As modeller, as history fan, despite i reject the war in Ukraine as something detestable and awful that never should had happened, i know it will be, and it’s already being, a source of history for modellers looking for contemporary subjects. I already have seen lot of questions in the social networks about which are the right models to build this or that vehicles or aircrafts involved in the Ukrainian War.
This is a brief guide about the Ukrainian armed forces and the scale models in 1/72 scale available to build them, a little tribute to those fighting while i write this.
Ukraine started to modernize their T-64BV fleet to the T-64BV type 2017, which included a nice package of new night vision equipment, satellite navigation, digital radio and improved reactive armour units. Also the Luna infrared searchlight removed. The modernization was completed for around 100 tanks in 2019, and as well as scheduled to modernize older T-64s which probably were in the T-64AV standard. Other modernized Ukrainian series are the T-64BM and T-64BM2. In 2020, Ukraine had over 720 operative T-64 tanks in total, T-64BV 2017, T-64BM Bulat and T-64BV, and another 578 T-64s in storage.
While these late Ukrainian specific updates are not available in any kit, i’m sure they could start to appear by aftermarket manufactures or 3D printed (if a new kit is tooled). In the meanwhile, for the most skilled modellers, transformation of existing T-64 kits is the only option. Sadly, despite of being a tank produced in over 13.000 units, only ModelCollect has created a kit for it in 1/72 scale (any other brand in any variant of T-64), and even more sadly the Chinese brand stated this moulds were lost in their change of manufacturer some years ago.
- ModelCollect – UA72023 – T-64BV Main Battle Tank
- ModelCollect – UA72059 – T-64AV Main Battle Tank
- ModelCollect – UA72128 – Soviet Army T-64AV/BV 2 IN 1 Main Battle Tank (The two previous kits parts together)
- ModelCollect – UA72037 – T-64BM Main Battle Tank (This kit is impossible to find)
- ModelCollect – UA72065 – T-64BM2 Main Battle Tank (This kit is impossible to find)
T-80s were introduced in the Soviet Union in the mid 70s, a further develop of the T-64. Ukraine keeps producing T-80UD (developed from T-80U) and a further-developed T-84 tank. Ukraine also operates T-80BVs, and upgrade of 1985. It’s unclear the number of each version remains operative in the Ukrainian Army, but mostly they may be T-80BVs or T-80UDs. T-80s has been covered in 1/72 scale by three brands, Model Collect, Revell and Trumpeter. The three brands covers the BV version, but only Model Collect did further develops including also UDs and other modern Russian variants. Sadly again, ModelCollect kits are out of Production and are hard to find.
- Trumpeter – 07145 – Russian T-80BV MBT
- ModelCollect – 72025 – T-80BV Main Battle Tank
- Revell – 03106 – T-80 BV with ERA
- ModelCollect – UA72028 – T-80UD Main Battle Tank
T-72 is a family of Soviet main battle tanks introduced in the very late 60s as a further develop of the T-64 tank. At the split of the Soviet Union, Ukraine retained several hundreds of this tanks, and while most of them has been keep in storage, Ukraine has modernized some of them as T-72UA and T-72AMT as well as some old T-72AV and T-72B1 may remain operative.
Several brands paid attention to the T-72 tank in 1/72 scale, Revell, ACE and Model Collect, but we find the constant problem of old ACE kits out of production, Model Collect out of production or never released references, and Revell just doing a T-72M1 (export version of the T-72A version) out of production and with limited availability from second hand sources yet.
- ACE – 72150 – T72 AV Once more time, out of production.
- ACE – 72128 – T-72B Russian Main Battle Tank Out of Production. Note also that B1 version has not ability to launch anti-tank missiles and sights are from the older A series.
- ModelCollect – UA72007 – T-72B with ERA main battle tank Out of Production.
- ModelCollect – UA72011 – T-72B1 With Era Main Battle Tank Theoretically one of the exacts variants Ukraine could still kept in 2022. Kit is Out of Production with very limited availability. The later released ModelCollect – UA72104 – Soviet T-72B1 with ERA main battle tank 1988 is the same kit but with PE detail parts. Also out of production.
- ModelCollect – UA72044 – T-72AV Main Battle Tank Out of production.
Any of the specific ukrainian late develops, UA or AMT has been developed as kit.
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
BMP-1 and derived
BMP-1 was the first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle in the Soviet Union, introduced in 1966 and still in service through several upgrades and variants. Ukraine produces its own modernized version, BMP-1U Shkval, replacing the original turret by their own produced Shkval turret, armed with a 30mm KBA-2 autocannon, an ATGM launcher and grenade launcher. The bigger size of the turret reduces the space for 6 men instead of 8.
Other different types of BMP-1s can be operated by Ukraine. Ace has produced the Ukrainian turret,
ACE – 72124 – Ukrainian BMP-1U “SHKVAL” but it’s out of production.
Both ACE and S-Model produced standard BMP-1s, but all the ACE ones are out of production and hard to find if any.
BRM-1s are derived from BMP-1, with improvements for its reconnaissance role. K are command vehicles, similar to BRM-1s, they have mast antenna and late production added smoke grenade launchers. External visible is also the reduction to three of eight firing pots. Production started in early 70s.
BMP-2 are a second generation infantry fighting vehicles introduced in the 80s as replace of the BMP-1. Widely produced and exported has been manufactured also in different specialized variants and modernized through the years. Ukraine could retain above one thousand operative vehicles of this type.
One more time we have to look into ACE catalogue to find this vehicle as the best option.
ACE – 72125 – BMP-2D Infantry fighting vehicle Re-release upgraded in 2021, available as per 2022.
Older releases by ACE about the same subject are now Out of Production and are hard to find.
BPM-3 is the last develop of the BMP series introduced in the late 80s and mainly in Russian service or Russian exported. Ukraine may have kept a very very limited number of them as the start of the war. Some sources state just about 4 or 5 units. The only brand who paid attention to this IFV has been Model Collect, producing a big number of variants and repacks, although most of them are already gone or hard to find. Check the BMP-3 models list.
The BRDM-1 is a Soviet amphibious armored scout car and is one of the oldest vehicles in service, dating from the late 50s. Ukraine retained in storage condition a large number of them, and since 2014 some has been restored to be used by the territorial defense battalions despite they are totally obsolete.
Only ACE offered in the past one kit for this vehicle, which is largely out of production.
BRDM-2 and derived
BRDM-2 is a Soviet amphibious armoured car, also known as BTR-40PB, BTR-40P-2 and GAZ 41-08. It’s main armament is a 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun. Both ACE and S-Model paid attention to this vehicle. The ACE line, which added several variants of the vehicle is all out of production. S-Model kit is still available in good numbers. ARMO long ago, and G3, also produced it in resin. G3 kits may still be available but they worked versions which may not be compatibles. Some 3D printed vehicle can be also available.
- S-Model – PS720023 – BRDM-2 – Amphibious Armoured Scout Car- (Late version) (2x models inside)
- ACE – 72102 – BRDM-2 Amphibious scout car
Ukrainian army may possible also operates the 9P148 Konkurs variant of the BRDM-2, which is also available from the same manufacturers, ACE and S-Model.
- S-Model – PS720024 – 9P148 ATGM Launcher Vehicle (BRDM-2)
- ACE – 72103 – BRDM-2 w/Konkurs ATGWs (Out of Production)
MT-LB and derived
These are one of the longest living families of armoured vehicles, introduced the 50s and still in service around the world. Originally produced in Kharkiv it has been also produced in Poland, and has been widely upgraded and modified. Ukraine army operates several variants of this vehicle, included those based in the larger hull MT-LBu.
ACE Models and Modell Collect has produced (or announced at least in the case of Model Collect) several variants of the MT-LB including modern ones. SIGA Model also produced the kit (older versions) but those are the ACE models reboxed.
According to several pictures Ukraine uses basic versions like ACE – 72122 – MT-LB (largely out of production) as artillery tractors but Kharkiv plant has been modernizing MT-LBs for foreign users and Ukraine can be also operating other types. Check the list of 1/72 scale model for the MT-LB and derived vehicles, which sadly is full of out of production models and announces never released by Model Collect.
*26th March, 2022 update. Model Collect has announced three variants to appear during 2022.
The list of BMD-1 models available is not very extensive, again S-Model and ACE paid attention to this Soviet airborne amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle, introduced in the late 60s and remaining in service through updates. Ukraine kept a limited number of those at the the start of Donbass War in 2014, and some may remain operative during the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.
- S-Model – PS720157 – BMD-1P Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle
- S-Model – PS720158 – BMD-1 Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle
- ACE – 72114 – BMD-1
BMD-2 is another Soviet airborne infantry fighting vehicle, introduced in 1985, considered as a variant of BMD-1 with an improved turret and changes in the hull. Ukraine retained a limited number of them operatives as per 2022. One more time we have to look at ACE and S-Model, and if we have to choose, we would go to the Chinese brand, you get two decent models for a decent price. Also ACE is Out Of Production.
Armoured Personnel Carriers
BTR-4 and derived
BTR-4 is an amphibious 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier designed and build in Ukraine, Kharkiv plant, in service since 2014. It’s produced in several variants, from Command and Reconnaissance to medical services or close support, BSEM-4K is the recovery and medical vehicle variant.
Sadly a single model kit in 1/72 scale has been released covering this topic.
BTR-3 and derived
BTR-3 is a Eight-wheel drive armored personnel carrier developed in the early 2000s, visually similar to the Russian BTR-80 is a completely different vehicle. It has been produced in 4 main variants, BTR-3U (Initial production), BTR-3E (Engine upgraded and also upgraded to use BM-3 “Shturm” turret), BTR-3DA (Upgraded in 2017 for Ukrainian service, basically a 3E upgraded) and BTR-3KSH (Command).
The Ukrainian version, 3DA, uses and upgraded BM-3M Shturm-M weapon station armed with ZTM-1 30mm autocannon, KT-7,62 machine gun and KBA-117 30mm grenade launcher.
BTR-60s, BTR-70s and BTR-80s
All the three families are a series of armoured personnel carriers developed in the Soviet union, 8 wheeled and with amphibious capabilities. BTR-60 was developed during late 60s early 70s, as a replacement for the older BTR-152. BTR-60 has been produced in over 25.000 units and remains operative in many armies. The basic version has a 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun as main armament, many other variants and upgrades over its long service life has been produced.
Ukraine probably has different variants of the BTR-60, but not a high number of them may remain operative as per 2022. The most probably or main variant type, is the BTR-60PB, which is also, the base of the BTR-70 develop, but before jump into the BTR-70, let’s check what’s available in 1/72 scale for the BTR-60.
Together with the omnipresent in this article ACE, the also several times mentioned S-Model, this time we can happily another manufacturer, ICM. All the BTR-60s in 1/72 scale can be check on their tag page, we focus here in the PB variant, each manufacturer released one.
- ACE – 72162 – BTR-60PB Out of production
- ICM – 72911 – BTR-60PB Armoured Personnel Carrier Available
- S-Model – PS720078 – BTR-60PB Armoured Personnel Carrier Available
As we said above this PB variant was also used as base for the BTR-70, similar to its predecessor the BTR-70 is an eight-wheeled amphibious armored personnel carrier with a 14.5mm KPVT machine gun or 12.7mm DShK as main armament. Upgraded and improved through the years, remains in service and Ukraine has performed several upgrades at their own, and an important number of them may remain operative as per 2022. The two main Ukrainian upgrades are the BTR-70DI (optionally fitted with “Ingul” or “Bug” modular turrets or with the “Zaslon” active protection system. The basic armament is augmented by an AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher and 2 AT rockets) and the BTR-70M (fitted with a new turret, like the “Grom” or BAU-23×2). Any of these Ukraine specific upgrades is available in 1/72 scale.
ACE and Trumpeter has produced BTR-70s kits, both early or late productions, without confirmation it’s likely possible that this late BTR-70s remain in ukrainian service without upgrades or minimal.
- Trumpeter – 07138 – Russian BTR-70 APC late version
- ACE – 72166 – BTR-70 APC (late production series)
After BTR-70s, a further BTR-80 was developed in the 80s. The type remains in production and over 5000 units has been produced. Is unconfirmed how many BTR-80s Ukraine retained after Soviet Union collapse, but in cooperation with Poland developed an improved BTR-80U variant for export market (Iraq) in several variants. The main armament of a original BTR-80 is a 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun or
30mm 2A72 automatic cannon.
Trumpeter and ACE has produced kits in 1/72 scale for the BTR-80. They cover both initial variants, BTR-80 fitted with 14.5mm KPVT and the BTR-80A fitted with the 30mm cannon.
- Trumpeter – 07267 – Russian BTR-80 8×8 MCV
- ACE – 72171 – BTR-80 (early production series)
- ACE – 72172 – BTR-80A Soviet armored personnel carrier
Ukraine acquired 75 second hand AT-105 saxons from the British Army in 2013. Saxon is a four-wheeled personnel armoured carrier introduced in mid 80s and already retired from British service although remain operative with some foreign users such Ukraine.
While nobody has developed this vehicle as Injected Plastic model kit two manufacturers did it in resin, Hobby Den and Armada. Armada kits released about 2018 are not easy to find, one of the best places we found having them in stock is Martola store from Poland.
BTR-D is Soviet airborne armoured personnel carrier family of vehicles derived from the BMD-1 vehicle. Operated from mid 70s Ukraine may keep a limited number of them, but unconfirmed if they are storage condition or restored. Only ACE has two kits related to this family of vehicles, which sadly are largely out of production. The kits are ACE – 72116 – BTR-D and ACE – 72127 – BTR-ZD “Skrezhet” Airborne AD vehicle.
* Sources for this article, WikiPedia, of course, a main and at and source of knowledge, starting by the list of equipment of the Ukrainian army, Oryxspioenkop and their list of equipment losses during the war, Armed Forces of Ukraine amongst others.