Ref : Dragon #3502
T-72 was designed as a cheaper tank than the T-64 for lower
priority Soviet units and foreign countries. The early export
version was known as T-72 G.
It mounts a 125mm 2A46 smoothbore gun fed by an automatic loader thus enabling a crew of 3 instead of 4 in its western counterparts. It has a 12.7mm NSVT AA MG and a 7.62 PKT co-axial MG.
It is fitted with 12 smoke dischargers (7 on the left side, 5 on the right). Like the Russian early version, it has two storage bins located at the rear and on the right turret side.
The Finnish version has got local made supplemental headlights and taillights. Some tanks have been fitted with a third storage bin on the left turret side.
The kit is issued by Dragon and comes with 7 sprues( two for the tracks), a separate lower hull and a decals sheet. The notice is a 8-page booklet comprising 9 building stages.
The detail is not the best we could expect and the fit is sometimes poor, this kit being one of the earliest kits from the manufacturer.
lower chassis is simplified but is easily built. However, the
roadwheels axles are quite fragile and should handled with care.
The tracks come with individual links and lengths. The assembly
is tricky especially if the sprockets have previously been glued.
But as the upper part is hidden once the side skirts are in place,
one could just pay attention to the visible lengths. However
blank trials appear necessary.
The rear deck does not receive the extra fuel drums and the unditching log is replaced by a piece of wood. The cable is done with a string and its supports detailed. The towing hooks should be thinned and their shape rounded as they are too square.
The upper hull can be improved by the removal of the various carved wiring running along it and its replacement by metal wire. The side formation lights are too short and need to be lengthened not to remain hidden by the hull. The various bins and fuel tanks straps can be thinned. The towing hooks on the front plate need the same treatment as those on the rear deck. The cable eyes securing system is added.
turret assembly requires to be cautious as some fitting troubles
will be encountered. The storage bins don't fit well and need
some sanding. The smoke dischargers are hard to get properly
oriented because of their ill-shaped location slots. Their wiring
can be added - not done here.
The main gun is as usual (in Dragon T-72 series) too large. The mantlet cover is in two parts which needs a careful sanding to remove the seam. The NSVT is less detailed than the Tamiya one but is not too bad. It can be elevated in two positions. The muzzle is drilled out.
The gunner sights covers are replaced by PE ones. Some PE eyelets are added above the schnorkel. The hinge of the round hatch at the turret rear is thinned.
The decoration scheme is the Finnish splinter pattern. It combines 3 shades of green. Dragon gives only Gunze colors references. After a look at the Concord publications book about the T-72, the following colors of the Tamiya range are chosen : J.N. Green, Dark Green and a mix of DG and Flat Green.