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BTR-80, mean green war machine!

BTR-80, mean green war machine!


It was all Peres and Abrams Squad’s fault. After reading his excellent book about the eight-wheeled BTR it was clear for me that I wanted to build one of these iconic vehicles. Serving in more than 35 countries this APC took part in almost all modern conflicts and the amount of variations and modification makes it a very attractive subject.

Much has been written about this type of vehicle, and if you are interested in some background information I can recommend for you Pere’s book. As this is a popular subject I want to use this introduction to tell you more about my search for a reference vehicle instead of plain technical statistics.

With all those nice products and how-to guidelines the quality of the finishes within the hobby has raised dramatically. Although that’s a great thing, this fact and the pure amount of builds published on the internet leads to the situation that makes it difficult to not just repeat a subject. Of course you can build one and the same model in 1000 different ways, but I find it particular rewarding to add a unique touch to my models.

I like to base my build on a reference image, even if I don’t stick 100% percent to it. This picture serves as my main inspiration and provided me with the foundations for my build. 

That’s why I started to look for a reference image with a nice twist. This could be unique camouflage, special markings or some modified parts. It wasn’t that easy with a popular topic like this one, but finally I found an image on the internet showing a vehicle with some very nice features. 

The vehicle was used in the Ukraine and had the addition of rubber skirts to protect the wheels and lower hull makes the main difference compared to the standard version of this APC. 

Another interesting detail was the use of spare armor plates from other BTR’s and the wooden ammo crates for further protection of the crew compartment.

The reference also indicated a very rough camouflage paint job using spray cans. Sadly the picture didn’t show the full vehicle but on the other hand this also allows the opportunity for some artistic freedom.

The Model

I knew from the book that this kit was ideal for me. A good level of detail and low amount of parts made it a great project to build during my lunch break at work.  

My stash is full of half built super detailed models with all bells and whistles and so I decided to keep it easy with this one. The kit from Trumpeter is excellent and provides everything for a complete model. Inside the box you will also find a full crew compartment, PE parts and rubber tires. During the build I had to remind myself several times of the goal, it’s just too easy to get into the super-detail loop. 

Usually my painting process takes very long and so I also decided to try out some new things to speed up my workflow. Besides using Hairspray for the initial dust effects I also tried enamel washes with pigments to create accumulated dust and dirt effects. To optimize the chipping process I tried the use of ink pens accompanied by hairspray chips.   

I had lots of fun with this model, and maybe this article can be the inspiration to start one of this 8x8 on your own.


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