by: Jurjen Zuijdendorp [ ]
Originally published on:
Voyager Model released in May 2012 an upgrade set for the Trumpeter BTR-60PB (01544). This set is very comprehensive and it is not intended for the inexperienced modeler. I will discuss the quality of the contents in chronological order as shown in the instructions. I will also share my thoughts about the ‘usefulness’ of some parts in this upgrade set. But first, what’s in this set?
The set is packaged in a plastic zip bag stapled to a cardboard holder. The photo etched sheets are protected by self-adhesive plastic.
• A4 format instructions
• 3 photo-etched sheets (Sheet A: medium thickness, Sheet B: thick, Sheet C: delicate)
• 2 turned brass antenna mounts
• 4 brass bolts
• 1 turned brass barrel for 7.62 mm coaxial machinegun
• 1 plastic rod
• 1 metal rod
Trim vane (p.1):
The BTR-60PB is fully amphibious and the trim vane on the front of the vehicle is used to prevent water from flooding over the bow. I’m not sure why Voyager added a PE trim vane as the kit part is perfect the way it is?
Water jet intake vent (p.1):
Probably the most difficult aspect of this upgrade set is replacing the water jet intake vent. Voyager provided 19 strips to make a grid. First you need to cut out the water intake jet and sand it down to a flawless oval. Then you use the strips to make a grid (soldering experience is definitely required!). I’m really curious how many modelers will spend time and effort (!) on this area because at the end it is not visible? Of course, if you want to present your vehicle upside down, Voyager does provide you the opportunity to enhance this area.
Exhaust covers (p.2):
The Trumpeter exhaust covers are too thick and the PE offering really improves the covers. It may be it bit tricky to get the correct bends, but once placed it will look perfect and correct.
Propeller assembly (p.3):
If you want to show your model with the propeller vent closed you can skip this part. If you plan to have the lids open you can improve the propeller area. You must heat part #A4 to make it more flexible and bend it into a round frame to support part #B4. This sounds easy, but you really need PE experience to make it look convincing and flawless. Installing the rudders shouldn’t be a problem.
This is going to be a tricky replacement because you need to use a pen point to create the small dents on the fender. Unfortunately there’s no room for experimenting on this as the result is directly seen. So make sure if you really want to replace the fenders. However, if done properly the result is definitely an improvement over the kit part as the dents are too oversized.
Handles (p. 4):
Fret A contains 51 small handles which can be placed on the rear deck. These handles are very small and delicate so care is needed when you place them. The handles should look good once placed, but as we all know photo etch it is flat. Instead I would use very small brass rod to replicate these handles.
Jerrycan details (p.4):
I really like the parts Voyager included for adding extra detail on the Jerrycans. A very delicate chain is used to attach the Jerrycan on the support mount and you can even replace the fuel caps by three PE parts. You can’t get it any better than this.
Driver’s compartment (p.5) :
The focus of this Voyager set is definitely on the exterior which is understandable because not much is seen on the interior. Page 5 of the instructions shows a few parts that can be used in the driver’s compartment. I wonder why Voyager included these parts since they’re not visible?
KPVT-14.5mm barrel cover & turned brass coaxial machine gun barrel (p.6):
The main armament of the BTR-60PB is the KPVT. Voyager included NOT a turned brass barrel but instead a (flat) PE part which you need to bend/roll. I tried this once and I can tell you it is almost impossible to shape it flawlessly. Especially the small diameter you need to bend in makes it more difficult. I would stick to the kit part or I would buy an aftermarket item like RB model (#35B21).
The secondary armament of the BTR-60PB is a 7.62 mm PKT tank coaxial machine gun. Voyager included a turned brass barrel which replaces the kit part.
This set is very comprehensive and provides the parts for a highly detailed BTR-60PB. What I really like about this set is that it provides the opportunity for super detailing every aspect of the BTR-60PB (except the interior). If you want to use every part in this set you will get an extremely detailed vehicle. But, most modelers will probably not use every part in this set since we may not spend much time and effort on areas which are not visible, and photo etch is flat and therefore not suitable to replace every kit part, i.e. the small handles on the rear deck.
I discussed in this review the items which I have my doubts on. Sometimes it’s better to use kit parts, sometimes it’s better to use a photo etch offering. It’s up to the individual modeler. The real ‘strength’ of this update set are the various small and delicate parts like the headlight brackets, searchlight mount, fender support brackets, brass antenna mounts, tool clamps, windscreen wipers, vision ports, exhaust covers, hatch hinges, motor intake mesh etc. The difference in a ‘good’ model and a ‘great’ model is the level of detail, with this set you can make the difference for an affordable price!
Highly recommended for experienced modelers.