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Photos Request - Russian BMP - 2

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If anyone has any photos they could let me use as reference material for a painting I have for a client I would be most grateful. The image is of Soviet Troops leaving a BMP -2 CIRCA 1985/86. Good quality reference photos would be greatly appreciated along with any re-enactors of Soviet Troops of the same period. Many thanks for any help offered.

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If anyone has any photos they could let me use as reference material for a painting I have for a client I would be most grateful. The image is of Soviet Troops leaving a BMP -2 CIRCA 1985/86. Good quality reference photos would be greatly appreciated along with any re-enactors of Soviet Troops of the same period. Many thanks for any help offered.

 

The back end of a BMP did not change radically between the -1 and -2 so you could get away with views of either, just remember to overlay the different turret profile onto a -1 if you use such a one.

 

What theatre of operations for that era - Europe, Afghanistan??

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The back end of a BMP did not change radically between the -1 and -2 so you could get away with views of either, just remember to overlay the different turret profile onto a -1 if you use such a one.

 

What theatre of operations for that era - Europe, Afghanistan??

I am looking at the European theatre. And thank you for the advice.

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I am looking at the European theatre. And thank you for the advice.

 

How urgent is the request? It might be possible to get one posed for you- uniforms would be Obr-69 or early VSR with AKM's

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How urgent is the request? It might be possible to get one posed for you- uniforms would be Obr-69 or early VSR with AKM's
Please don't go to those lengths, which are much appreciated. I have started the job with photographic reference now. Any further photos would be secondary reference, and I am sure if there are any accuracy issues the client will let me know. thank you again for your kind offer.

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Please don't go to those lengths, which are much appreciated. I have started the job with photographic reference now. Any further photos would be secondary reference, and I am sure if there are any accuracy issues the client will let me know. thank you again for your kind offer.

 

No probs :-)

 

It would not have been an issue to do had you wanted - I own a BMP-1 class vehicle and the Living History group I am part of covers the era in question.

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No probs :-)

 

It would not have been an issue to do had you wanted - I own a BMP-1 class vehicle and the Living History group I am part of covers the era in question.

That is great to know for any future work. And thank you again.

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No probs :-)

 

It would not have been an issue to do had you wanted - I own a BMP-1 class vehicle and the Living History group I am part of covers the era in question.

I have been speaking to the client and I need to refine the design slightly. He is after the 1985/86 theatre and it has to be the BMP - 2. If there are any specific differences you might know of that would be a great help, and if you have any photos that could help I would be more than grateful. I have included a copy of the design so far and I would like to try and keep it similar to this. If you have any questions please do let me know.

Regards, David.Line drawing 1.jpg

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These any good?

 

467thTrainingCenter25-L.jpg

 

bmp-2_13_of_36.jpg

I do have the top one thank you, but not the bottom one, so that is a big help. Is the top one the BMP - 2 as I have been told that the BMP - 2 on the drawing looks like a BMP - 1. I am also keen to have the correct uniform on the figures, and those walking/running need to be accurate. But yes they do help thank you.

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In the sketch the turret looks like a cross between the -1 and the -2. Turret profile looks like a -2 but the barrel looks like the 73mm "Grom" smoothbore fitted to the -1. You can see in the photo's the -2 barrel is longer and thinner.

The hull in the sketch is right for the -2 though.

 

Both photos are of the -2. An easy "tell" is there are only 2 AK ports behind the "D" shaped PKM one. On the -1 there are 3 AK ports. Spare track link is on the hull side behind the rear most AK port whereas on the -1 its on the rear door that side.

 

The troops in the top photo are more modern than the era you are after - they are wearing body armour and carrying AK-74's by the look of it.

 

tumblr_m511ctLBbB1qapz3qo5_1280.jpg

 

For uniforms - have a look here - orders did not change till 1988.

 

http://www.vedomstva-uniforma.ru/forma1973/1973.html

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In the sketch the turret looks like a cross between the -1 and the -2. Turret profile looks like a -2 but the barrel looks like the 73mm "Grom" smoothbore fitted to the -1. You can see in the photo's the -2 barrel is longer and thinner.

The hull in the sketch is right for the -2 though.

 

Both photos are of the -2. An easy "tell" is there are only 2 AK ports behind the "D" shaped PKM one. On the -1 there are 3 AK ports. Spare track link is on the hull side behind the rear most AK port whereas on the -1 its on the rear door that side.

 

The troops in the top photo are more modern than the era you are after - they are wearing body armour and carrying AK-74's by the look of it.

 

tumblr_m511ctLBbB1qapz3qo5_1280.jpg

 

For uniforms - have a look here - orders did not change till 1988.

 

http://www.vedomstva-uniforma.ru/forma1973/1973.html

Neil, That is great, again. Thank you. I will make some alterations and take it from there. Regards, David.

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Neil, That is great, again. Thank you. I will make some alterations and take it from there. Regards, David.

A few alterations to the soldiers and changed the barrel on the BMPAltered sketch BMP - 2 and figures.jpg

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Looks good :-)

One observation - and I am open to correction here if anyone knows better - the guy on the extreme left looks to be carrying an RPK going by the bipod. In actual fact the seating arrangements in a BMP class are such that the first men out will be carrying AK's and the last man out will be carrying the PKM (GPMG equivalent). To the best of my knowledge the PRK does not fit the firing ports in the side of the vehicle.

 

As I say - I am truly open to correction here. All I can say for sure is that when we stage the mock battles at W&P we do not carry RPK gunners on board - they are on the softskin vehicles.

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Looks good :-)

One observation - and I am open to correction here if anyone knows better - the guy on the extreme left looks to be carrying an RPK going by the bipod. In actual fact the seating arrangements in a BMP class are such that the first men out will be carrying AK's and the last man out will be carrying the PKM (GPMG equivalent). To the best of my knowledge the PRK does not fit the firing ports in the side of the vehicle.

 

As I say - I am truly open to correction here. All I can say for sure is that when we stage the mock battles at W&P we do not carry RPK gunners on board - they are on the softskin vehicles.

 

That does help, again Thank you. Maybe I'll use Artistic Licence and assume that one of the softskin transports is just out of picture. But it is great to have feedback before making the mistakes and then asking. I'll pass on the comments to the client.

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That does help, again Thank you. Maybe I'll use Artistic Licence and assume that one of the softskin transports is just out of picture. But it is great to have feedback before making the mistakes and then asking. I'll pass on the comments to the client.

 

Artistic license is always useful!! :-) :-)

One other thing I forgot - if the subjects are de-bussing from within a BMP - they won't be wearing back packs. Standard Soviet field kit was the "Y" yoke with a rolled up plash-platka at the junction of the "Y". Alternatively in the mid Eighties something like a 6b3, 6b4 or 6b5 body armour would be worn, instead of the "Y" yoke.

 

See http://survincity.com/2013/08/the-russian-army-body-armor/

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Artistic license is always useful!! :-) :-)

One other thing I forgot - if the subjects are de-bussing from within a BMP - they won't be wearing back packs. Standard Soviet field kit was the "Y" yoke with a rolled up plash-platka at the junction of the "Y". Alternatively in the mid Eighties something like a 6b3, 6b4 or 6b5 body armour would be worn, instead of the "Y" yoke.

 

See http://survincity.com/2013/08/the-russian-army-body-armor/

Thank you noticing that Neil. The client had mentioned it as well, so a little alteration there as well.

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One observation - and I am open to correction here if anyone knows better - the guy on the extreme left looks to be carrying an RPK going by the bipod. In actual fact the seating arrangements in a BMP class are such that the first men out will be carrying AK's and the last man out will be carrying the PKM (GPMG equivalent). To the best of my knowledge the PRK does not fit the firing ports in the side of the vehicle.

As I say - I am truly open to correction here. All I can say for sure is that when we stage the mock battles at W&P we do not carry RPK gunners on board - they are on the softskin vehicles.

Hello from Russia !

 

I have decided to join slightly to this particular discussion.

Sadly, dear Neil, You and Your friends in mock battles are wrong. Actually, the guy in extreme left on scene drawing carries the PK/PKM machine gun with bipod. The RPK light machine gun was shown on first version of scene design (this MG has the soldier, which was third from the left - see the post # 8, and see the image attached below - click to enlarge). But this is not main problem.

 

The main problem is, that, according to official Russian Military Field Manuals, the Soviet (and Russian now) mechanized infantry squad on BMP vehicle have only ONE hand machine gun, and this MG is RPK exactly (or RPK-74, if You want - for more modern period). [Wherein the PKT machine gun, mounted in BMP turret coaxially with gun, is not considered in this battle order]. Yes, this RPK MG is not very popular, but "the Law is the Law" - our BMP squad consists of 8 men in total (including the BMP crew), and there is only one machine gunner among those men. Two machine guns for one BMP (see the image) is the error.

 

On the other hand, this BMP squad have always one grenade gunner with RPG-7 grenade launcher, and one grenade gunner's assistant with AK assault rifle.

 

And PK/PKM hand machine gun is the weapon of larger troop units - from the platoon and larger, or it is the inventory of non-motorized (I mean non-IFV) infantry units.

 

In real battle/war conditions the situation could change, of course, because in such circumstances there always are different deviations from the official orders and manuals. And the squad leader can allow his men to have more machine guns or grenade launchers than required by Field Manuals - if they will be able to provide enough ammunition for this increased weaponry, of course.

 

So, this information is another reason to revise the scene design.

 

P.S. When I studied in my Institute, all young men should study military subjects too (one day each week). I studied as BMP-2 driver, and I shined this vehicle "through the length and breadth". We also learned the rules of BMP using, and the tactics of BMP squad.

BMP Line drawing 1.jpg

BMP Line drawing 1.jpg

Edited by modello

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I did say I was open to correction :-) Thanks for the information Modello.

 

A couple of questions if you don't mind - the manuals for the BMP-1 hull all refer to the forward most firing positions (with the "D" shaped hull ports) as being for the PKM and to the right of the turret floor as viewed from the rear of the vehicle is stowage for a sustained fire tripod for a PKM. Is this actually correct (the manuals are Soviet) - did things change for the BMP-2??

Same manuals show the RPG stowed in brackets along the central spine above the batteries and main fuel tank - is this correct?

 

According to the same manuals the complement of a BMP-1 was 8 men plus 3 crew. I know the troop complement on the BMP-2 was reduced to make room for the larger turret. I thought the -2 still had a crew of 3 making a total of 9 including the 6 in the back - or do you discount the driver??

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Well, dear Neil; sadly, I am overbusy for now.

 

If You agree to wait for several days, I shall try to answer Your questions.

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Well, dear Neil; sadly, I am overbusy for now.

 

If You agree to wait for several days, I shall try to answer Your questions.

 

Of course - thank you for the time. Might be useful info for the orginal poster too. Its always good to get first hand info rather than interpreted from manuals as sometime the translations leave a lot to be desired.

We have learnt a lot over the years at shows from talking to people who used to be the Warpac equivalent of REME and worked on servicing the BMP class. Not met anyone till you who was actually a crew member. :)

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Thank you both for the input, it all helps, as accuracy is important for the finished Painting. I will certainly take all onboard and discuss with the client. All advice and help is as always greatly appreciated.

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Hello from Russia !

 

I have decided to join slightly to this particular discussion.

Sadly, dear Neil, You and Your friends in mock battles are wrong. Actually, the guy in extreme left on scene drawing carries the PK/PKM machine gun with bipod. The RPK light machine gun was shown on first version of scene design (this MG has the soldier, which was third from the left - see the post # 8, and see the image attached below - click to enlarge). But this is not main problem.

 

The main problem is, that, according to official Russian Military Field Manuals, the Soviet (and Russian now) mechanized infantry squad on BMP vehicle have only ONE hand machine gun, and this MG is RPK exactly (or RPK-74, if You want - for more modern period). [Wherein the PKT machine gun, mounted in BMP turret coaxially with gun, is not considered in this battle order]. Yes, this RPK MG is not very popular, but "the Law is the Law" - our BMP squad consists of 8 men in total (including the BMP crew), and there is only one machine gunner among those men. Two machine guns for one BMP (see the image) is the error.

 

On the other hand, this BMP squad have always one grenade gunner with RPG-7 grenade launcher, and one grenade gunner's assistant with AK assault rifle.

 

And PK/PKM hand machine gun is the weapon of larger troop units - from the platoon and larger, or it is the inventory of non-motorized (I mean non-IFV) infantry units.

 

In real battle/war conditions the situation could change, of course, because in such circumstances there always are different deviations from the official orders and manuals. And the squad leader can allow his men to have more machine guns or grenade launchers than required by Field Manuals - if they will be able to provide enough ammunition for this increased weaponry, of course.

 

So, this information is another reason to revise the scene design.

 

P.S. When I studied in my Institute, all young men should study military subjects too (one day each week). I studied as BMP-2 driver, and I shined this vehicle "through the length and breadth". We also learned the rules of BMP using, and the tactics of BMP squad.

 

Any information you can share will be greatly appreciated, and thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. As an Artist it is always my aim to be accurate with my paintings.

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Well, let's return to BMP talks.

 

First of all - I have found the image, with which ARTBYDAVID was inspired:

BMP-2.jpg

 

Compare it with this image - note the characteristic soldier with RPK machine gun (he is in far right on photo above):

BMP Line drawing 1.jpg

 

As for types of machine guns, used by BMP-2 infantry squad - some ambiguity is here. All Soviet field manuals from the Eighties - the Nineties stated, that BMP infantry squads used only RPK machine guns (excluding PK machine guns, mounted in BMP turrets). In the same time the BMP Manuals showed the firing ports for PK/PKM machine guns in BMP hulls. This is large strangeness - but this is reality.

 

Today our experts consider, that from the beginning of the 2000s most part of RPK in conventional infantry units has been replaced with PK/PKM machine guns; wherein the RPK machine guns used by special units and specialist units mainly. But even most modern main Field Manual of Russian Army (2005) does not describe the exact types of infantry weapons, used by troops.

As the example of modern BMP-2 infantry squad weaponry I have attached below the image from 1995, on which I marked each weapon with it's type letters in red colour. Note - the BMP is moving on, and we see 8 men around the vehicle. One machine gunner have the RPK, and one (or two - sadly, I can not see his exact weapon) - the PK/PKM machine guns.

 

A couple of questions if you don't mind - the manuals for the BMP-1 hull all refer to the forward most firing positions (with the "D" shaped hull ports) as being for the PKM and to the right of the turret floor as viewed from the rear of the vehicle is stowage for a sustained fire tripod for a PKM. Is this actually correct (the manuals are Soviet) - did things change for the BMP-2??

Same manuals show the RPG stowed in brackets along the central spine above the batteries and main fuel tank - is this correct?

 

According to the same manuals the complement of a BMP-1 was 8 men plus 3 crew. I know the troop complement on the BMP-2 was reduced to make room for the larger turret. I thought the -2 still had a crew of 3 making a total of 9 including the 6 in the back - or do you discount the driver??

Yes, it seems strange - the BMP-2 have 10 places in total (3 - for the crew, 7 - for the assault infantrymen), but one infantry squad consists of 8 men only.

 

The matter is that, according to Russian Army's regimental structure of 2000 - 2010, each motorized infantry company consists of 3 platoons. Each platoon consists of 3 squads - 30 men in total. Each BMP squad consists of 8 men - 2 of them are the crew members (the driver and BMP gunner), 6 men are the infantrymen. Thus, we see 3 x 8 = 24 men.

And each platoon have the commanding and specialist personnel - 6 men in total. Those 6 men are - platoon commander (AK assault rifle), platoon commander assistant (AK assault rifle), machine gunner (PKM), machine gunner assistant (AK assault rifle), sniper (SVD sniper rifle), sniper assistant (AK assault rifle). Thus, now we see 24 + 6 = 30 men in total; and all 30 places in all 3 BMPs are used.

So, one BMP platoon have 1 x PKM + 3 x RPK machine guns (+ 3 PK MGs in BMP turrets), or - for more modern time - 4 x PKM MGs (+ 3 PK MGs in BMPs).

 

As to the forward most firing positions (with the "D" shaped hull ports) - yes, the BMP-2 Manuals describe them as PK firing positions too. In case of fire tripod for PKM, placed in fighting compartment of BMP - I do not know, if this is correct, because of the Manuals do not mention it.

And other strangeness here - if the BMP-1 Manual describes the placement for RPG-7 grenade launcher clearly, the BMP-2 Manual do not mention RPG placement absolutely. Only several words are devoted to RPG place - this is area, encircled with red line on BMP-2 infantry compartment photo below - see the image attached. The SAM launchers or RPG launchers could pe placed there, in forward area of left part of infantry compartment, and fixed with buckle belts.

So, if Your BMP have some place "in brackets along the central spine above the batteries and main fuel tank" - You can use it for RPG too; it is not prohibited directly.

 

Well, this is all for now. If You have some questions - please, let me know about them.

 

P.S. And yes - during the institute time we were "like the soldiers"; but we used training (school) vehicles. These vehicles were in operation condition - their engines and all units and gears worked very well; those vehicles were equipped with main guns. But those vehicles had not any infantry weapons, small arms, ammunition, RPKs, PKMs, RPGs, and even turret PKs - because of we were "LIKE-soldiers", almost the children, and not real soldiers; and we do not trusted to use such dangerous weapon.

So, I can not know all exact and specific details about such weaponry, carried within BMPs.

BMP-2 1.jpg

BMP-2 2=.jpg

Edited by modello

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Many thanks for this information modello. It is really interesting.

 

The sad news though is I just had to sell my vehicle. - I've been out of work for over 8 years, have had all applications for state assistance rejected and still had household bills to pay. So last weekend the very bitter decision had to be made to part with my vehicle. Now feeling absolutely gutted :( :(

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