A review done of the older 094 SP Designs kit
NOTE: Many of the changes suggested in this review are now in the kit, particularly the antenna.
By William Chesterman:
This is another of the excellent series of MTLBu variants produced by SP Designs of The Ukraine. Unfortunately, the original kit had a few flaws, which are quite easily corrected, particularly by studying reference photographs on the internet. The original vehicle which provided the reference appears to be a museum exhibit and does not include the major recognition highlight, the large eleven wired aerial array. Luckily these mistakes and omissions are easily put right.
The corrections: Boxes, parts 31 short and 46 long are far too deep. As is the ‘wooden’ screen part 32. Look at the reference photographs and reduce them with a Dremel tool or similar. Part 49 [two lengths] and part 48 [two lengths] should be replaced by plastic tube. Holes need to be drilled in the rear mounted water vanes, as in the rear view shown with the instructions. Again, a PE set for either the Skif MTLB or the 2S1 offer complete metal replacements. Reworked, these items enhance the total look. Similarly the engine cooling vents always shown closed on SP Design MTLBu kits can be shown open [they would be if the vehicle was moving] simply by cutting thin brass sheet pieces to size and bending them back a little to fit or else by using a PE set for the SKIF MTLB.
The Aerial: Dimensions from photographs. The box cover shows aerial folded down which helps a lot. The wires of the aerial feed into an electronic box which sits centrally on part 35. In scale this box is exactly ½’’ long. Rest this piece on a sheet of paper, knowing the approx. length of the wires [about 2’’] start with the centre one at ¼’’ then fix with super glue five each side of the centre. Allow to dry. The sides of the aerial array are 1 ¾’’ and slope inward. On the inside of these aerial support, ¼’’ down from the top burn a hole with a small hot needle. This needs to be done at an angle going up from the bottom. Fix the two-side support to the top of parts 33 and 34. Allow to dry. Now move the wire and ½’’ piece from earlier, bend out the outer wires and thread them through the small holes burnt into the aerial supports. Then centre the ‘electronic box’ and glue onto piece 35. When set, bend out the aerial wires to equal distances. Only now cut out the top piece of the aerial, it is obviously the same width as the side supports. NOW THE HARD PART. With a very sharp scissors usually supplied by wife’ girlfriend etc it is necessary to cut the tops of the wires absolutely level. Look at the model from the side and be satisfied where to cut the wire before starting. Then glue on the top bar with some glue also underneath to hold the wires.
This makes an interesting vehicle. One of the few MTLBu variants [the IV14 is another] that would be deployed foreword just behind the Advance Guard.