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Tamiya BT-7 Review and Build

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A helping Hand
Step by Step: Captured Tanks under the German Flag By Glenn Bartolotti is offered online from Glenn’s website in .pdf format for $1.95 US. Files can be saved to your computer and viewed or printed for future reference.

I would like to take this time out of the feature here to give a review of an excellent aid to any modeler who likes to paint and weather builds. Glenn Bartolotti has been supplying the modeling community with his helpful step by step guides on painting and weathering for a while now and currently has thirty-nine volumes on the subject. Glenn has a knack for explaining the ins and outs to painting and weathering models easily, precisely as well as thoroughly, so that not only can the novice builder learn the processes of finishing a model, but even veteran builders may pick up a neat technique or two to add to their tool box.

Jumping back a couple of volumes from his latest Step by Step (Volume 39: Captured Tanks Under the Allied Flag – Italian M13/40), I here offer a review Volume 36: Captured Tanks under the German Flag – BT-7 Model 1935. Albeit I am building the 1937 version of the BT-7, the step by step processes still apply.

Glen nicely covers a little history on the subject he is working on and shows a quick overview of the kit he is using and the completed, unfinished model. Walking through the early stages of painting from priming and pre-shade to base color and highlighting, Glenn effortlessly moves through the various stages of weathering, not only showing application photos but clearly explaining how and what he is doing to obtain the finish he is looking for. Through the use of oils for washes and tonal effect, as well as showing his use of pastels in place of pigments, he achieves great results in applying rusting, soil and dust effects to his models. Finishing up his build, Glenn shows his use of a graphite pencil to obtain metal effects on various parts of the tank.

I would urge anyone interested in building a BT-7 under WWII German management to have a look at this e-book. Highly recommended!!

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About the Author

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...


Very nice article and lovely model.
AUG 08, 2013 - 01:25 AM
Thak you very much Dave!!
AUG 08, 2013 - 02:02 AM
Hi Todd, Lovely build. I do like this vehicle and it's straightforward construction. The link and length tracks look to be a a great improvement on the normal Tamiya style rubber band tracks. Excellent work. Al
AUG 08, 2013 - 02:42 AM
AWESOME Review Todd and BT-7 is stunning to say the least! Well done sir.
AUG 08, 2013 - 03:30 AM
Hi Alan! Thank you kindly Sir!! Big improvent with the tracks! Easy to clean too! Small pin marks but like I said in the review...sand and done or leave and cover with mud!! LOL!! Brotha Gary!! Thanks bud! Appreciate it...thanks!!!
AUG 08, 2013 - 04:27 AM
Excellent write up, T. A modeler and an author.... truly a man for all seasons!
AUG 08, 2013 - 04:40 AM
Hello Bob!! Thank you, thank you! LOL!!
AUG 08, 2013 - 08:33 AM
The is great, I wish more modelers would write up build-reviews like this! I just copied it onto file for my references.
AUG 09, 2013 - 06:17 PM
Thank you very much Jeremy! Sometimes it takes a bit longer...but it can be fun to go through the process!!
AUG 09, 2013 - 10:14 PM
What I like the most from the article is the part about scratch building of the "lost" details. How often we see posts on forums asking for help, because some detail got lost. With little bit of internet search and some work a new part can be built, which may look even better than the lost original one. The author definitely didn't have a heart attack from losing a couple of parts! Kuddos for that! I only would like to add that "the two white scratch-built parts on the rear deck" are not to fill with fuel, but to adjust the rear suspension shock absorbers. I wouldn't put too much trust in your historical sources, though. >>>"By the onset of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and with tank losses soaring higher and higher, the BT-7 was still in full production." No BT-7 was produced past September of 1940 as the T-34 started to go into mass production. >>>"By the time of the Battle of Kursk, the BT-7 was making up nearly half of the armor in the Soviet Army." Hardly over 5,000 BT-7 were produced at all time, and most of them lost in 1941-1942. More than 15,000 T-34 were built before 1943; plus, another 15,000 were built in 1943 alone. Plus all kinds of light tanks, KV tanks and SPGs. Not exactly "...BT-7 was making up nearly half of the armor...". Anyway, great build! Thanks for sharing with us! And good luck on your future projects!
AUG 13, 2013 - 03:46 PM