Kit # 72119 Review by Simon Barnes 

With the immenant release of the Revell T-72 I thought I had better get round to previewing the long available ACE T-72M1 and the M-84 which is the Yugoslavian license built T-72 with a few modifications. Basically they are the same kit with only the instructions being different. A bit of history, the T-72 was developed along side the T-64, with the T-64 incorperating newer untried technology in the suspension and engine, whilst the T-72 took the progressive route with the engine being a developement of the T-62 engine which itself is a developement of the engine used in the T-34 progressivly developed through the T-44/54/55. the suspension with the return rollers was first developed for the T-62 chassis although never employed on the T-62, the test bed was developed into the T-72. The other new technology employed in the T-72 and the T-64 although both systems are not the same, is the Auto loader which reduces the crew to 3 and thus keeps the combat weight down.

The kit comes packed in 7 sprues 2 of which are the wheels, 2 are for the Hull and fittings one for the turret one for the tracks and one for the turret fittings. The hull comes in four pieces top, bottom and two sides which mount the suspension arms. The hull is correct for the M1 version of this tank, having the extra armoured plate on the glacis, the drivers position is open unfortunately the v shaped splash plate is moulded in place, due to the nature of the moulds it means that this doesn't have an undercut on it and the purist may want to replace this, The entrenching blade on the front is moulded in place, the underside is fully detailed, the characteristic rubber side skirts are included but suffer from being slightly thick, this does not detract from the kit when they are in position but you still may want to thin them out a bit.

The wheels are provided in a novel way, they come in two parts an outer and an inner with the hub caps as separate pieces, the outer and inners are different in that depending on which vehicles are being modelled depends on which go to the outside, one set have the newer 6 bolts the other set contains 8 bolts being the older type. This unique way gives the builder more that one option for vehicles.

The turret is the only part of this kit that I have a problem with, although being correct in plan form for a T-72A as it is missing the added armour of the M version, the turret looks incorrect from the side, it is difficult to explain this as to why and I hope to be able to demonstrate this better with photos in an article on the T-72 turret, Having studied the T-72 for years, it is easy for me to notice the fault but not to explain it. The turret hatches are both open, When building the M-84 version there are some modifications to be made, mainly cutting off the laser and sight housing and filling the subsequent space and filing the area flat, the new sights and prominant wind sensor are supplied in boht the T-72 and M-84 kits, the turret is the only area where the differences between the two tanks reside.

The small sprue contains the commander cupola, the NSVT AAMG and the smoke discharges to be mounted to the front of the turret, the NSVT is nicely detailed and comes with a seperate Ammo can, although it is missing the characteristic ejected shell catcher on the side. Also included are the rear holders for the fuel drums, they are moulded as one piece but are in fact two pieces with the lower portion being mounted when the fuel drums are not fitted.

The last sprue contains the link and length tracks that are very nicely detailed on the outside but although the giude horns are in place, there are no individual link detail on the inside, This if you are mad enough (like me) can be replaced with a heated piece of metal bent to shape and pressed to represent the links.

Having done my best trick of losing the Instructions, I very rarely use them for modern vehicles I am not sure what all the decals are for so if anyone knows, please correct me if I am wrong, Included on the sheet are 2 or 3 Iraqi tanks, one Finnish, one NVA (east German) one Indian and one Russian vehicle, all decals are finely printed and in register on nice thin sheet.

The kit measure out well to 1/72nd scale, in fact it is almost perfect, I can recommend this model despite the Turret as there are no alternatives ! until Revell release theirs. There are no fit problems other than the usual minor problems caused by the short run moulds, in fact the kit goes together very well.


Soviet/Russian Armour and Artillery Design Practices:1945 to Present by A.Hull, D. Markov and S.Zaloga Darlington Productions

The T-72 and T-90 Tank by Steven Zaloga and David Markov Concord Mini Color Series 7508

T-72 main Battle tank 1974-1993 by Steven Zaloga Peter Sarson Osprey new Vanguard No6

T-72 Main Battle Tank by Steven Zaloga Concord Publications 1004

Various magazine articles and photographs

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