Pantsir S-1 in Ukraine War

I’ve been trying to determine which of the many 1/35 kits available - Meng X1, Zvezda X1, Tiger X2, Trumpeter X2 - would be best for representing a Pantsir in the current conflict. I’ve managed to compile about 17 different pictures so far depicting 6 different vehicles and have been focusing on 4 identifying features:

  1. Front Operator Compartment - some versions of the Pantsir have an additional layer of armor on the doors, and another plate above the vent on the right side behind the door. This does not seem to appear in any of the pictures;
  2. Search Radar - the shape of the main radar is octagonal in all the pictures where it is visible, and the radar above this is a solid rectangular shape with chamfered corners. Other versions of the Pantsir have the same size plate, but with square corners and it is segmented, not seen in any pictures.
  3. The side platforms - There are two versions: a shorter one that stops in front of the rear power modules and another that extends past it. These are easy to identify because the shorter one has a triangular brace on the rear, the longer one has a rectangular one. All the pictures seem to show the shorter one.
  4. Rear power module - Except for one photo and another that is unclear, all pictures show a single access ladder on the right side of the rear, with a “bulge” on the left side of the rear plate. Most show an additional grille/vent in the bottom half of the bulge, but one vehicle does not have this. The shape of the module and layout/size/shape of the side vents/grilles are also another identifying feature between versions.

From this, it would appear that only the Meng kit has all the features to build an accurate vehicle. It has the shorter platforms (and also includes the longer ones), the proper radar, operator cabin that can be built with or without the extra armor, and has the correct rear power unit (it actually includes 3 options for this), although it does not have the lower vent/grille in the bulge of the rear plate that seems to be the most common version in Ukraine (easy to add).

As noted, one photo does show twin access ladders on the rear plate, but nothing else is visible is the photo so it is difficult to determine what other features this vehicle has.

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Interesting topic

Originally I had planned on getting the Zvezda kit myself, but after realizing MENG was the only option that could be built into the ones seen in the current conflict, I decided to go with them. They have sent one, so I’m waiting patiently for its arrival. I also asked them if they might consider doing a straight up Kamaz 6350 from it as all they really need is a longer cargo bed.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that all the vehicles show the late style of wheel. The Meng kit has the early style with what I assume is the cover over the CTIS extending from the hub. In fact, all of the plastic kits include the early style.
All the resin tire sets are also of the early style (Meng, Def, Panzer Art), with the exception of Miniarm, which makes both early and late sets, with the late set being specifically listed as being for the Meng kit.

Those wheels sets are a bit pricey but they are large.

Unfortunately, if you want to build an accurate vehicle (at least based on the pictures I have so far collected), there is not a lot of alternatives. Since the CTIS cover is molded on the Meng wheel hubs, it would take quite a bit of work to modify the kit wheels by removing said cover and then adding the new style of cover.

It sounds like money must be spent then.