Ref : Panzershop #PS35C111HT

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The VT-72B (Vyprostovaci Tank for recovery tank) is an armored recovery and repair vehicle based on a T-72 chassis developed by the Czech republic. It was in service with the GDR army under the denomination T-72TK.
It is fitted with numerous accessories :
A traversing crane with a 19tons maximum capacity;
A front winch with a direct tow strength of 300kN, 600kN with one pulley and 900kN with two pulleys. The cable length is 200m;
A 200m long cable set in the rear platform with a tow strength of 200kN. The cable is not powered by a winch but used in direct haulage;
An auxiliary winch located behind the TC station with a capacity of 10kN and a 400m cable long.
Its armament is a 12.7mm NSVT AAMG.

Technical data by Military Vehicles

The kit is produced by Panzershop. It comprises 377 resin parts and 290 PE ones, Friul tracks and a Modelpoint antenna base. The instructions are on a CD-ROM full of real vehicle pics and in progress kit ones. Despite this they remains quite hard to follow because no locating pin or mark is present on the parts. We must frequently check on the real vehicle pics the correct location of the parts. It is necessary to have frequent blank assemblies before gluing with cyanolite.
Due to the very large number of parts, some do not appear on the various pictures. Some minor reference errors are present but a thorough study of the parts avoid to do mistakes.

The interior

It comes as a "tub" in which the various parts are glued. The part location do not create any trouble. The fire extinguishers on the rear wall are ill located. They must be glued higher than where Panzershop shows thus we are obliged to shorten the bottles.
The seats are tricky to build all the more that the instructions lack precision. There again, the real vehicle pics are needed to get a proper result.
The many PE parts give some fineness. Some are hard to handle such as the extinguishers straps or the rack behind the dashboard which is too long and need to be shorten to allow the shaping. Panzershop engraved lines to ease the bending. Some being on the wrong face, they require attention to avoid breaking the parts.

Prior to enclose the compartment we need to check the good alignment of the parts to prevent any blocking. Then the interior is painted according to the instructions and the CD-ROM pics. Don't forget to apply the decals.


The chassis

The hull is a straight copy of Tamiya T-72 which front part has been slightly modified. Despite the lack off instructions, it builds easily thanks to the excellent fit of the parts coming from Tamiya. To facilitate the painting, the wheels and sprockets are set apart.

Then begins a long series of blank tries to avoid any bad surprise.
The various bins and their PE locking devices are installed. Those located behind the driver compartment rest on PE supports which need to be cut to have them horizontally set.

The moveable stowage platform on the rear deck is built separately. It has jacks which are drilled out to ease the installation. The foldable walls are set closed and their locking device redone as those in the kit are oversized. The large winch is detailed with its hydraulic conduits. The tubing under the platform should be blank assembled because they jut out the platform and could prevent a good final assembly.

The crane is issued with two arm extensions to represent the boom in the stowed or working position. The arm build is easy. The jacks are detailed with the hydraulic conduits with the help of the real vehicle pics. They are made of heat-shaped plastic rods . The jacks are drilled out and remain moveable. The drum for the cable is installed as well as a small roller maintaining the cable while it is unwound.
The setting of the hoist is much more uneasy. We must first build the part attached to the arm and pass the cable before winding this one around the three pulleys of the hoist. Then the cable end is secure under the boom. When the cable is in place, it need to be tight and wet with white glue to give it some stiffness.

The front blade requires a lot of attention. In fact, there is no marking to glue the arms to the blade so a bad alignment could occur which would visible only when assembled to the jacks on the ARRV glacis. In such a case, we need to start from the beginning again. Once again, a blank assembly is needed. Two little eyelets are added, they help keeping the blade in the raised position when attached to hooks. The latter are detailed with a lever which help screwing the hooks. The jacks should remain moveable to facilitate the installation of the blade. The right one is hampered by a part located at the crane base which needs to be thinned to enabled the fitting of the jack.

The building ends with the tools and various accessories. Several tools were broken in the box so they have been redone from plastic card and rod. The flashing lights supports are set in place, but the lights will wait the painting of the vehicle. The power cords are represented.
The weapon station is detailed with some handles and levers. The TC windshield is laid in the transport position on the left side of the rear platform.
The small winch on the roof gets its cover. Its securing rods are detailed. The cable is attached and threads through the rollers of the part R173 which is detailed too according to the pictures.

Several parts are not installed. The jerrycans and their supports are set apart as they are not present on any picture available.
The tool to prevent the blade to drive into the soil is not installed but stowed in the platform. The chainsaw is stowed there too.



Prior to fitting the wheels and the tracks, the chassis is painted and partially weathered.

The decoration is the one of the vehicle on the box cover and of which numerous pictures are available on the CD-ROM. It is overall green. Another option is to represent the three tone camo currently adopted by the Czech army. The decals which are very bright require to spray a gloss varnish coat prior their application. Then a matt varnish coat is sprayed before the weathering. This one is done through several washes and a steel color brushing on specific parts from which the blade.

This quite complex model is not recommended to beginners but gives some originality to any collection of armored vehicles.