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SDV T-72M1

SDV 1/87 T-72M1 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2009 Manufacturer SDV
Subject T-72M1 Scale 1/87
Kit Number 87071 Primary Media 82 parts in green styrene
Pros Nicely done model of this vehicle in plastic; surpasses old Petner Panzers kit Cons Still has some rough areas and underscale bits
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Approx $16.50

First Look

For many years one of the most famous and dangerous tanks in the world, the T-72 or “Ural” tank, has enjoyed a singular lack of respect in the modeling community, with one poor kit after another after another done of this significant tank. Surprising no one has yet fixed it in any scale, and the best effort in 1/35 to this day is a lukewarm attempt by Tamiya to make a T-72M1 tank.

SDV has now taken a shot at the T-72M1, and for an HO scale version it is not too bad. It is a much better kit than the now elderly Petner Panzers (now Boley) T-72 – a model of no particular T-72 variant with a lot of shortcomings but pretty much designed for wargaming.

This kit has a large number of small parts to detail it, and the overall shapes and details are much better. The T-72M1 turret has the proper plan form, albeit it lacks the undercuts needed by the M1 turret. With some careful trimming and putty they can be added back, but the smoke grenade launcher mounts would then have to be sanded away. (And yes, this kit does provide 12 “Tucha” Type 902A smoke grenade launchers!)

In general the hull is nicely done, with separate entrenching blade and braces as well as a separate engine deck; the rear air exhaust vents are a bit undersized and the fording covers are in place, but the rest looks very good indeed.

The kit comes with skirts for the fenders as well as the 200 liter fuel tanks and racks. But it is missing the unditching log which goes under the racks, so the modeler will have to add one from styrene rodding.

The kit also comes with a good decal sheet in this scale with a number jungle and individual markings for the USSR, Hungary, the CSSR, Poland, DDR, Finland, and the FRG, it also comes with what appear to be markings for an Iraqi tank brigade (alas, the 6th which was a T-62 unit).

Overall this is a great base to start to make a detailed ‘72 in HO scale, and a much better choice for the serious modeler than the Boley/Penter kit.

Sprue layout

  • 1 Hull
  • 1 Fender and race assembly
  • 8 Engine deck, entrenching blade, glacis
  • 2 Fuel tank assemblies
  • 6x3 Idlers, road wheels, drivers
  • 30 Turret stowage, lights, details
  • 2 Skirts
  • 2 Track runs
  • 12 200 liter fuel tanks, racks
  • 6 Turret