by: Pete Becerra [ ]
First off and this is nothing against Panda Hobby, but to me, the title of this model kit is a bit long winded. I think you will understand when you read the introduction below.
“The Buk missile system (Russian: "Бук"; "beech" (tree), /bʊk/) is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, and designed to counter cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
TELAR: transporter erector launcher and radar.
9A310M1: Self-propelled SAM launching system
“The 9A310M1 launcher provides a considerable improvement over the earlier 9A310, with the target detection, lock-on and auto tracking range performance increased by 25-30%, and the target classification capability for aircraft, ballistic missiles and helicopters raised to 0.6 minimum. The 9A310M1 uses 72 literal illuminating frequencies (which is twice the number of illuminating frequencies used by the 9A310), enabling an enhanced resistance to jamming and self-interference. In contrast to the BUK 9S470 command post, the 9S470M1 is capable of concurrently receiving information from own early warning and target designation radar and data on six targets being tracked at a time, provided by divisional tank or motorized infantry air defense operations station. It also supports training requirement for air defense units attached to battalion through division level.”
9K37M BUK-M1: GRAU (Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation) designation.
“The first version of Buk adopted into service carried the GRAU designation 9K37 Buk and was identified in the west with the NATO reporting name "Gadfly" as well as the US Department of Defense designation SA-11. No sooner had the 9K37 "Buk" entered service than the Central Committee of the CPSU authorized the development of a modernized 9K37 which would become the 9K37M1 Buk-M1, adopted into service in 1983. The modernization improved the performance of the system radars, its “probability of kill” and its resistance to electronic countermeasures (ECM). Additionally, a non-cooperative threat classification system was installed, relying on analysis of returned radar signals to purportedly identify and clearly distinguish civilian aircraft from potential military targets in the absence of IFF.”
9M38M: The Missile itself
“The 9M38 uses a single-stage X-winged design without any detachable parts; its exterior design is similar to the American Tartar and Standard surface-to-air missile series. The design had to conform to strict naval dimension limitations, allowing the missile to be adapted for the M-22 SAM system in the Soviet Navy. Each missile is 5.55 m (18.2 ft) long, weighs 690 kg (1,520 lb) and carries a relatively large 70 kg (150 lb) warhead which is triggered by a radar proximity fuze. In the forward compartment of the missile, a semi-active homing radar head (9E50, Russian: 9Э50, 9Э50М1), autopilot equipment, power source and warhead are located. The homing method chosen was proportional navigation. Some elements of the missile were compatible with the Kub's 3M9; for example, its forward compartment diameter (33 cm), which was less than the rear compartment diameter.”
I think Panda Hobby could have gone with just “9K37M Buk-M1.
Again, Panda Hobby has released a very nice subject in their Russian line of vehicles with a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) kit, #PH35033 (A310M1 TELAR w/9M38M of 9K37M Buk-M1. Two versions of this kit have been released, one with metal tracks, and one without. The version that Armorama received was lucky enough to be the one with the metal tracks.
The kit consists of:
13 sprues of tan plastic (6 are road wheels and road arms, 4 are missile parts)
1 clear sprue
1 upper hull
1 lower hull
1 photo etch fret
1 decal sheet
1 twisted brass wire for tow cable
226 individual metal track links
226 individual metal track pins
3 clear pieces of “GLASS” for hatch windows
The decal sheet provided markings for eight different vehicles and stencils for the three missiles. The instruction booklet was not void of errors, but they were nothing that hindered the build, just pay very close attention when building the rails on the launcher.
Page 7, Step 14: No measurement for tow cable. I came out with about 13.5 cm.
Page 8, Step 18 and 20: On the sprue C, the part that is shown in step 18, has no part number to it. So, in step 20, that is part number C33 and in step 18, that is part C?.
Page 9, Step 22: Part B1 should be part B55.
Page 11, Step 25: Part E40 should be part E60.
Page 14, Step 33: Part B86 should be part B87. Part 85 is already added in step 28. Part B39 should be part B90.
Page 15, Step 34: Part B56 is shown in instructions, but is not labeled.
Page 18, Step 39 and 40: There are three different parts on Sprue D labeled part D26. The missile half labeled D26 is correct. See Figure 2 for an explanation of two other part D26’s.
The build started off with a serious problem in Step 1 and 2, the lower and upper hull was warped. You really couldn’t tell by looking at the parts individually, but when you placed them together, you can see the warping. Rather than trying to brace the inside of the hulls to try and straighten them out, I just used supper-glue and squeezed the parts back into shape. I also added Part C19 from step 7 to help with all the rear alignment.
Step 3 thru 8 went without any problems. In step 4, you have to decide which road wheels you want to use and this can be based on which vehicle you choose in the color diagram. I found a couple of pictures on the internet that both road wheels where present on the vehicle, so I went that route.
Step 9’s major assembly I the metal tracks. The individual tracks are very nice and for the most part, very clean. There was some flash on a few lengths and quick run of a metal file at the connecting points insured a better fit. The track pins are flared at one end, so make sure you insert each pin non-flared side first. What I did was insert all the pins up to the flare. Once the 113 tracks where secured, I stood the track on the end that the pin did not go into and took a small hammer and lightly tapped all the pins fully in.
There were a couple of small issues in step 10. First, there was no locating hole for Part B47 in my sample. Second, there were no locating holes for the small axe, part B8, so it must be eye-balled into position.
Step 11 has you placing the hatch glass into place. First, if you leave off part D12, the glass can be placed after final painting and sealing and eliminating masking the glass. Oh, yes, Panda Models has provided REAL glass for the hatches. They are almost like the magnifying glass covers. And for those who can’t find them, they are located in the small clear box of track pads and pins under the paper. Now if you're going to have part D12 closed, then there is no need to add the glass or part C27.
Step 12 and 13 has you adding the hinges and interior detail of the hatches. Hing parts B44, B45, B93, and B94 are needed, but if you're going to have the hatches closed, there is no need for the other parts.
As I mentioned above, there is no measurement provided for the tow cable. Glue one cable end, part 96, to the brass cable and them eye-ball measure it while its draped on the front hull in the position it is supposed to be in. I came out with about 13.5 cm in length when it is properly stored.
In step 15 and 16, I left the clear pieces off till after final painting and build.
In step 17, I would suggest leaving off parts E47x2 and E48 till after final build and painting. I broke these off several times while handling the model.
Besides what I called up above about part C33 in steps 18 and 20, steps 18 thru 21 went without any issues. I would suggest replacing the grab handles, with thin brass wire. If you're up to the challenge, you could even replace part C28 and C34 with brass wire.
Step 22 and 23 is building and adding the hydraulic unit that lifts the missiles. I didn’t do it, but part B95 could have some hydraulic lines added using thin lead wire.
There are four hoses/cables that run from each side of the rear of the launcher to the missiles. In step 25, I would leave off parts E60. Drill holes in parts E60 and add about 16 cm of lead wire for the cable/hoses. When it’s time to install the launcher rails, you can add the E60’s and cut wire to length.
In step 30, see Figure 1 for parts C43 to correct it.
In step 33, sub-step B, refer to step 25 above. Part B85 is already added in step 28.
Step 39 and 40 are basically the same, just one is the left launcher arm and the other is the right launcher arm. Everything goes together well once you get past the MAJOR ISSUE of parts D26 and having to drill holes in those parts. There are 5 different parts on sprue D labeled part D26. The part D26 that is half of the rocket is correct. On sprue D, the other D26’s are for the launcher arms and in the instructions are labeled D27 and D28. If you see Figure 2, all I did was re-number from left to right, D27, D28, D29, and D30. I also point out in Figure 2 that you need to drill out holes in parts D27 and D28. As you can see, these holes are not present and are needed for placement of parts E24, E25, E44 and E45. I also took a snap shot of the instructions, Figure 3, and showed the corrected part numbers.
Steps 43 and 44 have you attaching the left and right launcher arms and the antenna mast to the main launcher assembly. There was enough tension in the hinge points, that there was no need to secure it with glue in the lowered or raised position. Final assembly was able to lowered and raised with issues.
Tamiya and Vallejo paints were used to paint the subject.
I used Tamiya NATO brown to spray the metal tracks and once dried, I used Vallejo Brown Wash and pigments to weather the tracks. Once the wash and pigments were dried, I took a course file and ran it across the outside of the tracks to remove pigment to show bare metal.
I chose vehicle F on the color call out sheet for my vehicle. I mixed Tamiya paints for the green and tan colors and used straight flat black for the stripes.
A black wash and light dry brushing were the only weathering I did to the hull and launcher. I really didn’t want to go with a dirty look and besides, the vehicles I saw on the internet where mostly pretty clean.
Another good kit off of Panda Hobby’s production line especially with the addition of their new metal tracks and pins. Panda Hobby has 3 sets of metal tracks and pins sold separately and I highly recommend them being checked out.
Of all the Panda Hobby kits I have reviewed and or built, this one was a bit tricky when it came to the instructions. A major issue was with Step 39 and 40 and the miss labeling of the parts on sprue D. So, with that said, I would not recommend this kit to a beginner. In my opinion, you would have to have had a few kits under your belt and/or at least make good practice in reviewing the instructions and overlooking the sprues thoroughly before starting the build.