by: Andras [ ]
The T-72B (Object 184) was a much improved version of the T-72A model. It was accepted into service in 1985, and mass produced from 1988. The tank has received an improved 1A40-1 fire control system, improved composite armor (Super Dolly Parton) on the turret, and extra armor on the front hull. The new main gun (2A46M) was capable of firing 9M119 antitank missiles. The gun was also supplied with a new, improved sight (1K13-49), and a better gun stabilization system. The tank was powered by a new 840hp V-83-1 engine. The smoke dischargers were placed onto the left side of the turret to make room for the reactive armor (ERA) bricks.
These changes have significantly improved the tank: in many ways it is comparable to the T-80U model (although with poorer engine power). It is the last modification of the T-72 line; the next model has received the designation of T-90 (for obvious marketing reasons after the First Gulf War). Earlier models were later brought up to the T-72B levels, and this makes this model one of the most widely used tanks in the world.
What you get
Armory has released the earlier T-72B model without the ERA bricks (there are countless variants of this tank). It uses the excellent Revell T-72 kit as a base; all of the conversion steps are straightforward, and do not include extensive surgery. The new parts simply replace the plastic ones.
The model comes in a small paper box. It has the photo of a finished T-72B on the cover (with an added commander's shield, which needs to be ordered separately). The parts are placed in small ziplock bags, and there was no damage during transport (as opposed to the Revell kit, where the AA machine gun was broken after the mail delivered it…).
The instructions are simple, but not very clear; however there are plenty of reference photos online to help with the assembly.
The parts are cast in dark, somewhat brittle resin. The detail is very fine, Armoryhas captured the changed shape and texture of the turret, and the composite armor sections very well. The hatches provided have interior detail, but since the turret does not have any (it’s solid resin), I chose to close them.
Some of the flash is actually quite thick, but nothing that you can't solve with a fine saw (please remember that fine resin dust is toxi, use wet cutting and wet sanding techniques). You do have to be careful though, not to damage the parts themselves while sawing.
The construction is easy as was mentioned previously: after cleanup you simply have to switch the resin parts for the plastic ones. The fit is excellent, and I have not run into any difficulties during construction. The commander’s shield is depicted on the boxart photo with the small print that it has to be ordered separately, I think this could have been included with the kit (or the print made larger…).
This is a very nice and fast conversion for the B version of the T-72, in my personal opinion the B turret looks far better than the original M turret.