Tuesday, November 17, 2015

T-72 Tank Kitbash Hijinks 1/100 Scale

Everyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I really like the Zvezda "Art of Tactic" and "Hot War" models for a number of reasons.  Price, scale, and easy assembly immediately come to mind, and in that order.

Some of the complaints about their T-72B model in the "Hot War" game center around the fact that the vehicle is too modern to be used in Cold War Hot, 1980s scenarios.

Ever since I opened the first package, I wondered if I could remove the Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor (ERA), which supposedly can defeat kinetic energy penetrators as well as chemical energy penetrators ("sabot" and HEAT rounds respectively).

While the online debate regarding Kontakt-5 rages on and the "experts" discuss the efficacy of the new Russian gadgets and gizmos, I wanted to come up with a way to go back in time and get these metal monsters onto Captain Bannon's battlefield in TEAM YANKEE...

The gambit involved the amount of plastic used in the construction of the ERA blocks - were they hollow?  If I scraped them off the turret (whittled them off, more like), would there be solid plastic or would there be an unsightly hole?

Ponder no more, plastic fans.  There's solid plastic underneath those blocks!

Same model, but with the Kontakt-5 ERA removed on the left and a different paint color.
 Now I can only complain about the front glacis, but that looks like a bridge too far...

Not bad.  Some odd looking shapes still on the turret, but more a result of my shoddy sanding then anything else.  Plenty of room now for decals and/or smoke dischargers.  Also need to properly secure those side skirts and paint everything but you get the idea.

Side comparison.  The Zvezda skirts are way too thin to mess around with those extra armor plates, although I wish I could remove them.  

Like I said, I need to properly secure the side skirts...

Top down view.  Not bad!  I dare say the tank looks a "little" less ultra modern now.
And not to claim any pioneering, it's been done before:


And there are no shortages of reviews of this nice, simple little kit:



You can read more about Kontakt-5 ERA here.

Still more SABRE SQUADRON gaming to come...


  1. Neat job there Steve! I think its looks great and once you add some weathering and decals you will never see the remnants of sanding.

    1. Thanks Paul - it definitely has a more "Cold War" look to it, less an "ultra modern" look now. Not decided on whether I will convert the rest of them or not but it gets the job done.

  2. Hmmm, nice knife work. Myself I cannot be naffed removing the reactive stuff. Leave them a Guards units, since the T-72B showed up in 85, and the ERA in 86 or so, I an justify to myself its being on the tank.

    Classy work all the same.

    1. Thanks, Paul. Given the damage to my fingers, blisters, and the way this singular project wore down a fresh X-Acto blade, I'm thinking you're right.

  3. Nice work Steve. Let me know if you want to play this weekend.