In-Box Review
BM-21 Grad

by: Pavel (Paul) Dotsenko [ PAUL ]

Being a truck and AFV modeler, I wanted an Ural truck for a long time, so when the ICM kit came out I bought it right away. The kit consists of 363 parts for the truck and 25 parts for the 4 figures included.


Interior: The seats have no detail what so ever, and there is no clutch in the kit.

Cab: Like on most European kits, the cab assembles from a number of pieces. The piece with the windshield needed some persuading to fit with the floor and the roof but otherwise the fit is okay. Although the kit is designed to have the hood and doors open, it was impossible for me to glue the hinges and not get glue on any moving parts. I ended up making my own hinge housings for the hood and just glued the doors. The windshield wipers and turn signals are not detailed at all, I even mistaken the turn signals for scarp pieces at first.

Frame: The frame assembles pretty easily up to a certain point. At that point, the instructions become vague and it is hard to see where the parts go. Pieces like the steering boxes and some cross members need to be sanded and cut significantly to fit.

Drive train: The rear axles are very straight forward, but the instructions for the front axle do a bad job explaining how the steering works. The engine assembles of 32 pieces with the block assembled of 5 pieces-a really bad set up makes for a lot of filling and sanding. The exhaust system consists of 5 pieces of rods that have to be glued together to make the needed curves. This will give you a hard time trying to route the pipes between the axle and the oil pan, and even a harder time positioning the pipes with the headers. There are very good quality two piece drive shafts, a signature of many Russian kits.

Working Suspension: The rear suspension is designed to work as a real suspension, a feature I really like. In order to make the suspension, leaf spring “holders” have to be glued to the rear axles. The problem here is that the kit doesn’t have the needed amount of right and left pieces. This forces you to either glue the piece to the axle and then fill the needed amount with putty, or make a new resin piece from the kit ones.

Artillery: The 40 gun barrels assemble easily with a fair fit. The whole thing is fixed on to a platform with a very small pin in order to make it spin, the pin will eventually give, which happened in my case. I just place the artillery guns on the model and take them off every time I need to carry the model. The platform itself is fixed to the frame by 4 braces, which have to be snapped into place.


I would recommend this kit for more experienced modelers, because of some problems that it has. However, if you can overcome these problems, you will end up with a really impressive kit. I would buy this kit again just for the working suspension. A must have for any modern AFV modeler.

The ICM BM-21 is a much needed model, involving two underproduced subjects: trucks and artillery. The kit builds up into an impressive model but is fit for more experienced modelers because of some missing parts, poor fit and unclear instructions.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35282
  Suggested Retail: $30
  PUBLISHED: Feb 15, 2004

About Pavel (Paul) Dotsenko (Paul)

I was born in Kharkov, Ukraine but at about 12 moved to Delaware, and now live in New York state, I'm 17 years old. I build mainly modern Soviet and Russian softskins ( this is the area I have the best knowlege of ) and APC's and WWII Soviet vehicles in 1:35. I also build 1:25(4) cars... Now consi...

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