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REVIEW
Russian MBT T-72B3
brian638
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 10:28 PM UTC
Ian Barraclough shares his initial view on this latest release from Meng Models, this time it is their impressive release of the T72B3.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
McScheffer
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Niedersachsen, Germany
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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 11:14 PM UTC
Thank you for this Review. This will be my first russian tank since... I can't remember.
barra733
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 11:21 PM UTC
I'm also doing a blog on the build.
bilbobee
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Minnesota, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 11:39 PM UTC
Thanks Ian for a good review
vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 11:59 PM UTC
Looky at what can done with this jewel of a kit!

Behold!

Current operators

Algeria – 500 m1 and AG (last generation)
Angola – 22 T-72M1 bought from Belarus in 1999
Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – About 250 in Armenia and over 500 with NKR T-72B, T-72A, AV
Azerbaijan ~ 400 T-72A, T-72B and T-72 SIM2
Belarus – 1,465 T-72B
Bulgaria – 80 T-72M2 and a large number (some 350) in reserve
Czech Republic – 543 inherited from former Czechoslovakia in 1993. 30 modernized T-72M4CZ main battle tanks in service as of 1 January 2016, 93 T-72 in storage.
Djibouti – 42 bought from Yemen
Ethiopia – 50 bought from Yemen, 171 T-72UA1 vehicles reportedly ordered from Ukraine in 2011.
Georgia – 50 T-72A and T-72M1 in 2004. 140 T-72A, T-72M1 and T-72B in 2005. 170 T-72M1, T-72B and T-72Sim1 in 2007. Approximately 200 T-72B1 and T-72Sim1 in 2008, 169 T-72B1 and T-72Sim1 in 2009 and 180 T-72B and T-72Sim1 as of 2011
Hungary – 195 T-72M and T-72M1 in 2009. 15 in active service, 113 in reserve, 77 donated to New Iraqi Army
India – 1,900 T-72M and T-72M1 as of 2008
Iran – 480 T-72M1 and T-72S since 2002
Iraq – 1,000 T-72s, T-72Ms, T-72M1s, Lion of Babylon and Saddam tanks were in service with Iraqi Army in 1990. 375 T-72s, T-72Ms, T-72M1s, Lion of Babylon and Saddam tanks were in service with Iraqi Regular Army in 2003. Only 125 T-72M1 are in service as of 2009 with the new Iraqi Army.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – operates numbers captured from Syrian army stocks
Kazakhstan – 980
Kenya – 77 T-72AV from Ukraine in 2007. 33 delivered in Feb 2009 may bring total to 110.
Kyrgyzstan – 215
Libya – 150 in 2003
Macedonia – 30 T-72A and 1 T-72AK from Ukraine.
Morocco – 136 T-72B and 12 T-72BK from Belarus
Mongolia – 85
Myanmar – 139 T-72S
Nicaragua – 50 T-72B tanks. Initial photographs suggest the tanks are substantially upgraded with elements from the T-72B3M program as well as numerous other improvements.
Nigeria – Nigeria army: 16 T-72AV
Pakistan – Some T-72 were transferred from Iraq to Pakistan after the Gulf War.
North Korea – Probably a T-72S was sold to the North Koreans in the early 1980s
Poland – 586 T-72M1 and T-72M1D (2006, 2007 – 597, 2005 – 644, 2004 – 649) and 135 T-72M1Z T-72M1 upgraded to PT-91 standard. Also 98 PT-91 in service. Plans to withdraw the T-72M1 in 2018.
Russia – (active): ~ 2284, 155 T-72BM "Rogatka", 8,000 in reserve. Obtained in 2013 270 T-72B3 (gunner's sight is replaced by the 4-channel's Sosna-U), gun is replaced by the 2A46M-5 (Can use the new ammo). Additional 143 units were delivered as of October 2014. 300 were delivered during the year. Planned to continue purchases. Unto 2015 596 upgrades up to T-72B3 + more than 70 in 2015. 30 more as of May 2016.
Slovakia – 33 T-72M1 to be retired at end of 2011
Transnistria – at least 20
South Sudan – 32 T-72s from the MV Faina as well as 67 T-72s from previous arms shipments
Sudan – 400 T-72AV which 250 of them were bought from Ukraine and Belarus .. most of them are second-hand, the rest are produced locally under license at MIC (Military Industry Corporation).
Syria – 1,600
Tajikistan – 44
Turkmenistan – 702
Ukraine – 1,180 Most retired in favor of T-64, some in reserve
Uzbekistan – 70
Venezuela – 92 T-72B1. Delivered in 2009–2012, from Russia. In June 2012, Russia and Venezuela agreed on deal for 100 more T-72s.
Vietnam – 150 T-72M1. Delivered in 2005 from Poland
Yemen – 39 in 2003

Former operators

Ex-Romanian T-72M. Czechoslovakia – About 1,700 T-72/T-72M/T-72M1 were produced between 1981 and 1990. The Czechoslovak army had 815 T-72 in 1991. All were passed on to the successor states
East Germany – 35 T-72 (from USSR), 219 T-72 (from Poland and Czechoslovakia), 31 T-72M (from USSR), 162 T-72M (from Poland and Czechoslovakia) and 136 T-72M1. 75 T-72s were fitted with additional hull armor. Passed on to the unified German state
Finland – Some 160–170 T-72M1s. About 70 T-72M1s (one armored brigade) were bought from the Soviet Union and were delivered in 1984, 1985–1988 and 1990. A further 97 T-72M1s (including a small number of command versions T-72M1K and T-72M1K1) were bought from German surplus stocks in 1992–1994. All tanks are now withdrawn from service and almost all have been scrapped in Jyväskylä or sold as spares to the Czech Republic. One working T-72 tank is still in Parola tank museum Finland. This tank's hatches are open to customers
Germany – 549 tanks taken from GDR's army, all scrapped, sold to other countries or given to the museums
Soviet Union – Passed on to successor states
Romania – 30 T-72M were bought in 1978 from USSR and delivered in 1979. Withdrawn from service (in long term storage), 28 tanks are for sale (23 of them need repairs and 5 are operational)
Yugoslavia – Bought approximately 70 T-72s from the USSR, later developed the improved M-84

Oh god, people, the modeling possibilities are endless...makes my teeth sweat and my liver quiver.


This release will surely wake up the aftermarket industry to crank out the turned barrels, attachments, add-ons, tread, etc. It's a great time to be modeling armor!
barra733
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 12:37 AM UTC
Wow!
Jacques
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Minnesota, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 12:51 AM UTC
To be completely clear here...this is a T-72B3 kit. What you can make out of the box is much more limited than what John listed.

The T-72B3 is currently only in service with, so far as I know right now, Russia and Ukraine (small numbers captured).
ULIX-VM
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Puerto Rico
Joined: February 22, 2016
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 02:09 AM UTC
the most recent country to buy the "t-72". is nicaragua with buy over 80 copies. of the type t-72b1.
chnoone
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Armed Forces Europe, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 10:06 AM UTC
Can't wait to get my hands on mine when I get back home (abroad right now), it wouldn't take much for Meng to do a T-72B (the one without reactive-boxes) from this stage. Would really love that one as a "follow-up", right now I am using the Trumpeter hull with the MiniArm turret to make one.

Cheers
Christopher
vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 03:54 PM UTC

Quoted Text

To be completely clear here...this is a T-72B3 kit. What you can make out of the box is much more limited than what John listed.

The T-72B3 is currently only in service with, so far as I know right now, Russia and Ukraine (small numbers captured).



While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)!
Jacques
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: March 04, 2003
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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 05:45 PM UTC
Oh, I totally get that John. I just wanted it clear that you could not build tanks for all those countries from this kit.

And it would be a LOT easier to modify the Trumpeter T-72B kit into many of the currently used T-72's than to backdate this kit.

The most important thing is there are a LOT of excellent choices to start with, a range of blank canvases to choose from.


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

To be completely clear here...this is a T-72B3 kit. What you can make out of the box is much more limited than what John listed.

The T-72B3 is currently only in service with, so far as I know right now, Russia and Ukraine (small numbers captured).



While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)!

M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
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Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 05:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Oh, I totally get that John. I just wanted it clear that you could not build tanks for all those countries from this kit.

And it would be a LOT easier to modify the Trumpeter T-72B kit into many of the currently used T-72's than to backdate this kit.

The most important thing is there are a LOT of excellent choices to start with, a range of blank canvases to choose from.


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

To be completely clear here...this is a T-72B3 kit. What you can make out of the box is much more limited than what John listed.

The T-72B3 is currently only in service with, so far as I know right now, Russia and Ukraine (small numbers captured).



While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)!




So Gents, taking all of your various bits of information into account, (please bear with me- I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to "modern" Russo-Soviet Armor), which of the now relatively plentiful 1/35 T-72 kits has the most to offer in quality and content..?
vettejack
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 08:09 PM UTC
Ok Dennis...with Jacques references, and my input, you could never go wrong with the Trumpy, Tamiya, and now, the newly released MENG's version. I expect MENG's T72 will be as exciting and highly detailed as Trumpy's. Dragon's and Revell's T72 I know nothing of since they are not in my stash like the other 2 (MENG's kit will make 3). Stay away from AMT and ERTL kits IMHO. What it comes down to: how much you ultimately wish to 'invest', in time and money, constructing the particular version of the vehicle you wish to replicate from the basic vehicle. Thanx Jacques for your added and welcomed comments!
Jacques
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Minnesota, United States
Joined: March 04, 2003
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Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 10:43 PM UTC
Dennis, I agree with John. It is getting to be as simple as deciding what T-72 you want to model (from what era, country, or conflict), what level of detail you want it to have, and then finding the things you need.

If you strictly want to build out of the box, then Trumpeter's T-72B, T-72B/B1, or T-72B Mod. 1989 are great. I have not seen the MENG T-72B3 kit "in person" but it also looks great from the pictures and reviews. These kits offer LOTS of detail, (meaning LOTS of little parts). You get a excellent modelling experience for your modelling buck, but it will take some time and patience to build these kits...hence giving you more modeling enjoyment (in theory).

The Trumpeter T-72B/B1 is a particularly notable kit in that it actually received POSITIVE comments from Russian modelers about how complete and accurate it was.

Tamiya's kit is a excellent low-stress build, but it needs work specifically with the turret.

Beyond that, no other T-72 kits are up to current standards and should be avoided if you want a accurate, detailed, or easy build. So no ERTL, AMT, Esci, Dragon, Shanghai Dragon, Zvezda, Revell, Revell of Germany, Italeri, or Hobby Craft kits.

M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
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Posted: Friday, September 02, 2016 - 12:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Dennis, I agree with John. It is getting to be as simple as deciding what T-72 you want to model (from what era, country, or conflict), what level of detail you want it to have, and then finding the things you need.

If you strictly want to build out of the box, then Trumpeter's T-72B, T-72B/B1, or T-72B Mod. 1989 are great. I have not seen the MENG T-72B3 kit "in person" but it also looks great from the pictures and reviews. These kits offer LOTS of detail, (meaning LOTS of little parts). You get a excellent modelling experience for your modelling buck, but it will take some time and patience to build these kits...hence giving you more modeling enjoyment (in theory).

The Trumpeter T-72B/B1 is a particularly notable kit in that it actually received POSITIVE comments from Russian modelers about how complete and accurate it was.

Tamiya's kit is a excellent low-stress build, but it needs work specifically with the turret.

Beyond that, no other T-72 kits are up to current standards and should be avoided if you want a accurate, detailed, or easy build. So no ERTL, AMT, Esci, Dragon, Shanghai Dragon, Zvezda, Revell, Revell of Germany, Italeri, or Hobby Craft kits.




THANK YOU, Jacques & John!

Really, the only two T-72s that I was concerned with are the TRUMPETER and MENG kits- All the rest don't even enter into the equation. I realize that the older TAMIYA kit is pretty good, but the extra work that's required with the Turret, plus the "rubber-band" Tracks, just leave me cold.

I guess that I should have framed my question around the MENG and TRUMPETER T-72s. In looking at the different versions of the T-72s that TRUMPETER is offering, and now MENG's -B3, I'm wondering what I want to achieve without "breaking the bank", so to speak...
barra733
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, September 02, 2016 - 04:36 AM UTC
Please note that the commander's sight interior parts ARE included - I didn't notice this in my initial review.
acebatau
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Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2016 - 06:49 AM UTC
Great review, thanks
Hellrabbit
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United States
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Posted: Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 08:44 PM UTC
Will wait till see the build review as many build we see now has problem of K5 ERA angle problem....and it will be interest to compare with incoming Trumpeter B3 and B3M

https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12924375_586698328155431_5373991040069441848_n.jpg?oh=6aa3957310174e38bcc405fc92c801eb&oe=584AFA48
https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1918142_586698364822094_1670788177740413638_n.jpg?oh=7040f264e1459c4984ceba4e5344a3bb&oe=58425EF2