TOS-1A is 24 barrel 220mm calibre multiple rocket launcher and a thermobaric weapon mounted on a chassis of T-72 main battle tank. It is designed to engage and destroy infantry and lightly armored vehicles as a part of larger armored force. Although first tested at the end of Afghanistan war, its first public presentation happened in 1999. The improved TOS-1A system entered service in 2001 and has increased range of up to 6.000m (some sources say up to 9.000m) compared to original 3.500m. It is believed around 15 units are in service with NBC units of Russian Army. TOS-1A official name is Soltsepek (Blazing Sun) while the nickname Buratino comes from the Tolstoy’s hero character in his Pinocchio style story – the launcher representing the growing nose of the character.
To be honest, I’ve never before heard of either the TOS-1 system, neither of Modelcollect company. While you can find a few things about the first on the web, little can be found of the company itself. Their website http://www.modelcollect.com doesn’t offer much useful information and from what I’ve gathered so far, they are producing die-cast and plastic scale models. So far T-90, T-90A and TOS-1A have been released in 1:72 scale and for the price of 13.99$ you can’t go really wrong with it (similar price to Revell T-72).
So let’s see what’s in the box.
Note: Click on the photos will open them in higher resolution.
Lower hull comes in die-cast metal form. This will certainly add some weight to the model (shouldn’t armor kits be heavy?). Details are crisp and well defined and the only ejection pin marks I’ve found are on the inner side of the hull.
There are two sprues of main wheels and drive sprockets. Wheels seem a bit simplified. The edges on real ones are flat while these are round and there is no metal rim represented which extends a bit further than rubber parts. Painting these might become challenge but a swipe with sanding stick will make them flatter.
Upper parts are nicely molded with sharp recesses and grills that should look nice after some wash application.
Same goes for the side skirts and other parts of the upper hull.
TOS-1A system makes for a separate sprue. Again not much to comment as all parts are crisp and without any visible flash or mould defections.
Tracks are made of rubber and are my biggest concern. Especially for the painting as I fear paint will crack when bending them around the wheels.
A small decal sheet rounds this package with a few tactical codes, unit badges and Gvardiya badges. Paint instructions call only for an overall green machine, though search for photos on google, reveals a whole lot of different camouflaged machines.
Stay tuned for work in progress.