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Grey Ghost 531

PRP-3 Soviet battlefield reconaissance vehicle

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I just finished my ACE Models PRP-3, battlefield reconnaissance vehicle. It was based on the BMP-1. The turret was replaced with a larger, two man turret and the 76mm gun of the BMP was replaced with a 7.62mm MG. It had a surveillance radar mounted on the back of the turret equipped with a fold-down antenna and an 80mm mortar mounted on the top, rear of the hull. I believe it was a breech loaded tube able to be loaded from inside the vehicle. Since the PRP-3 was an artillery recon track, I'm guessing the mortar was used for target marking.

The kit was by ACE from Ukraine. It's a low-pressure injection molded kit with nice surface detail but very prominent mold seams and lots of flash. It was quite a bit of work to clean up the pieces, but trimming and testing produced pretty good fit.

Out of the box except I replaced the mortar tube with Evergreen rod, added wire brush guards to the headlights and added a tiny bit of lead foil to the stowage straps on the side of the turret to give them some relief. I also drilled out the headlights and spotlight, punched out foil disks for reflectors and built up Micro Kristal Klear lenses. The headlights were shined up with Future and the spotlight got several coats of Tamiya clear red to represent an IR spotlight and add some color. I saw pics on the web of either red or clear spotlights so I chose the red.

Weathering was a filter of Holbein burnt umber and a filter of Holbein "monochrome tint warm" which is a sort of beige. Then a dot filter of various colors I happen to have: white, black, gray, beige, burnt umber...

Then, a no-name pigment I got at a railroad model store mixed with water. I slopped it on the lower surfaces, let it dry and then scrubbed most of it off with a stiff paint brush. Vision blocks are just little rectangles of dark blue decal that I cut out of an old RF-4B tail decal.

I got this kit at the GraniteCon raffle a few years ago and including all the materials used, I've got about three bucks in it. Take that Friul Boys!

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