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IntroductionThis 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.
BuildI 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 FinishI 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.
SummaryThis 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.
Copyright ©2021 by Rob Feehan. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of ModelGeek, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2007-01-17 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 16565