Zvezda 1/35 T-72A Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Kit Number||3552||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice exterior detailing||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$24.50|
The T-72 was the next stage in Soviet tank technology after the T-62 and T-55 series. While incorporating improvements in main gun and electronics technologies, the T-72 also addressed a survivability issue that kept popping up - the Israelis had easily plinked away the opposing T-55s, leading to the T-62 development and production of improved T-55s.
During the Yom Kippur war, the Soviet tank designers were once again frustrated as not only were the opposing improved T-55 tanks being killed, their T-62s were also being plinked by up-gunned Shermans! That's okay, as when the Soviet tank designers began work on the T-72, they hadn't met Mr. Spent Uranium Round yet...
The Zvezda 1/35 T-72A is molded in medium green styrene with the exception of the tracks, which are molded in black-gray. The detailing on the kit is nicely done and the parts are flash-free on my example.
I pulled out the highly acclaimed Tamiya 1/35 T-72M1 kit and did some side-by-side comparisons. The hull lengths and widths are identical. Ditto on the turret height, general shape and diameter.
While the parts are not interchangeable with the Tamiya kit (this isn't a copy), the style of detail presentation is similar between the two kits and sitting the two side-by-side quickly reveals some of the differences between the T-72A and T-72M1. These include driver's hatch, minor differences on the turret and engine deck. In fact these two tanks would look great parked side-by-side.
The tracks are not rubber-band types, rather these are a hybrid track-link approach as lengths of track are molded as individual pieces while the links that route around the drive sprockets are individual links to make the turn. Replacement tracks are available from a variety of aftermarket manufacturers if you'd rather have a different style of track on your tank.
Assembly of this kit will be simple and straightforward. The kit is not complex and can be assembled by modelers of all ages.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!