Modelcollect 1/72 BM-30 Smerch

The BM-30 Smerch (Russian: Смерч, “whirlwind”), 9K58 Smerch or 9A52-2 Smerch-M is a Soviet heavy multiple rocket launcher. The system is designed to defeat personnel, armored, and soft targets targets in concentration areas, artillery batteries, command posts and ammunition depots. It was created in the early 1980s and entered service in the Soviet Army in 1989.

The first confirmed combat uses of the Smerch were in two war zones in 2014. Syrian military forces used the system against rebel forces during the Syrian civil war, including in fighting in Jobar. It was also used by Russia-backed militants to deliver explosive and cluster munitions to Ukrainian military positions and locals of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the War in Donbass. Several have been seen in use by pro-Russian rebels. The Russian Ground Forces used the BM-30 in Syria in October 2015 during the Russian intervention in Syria.

The only people making the Smerch in 1/72 are Modelcollect.

The kit arrives in a sturdy top opening box. Inside the box, as you can see in the video, the grey plastic sprues are bagged inside 2 resealable bags. The other items, clear parts, rubber tires, decals and small PE fret are sealed in separate bags.

The number of parts is:

  • 297 plastic parts on 12 sprues
  • 9 clear parts on 1 sprue
  • 1 small PE fret containing 9 parts
  • 8 rubber wheels
  • One small decal sheet

There’s a high level of detail on this kit is very impressive, especially for 1/72 scale, and the part count is very high for a 1/72 scale kit too. The sprue attachment points are small and won’t take much clean up and the ejector pin marks are all on the sprues themselves as far as I can see and so won’t need any dealing with.

The instruction booklet is a 12 pages of glossy paper showing the build on 7 pages in 16 steps. There are 2 pages containing colour painting guides. The first page is some background info about the Smerch Multiple Rocket Launcher and the second page shows the sprue layouts.

The build instructions are in black and white and are of a good size and clarity and there’s not too much on each step. The steps are:

  1. Putting together some small transmission parts
  2. Building the engine from 15 parts.
  3. Putting the main parts of the chassis together using the parts from the previous 2 steps along with new parts
  4. Adding crossbeams to the suspension along with fuel tanks and a few other parts.
  5. Add the rubber wheels to the chassis.
  6. Adding the bed and storage lockers to the chassis.
  7. Adding rear mudguards
  8. Building the individual rocket tubes
  9. Building the mount for the rockets
  10. Assembling all the rockets onto one assembly
  11. Adding rocket launcher assembly to the chassis.
  12. Adding the control room interior to the chassis
  13. Adding control room walls and roof along with doors.
  14. Adding driving cab interior.
  15. Adding doors and PE to the driving cab exterior.
  16. Adding the driving cab to the chassis with PE and a final part going under the engine..

The painting instructions give Ammo paints throughout. The painting guides themselves full colour and easy to understand. Decal placement is also on these diagrams although as you can see in the image gallery they’re not actually labelled.

The decals themselves look very nice, with almost no backing film visible. As usual with Modelcollect there are a few extra decals that are not shown on the painting guides.

I found this kit for sale for $24.99 at Lucky Model.

Overall this is a very nicely detailed kit with the plastic itself has some fine details and the kit as a whole has a large part count and hence lots of details. It will stand out from the crowd on the shelf.

Many thanks to Modelcollect for sending the sample for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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