Kit #: 72016 Preview by Michal Derela - derela(at)poczta(dot)onet(dot)pl

The TOPAS 2AP is a little-known Polish variant of the Czech OT-62 TOPAS APC, only used by the Polish seaborne infantry (so-called "Blue Berets") during the Warsaw Pact era.

This is a typical early ARMO kit, which means excellent resin and detail quality, but also some additional work to remove large casting blocks of resin on the bottoms of the hull, turret and external fuel tanks, and some flesh from gratings and headlight guards. Rest of the parts should be easily removed from their resin "sprues."

It is a complete resin kit, and the quality of the resin is very good. There are no air bubbles or imperfections, with the exception of slightly warped gun barrel and one of basket gratings in my kit (this version of the TOPAS had a stowage basket on the engine deck).

The detail on the parts is very good. The pioneer tools and hatches are molded onto the hull, but have excellent relief and appear very three-dimensional. The wheels and tracks have fine details (these parts are shared with the PT-76 tank kit and several others, on the same chassis). As is common with many resin kits, the tracks will need to be heated in hot water, and then bent into shape. There are pre-drilled location holes for small parts on the hull.

According to width and length in Janusz Magnuski's books, the model fits in 1/72 scale. Overall accuracy also seems very good. There are no decals included with the kit. The instructions in the kit are poor, but most of the parts are obvious in their placement. I highly recommend this model, for its overall quality and unique subject, not seen in plastic.

Editors Note: Michal also has a site dedicated to Polish Armour and Steel Panthers (PIBWL).

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Article Last Updated: 01 February 2010