Ref : Tamiya #35160

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The T-72 appeared in 1972. It benefits from a simplified design as compared to the one of the over sophisticated and expensive T-64. It has kept the 125mm 2A46 gun and its autoloader which enabled to reduce the crew down to three servants.
The secondary armament is the 12.7mm NSVT AAMG and a 7.62mm co-ax MG. It is fitted with 12 smoke dischargers.
Displaying a small size and having a good mobility, more than 20000 tanks have been produced in the Eastern bloc but also in Indian factories. It has a hundred of variants and derivatives.

The kit is produced by Tamiya and the fording kit by Panzershop. The latter is no more in the catalogue of the Czech brand. The 16 page instruction booklet is clear. The kit comes with 4 sprues plus a separate lower hull, a set of vinyl tracks, some plastic tubing and metal wire and photoetched grilles. A sheet of decals allows the decoration for 2 WarPac countries, one Russian and one Iraqi tanks.

The detail level is good however Tamiya did two major mistakes. The frontal armor on the glacis plate does not suit a Russian vehicle, thus it is sanded. The turret is wrong shaped notably in the front. This one is hard ot correct. It is still possible to get the turret from Blast Models.
The building is done following the instructions steps. The hull is built without any difficulty. The log supports pins on the rear deck are cut away and the plastic log is replaced by a twig of the right dimension. The cover exhaust provided by Panzershop is set in place.
As mentioned above, the upper hull requires the sanding of the glacis armor plate. Only when it's done , the various parts can be glued. One plastic rod piece is needed to replace the one above the V removed in the sanding step. The remaining steps do not need any commentaries.
The turret requires some modifications to represent a tank fitted to cross a river underwater. First of all, the schnorkel must not be installed. The fasteners are glued to the turret after the removal of the parts welded to the tube itself. The latter are done in plastic card using the kit parts as templates. Two small screw holes must be drilled out into each part. The supporting leg is cut from the kit schnorkel and glued to the Panzershop tube.
The gunner hatch is replaced by Panzershop one. The small hatch for the schnorkel setting is glued in the open position. Then the tube is cemented as well taking care that it must be in a right vertical position when the gunner hatch is in place.
The power cords for the spotlights and the smoke dischargers are added. The caps of the dischargers are slightly hollowed. The metal rod maintaining the gun mantlet cover is added and the muzzle cover is done from lead foil.

The decoration is that of a Guard tank. Tamiya provides us with its spray can range Olive Green reference. The applied shade is the XF58 Olive Green . A dark green shading is applied before a second XF58 layer is sprayed over it. A gloss varnish coat is applied to facilitate the decals setting and the first weathering step. Then a mat varnish coat is sprayed prior the final weathering.

Despite its flaws, this Tamiya kit remains a good basis and is easy to build. The Panzershop set fits it very easily.