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135
T72 MBT



Introduction
This build was one I decided to begin one rainy day in 2006 while I was recovering from a long project. I wanted to build something from my “stash” which would be out of box and not tempt me to add to it. The plan was to concentrate on cleanup and basic build skills and avoid photoetch and aftermarket items.
The kit I selected was one of two Tamiya T72s sitting on my shelf (this one was a gift from a friend) with my eventual plans to build the other one with the full range of aftermarket items or perhaps a conversion.

Build
I didn’t document this process extensively at the time since I was building this more for a relaxing project but I will outline the basics. So unfortunately I have no build photos to share with you but I will summarize what I did to the kit.
These were assembled with attention to cleaning up unwanted seams and sink holes. There wasn’t a lot of cleanup required and the kit pretty much fell together. I decided early on to stick with the kit vinyl tracks and this is where things got a little weird. I added a tiny amount of Tamiya super thin cement and the track attachment points literally dissolved in my hands. Having lost both tracks I said “no problem I have a spare kit” so I borrowed the tracks from that kit and this time used Testors cement (the black bottle) and they glued up without any incident. I have no idea what exactly happened but I guess the second kit will get some aftermarket tracks so all is well.
The upper hull was assembled again paying attention to the cleanup of seams and I spent a lot of time working on the fuel drums at the rear cleaning them up and removing seams and installing the plumbing for the tanks. I used the kit supplied mesh and I think this works fine in this application. Drivers hatch was assembled closed since I wasn’t doing anything with the interior.
This required a considerable amount of time working on the smoke dischargers and other small items. I used some stock to frame in the gunners sight since this has basically no detail when you look into the opening. Filled the seams on the stowage bins and installed a brass wire antenna. No surprises here and the hatches again were assembled closed. Gun barrel needed very little work to remove the seam and a small amount of work was done to the seams and mounting location of the mantlet.

Painting and Finish
I used Model Masters Russian green to which I added some yellow. This was over a nato black base coat. I went back with some additional spraying of a further lightened version of the green to try and add some interest to the monotone scheme. All the tools, ditching log and other items requiring detail painting were done at this time. I should add that the basic lower hull painting and track finishing were done before I mounted the side skirts and upper hull. Tracks were painted in earth tones, dry brushed with metallic grey and washed with a rusty wash to bring out some details.
After the paint was dry a coat of future was sprayed on to seal everything and prep for decals. I chose the Czech Army markings as I liked the contrast of the colors of the insignia on the monotone tank finish. Once they were dry I sealed it with another coat of future followed by black and burnt umber pin washes. A matt coat was done next after which the entire tank was given a very thin dusting of Tamiya Buff (highly thinned 95/5) concentrating on the running gear and fading towards the tops of the hull sides. Some light dry brushing and it was finished.

Summary
This is a good solid basic T72 kit and is arguably the best on the market. Some inaccuracies are present for the version depicted (ie. M1) but I chose to ignore those with this build. A future T72 build will be done using my other kit to create a more accurate T72 in Russian service.
I entered this kit in the Mid-West AMPS Regional in October of 2006 and to my surprise it placed with a silver medal in the advanced category. I think this is proof that you don’t have to spend 100s of dollars to produce a kit worthy of praise at a show. I was extremely pleased with the results since I was concentrating on improving my basic modeling skills over other areas. I recommend everyone periodically do a build like this. It recharged my batteries for tougher builds and I loved the results.

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About the Author

About Rob Feehan (rfeehan)
FROM: KANSAS, UNITED STATES

My main interests are 1/35th scale WW2 and modern armor with some aircraft and sci-fi when the mood hits me. I am particularly interested in Canada's armor and aircraft and I enjoy modeling those subjects as much as I can. I am Canadian born and moved to the USA in 1994. I am currently living i...


Comments

Very nice work. A good clean paint job with minimum fuss.
JAN 16, 2007 - 03:46 PM
Hi Rob, Very nice work. Thanks for sharing. Regards, Joe
JAN 17, 2007 - 03:20 AM
Hello Rob - I too like the results you got, very much! You did a great job with a good kit. I like post-war Russian tanks, and I made a couple of screen shots of yours to keep with other good builds on my screen-desktop, for inspiration and morale-boost. I enjoyed your article equally, but especially the "SUMMARY"! It meant a good deal to me to find your story just when I did. I can't get enough of hearing things like 'out-of-box' and 'relax'. I have the bad habit of reading through stuff like "AFV Modeller" and then kind of eating my heart out. Armorama (this is not a plug!) has given me chances to take a breath once in a while, and get my bearings. You helped quite a bit with that! I look forward to your next build, whenever it happens. Thanks again for your thoughts!
JAN 20, 2007 - 05:24 AM
Nice T-72 Rob, and I fully agree with your sentiment, " since I was concentrating on improving my basic modeling skills over other areas. I recommend everyone periodically do a build like this. It recharged my batteries for tougher builds and I loved the results. " It really does, I love to grab a Tamiya or Italeri kit and just build it straight from the box, in between trying to add those ridiculously small pieces of brass and resin to what most people consider to be a toy... :-) Cheers Henk
JAN 20, 2007 - 12:18 PM
Thanks guys, I did this one after my Sherman OP and while I loved that project it was nice to just do this one as close to "oob" as possible. Glad people liked it as that means a lot. I am an older modeler (being 44) but I don't think I got really serious with my modeling until about 2001 when I jumped back in after a break (I have had a lot of breaks over the years). So a lot of the basic skills I am still learning to master and the biggest one is probably patience and attention to detail. I just wish my eyes were as good as they were 20 years ago and everything would be perfect lol. Right now I have 3 things on my work bench and one of them is close to out of the box other than a barrel and a small amount of simple etch. The other two are resin conversions which I am "stuck" at the weathering/detailing stage on. Next up for me is probably my new home office/hobby space and game room so models might take a backseat this spring for a while assuming I can ever get the people lined up to do the work.
JAN 23, 2007 - 12:18 AM