In-Box Review
Explosive Reactive Armour No.1
Explosive Reactive Armour No.1 (818)
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


After the demonstration of Blazer ERA in Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Soviets deployed their own explosive reactive armor in form of Kontakt ERA in 1983.

Interestingly, Kontakt ERA was not a copy of Israeli Blazer ERA. Kontakt was developed by the Soviets and was more advanced than Blazer ERA in a couple respects. Firstly, the blocks are 40% the size of Blazer blocks, which is considerably more demanding in terms of technology of the explosive interlayer. This also means that the amount of underlying armor exposed after a detonation is less. Secondly, Kontakt is a bit more clever in its configuration. The brick is asymmetric in its explosive interlayer, meaning that one end is thicker than the other. This induces rotation in the plates as well as separation, and as a result, the armor is effective against HEAT jets at a wider variety of angles. Kontakt-5 was the Soviet follow-up development to the original Kontakt ERA, optimized to be effective not only against HEAT jets, but also APFSDS long rods. It was first deployed around 1985.

For more about modern explosive reactive armor check out Robb McLeod’s excellent article: link.


Royal Model offers two sets of Kontakt explosive reactive armor blocks, both in 1/35 and 1/72 scale. This review covers their Explosive Reactive Armour No.1 (818).

The set comes in a plastic bag stapled to a hard cardboard backing. Opening the bag reveals 56 pieces cast in grey resin. The cast is very impressive and I found no imperfections in the pieces whatsoever.

The Kontakt ERA block measures about 250 x 150 x 70 mm and has four bolt holes, one at each corner, to attach one brick to each corner. Located centrally on the edge of each brick is a pair of mounting pins enabling it to be attached to the tank's main armor. The ERA panels are placed at varying distances away from the basic armor of the tank. The ERA blocks in this set measure 7 x 4 x 2 mm which sizes the ERA block perfectly to 1/35 scale. The shape of the block is accurately delivered, with all the bolt details sharp and clearly identifiable.

Attaching ERA blocks on the model should present no problems. I suggest studying the references, as the configuration of the panels differs between the various types of MBT.


What’s not to like in Explosive Reactive Armour No.1 (818) from Royal Model? The set provides 56 individual ERA blocks, perfectly cast in resin, accurately sized and detailed. Unlike their PE counterparts, the blocks are easy to use.

Together with Explosive Reactive Armour No.2 (819), this set should provide a nice upgrade to various Russian-made modern MBT kits in 1/35 scale.

Highs: Perfectly cast, nicely detailed and accurately scaled. Unlike similar PE pieces, these resin bits are easy to use. With 56 parts, the set provides a good value for the money.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 818
  Related Link: Royal Model website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 19, 2019

Our Thanks to Royal Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


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