pre-cut brass rods for the axes. Each link is smoothly sanded to ease the fit. The axes holes are already drilled and very few need the use of a drill. Once the proper length obtained, you'll need to secure the axes with a drop of cyanolite. Following the tracks installation, the idlers are adjusted to get the desired sagging effect.
Zvezda proposes 5 decorations but unfortunately the notice only shows the left
side. The decoration I chose is one of them and is inspired too by pics shot
during an armament exhibition in Omsk. Those pics confirm that no strict camo
scheme is applied which allows some fancy from modelers.
The colors used are as follows : light green (a mix of Tamiya XF3 and XF5 2:1), green (Prince August US Vietnam Green) and black (Tamiya XF1).
As a conclusion, this kit is pleasant to build out of the box except for the tracks. These can be replaced by at least 2 aftermarket references or simply by Skif model individual links plastic ones. Moreover, the missile post parts being provided on the running gear sprues, Zvezda gives us for free a firing post ready for use on another vehicle.