Panda-Hobby 1/35 ZTZ-99A MBT PLA Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2016||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||ZTZ-99A MBT PLA||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35018||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$53.95|
What do you get when you cross a Leopard 2 tank with a T-72? You get the Type 99 main battle tank. The People's Liberation Army started incremental development of the Type 99 in the 1990s as the need for improved armor capability arose out of combat lessons from around the world. The latest version of the Type 99 is the ZTZ-99A which first appeared in 2014 and was featured at the 2015 Victory Parade. Armed with a 125mm smoothbore main gun, the Type 99A is powered by a 1500 horsepower diesel engine and weighs in at over 52 tons. Like the T-72, the Type 99 has an auto-loading system for the main gun so it only requires a crew of three.
Here is Panda Hobby's new 1/35 ZTZ-99A kit and out of the box it looks quite nice. The kit is molded in light tan styrene and presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown), one tree of clear parts, and one fret of photo-etched details. This kit features a full cabin interior complete with mission electronics rack and nice details with an open-top turret. Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed suspension/drive train
- Three-piece track links (see text below)
- Nicely detailed hull with stowage boxes
- Photo-etched grilles on the engine deck and rear exhaust
- Rear-mounted fuel containers (T-72-styled)
- ERA blocks on hull glacis plate
- Detailed turret with ERA armor blocks
- Main gun w/thermal sleeve
When I first heard about the three-piece track links, I had to grimace as we've seen track links where the guide teeth were molded separately and each link had its own separate pin. It was quite a relief when I saw these three-piece track links - the steel track link is one complete part and snaps together to the adjoining links. The two additional parts for each link are the track pads which will make painting and weathering of the tracks far easier.
The decals provide markings to replicate any tank in an unidentified tank unit from the command tank (TJ-101) to the last member of the unit (TJ-119). The instructions show relative placement of each tank in that tank unit.
The box art and color profile hightlight the unique digital camouflage carried by these tanks featured at the Victory Parade and paint instructions use Gunze-Sangyo colors.
This will make another interesting addition to your scale tank park and make an eye-catching contestant with that digital camouflage.
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.