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Skif T-64A

Skif 1/35 T-64A Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2005 Manufacturer Skif
Subject T-64A Scale 1/35
Kit Number 0202 Primary Media Styrene/PE
Pros First styrene T-64A kit! Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $32.95

First Look

Skif T-64A
Skif T-64A
Skif T-64A
Skif T-64A
Skif T-64A

In the late 1960s, the Soviets embarked on the design of a new generation of main battle tanks. The result of that work became the T-64 series. The main improvements over the T-62 and earlier tanks were the introduction of the 125mm smoothbore main gun, an automatic loader that reduced the crew from four to three, improved armor and NBC protection, and the transition from the older track to 'live track' as used in the west. While the T-72 and T-80 introduced further improvements, the T-64 was the basis for those tanks.

The T-64A was still a relatively low-tech tank in terms of electronics and defensive systems. The T-64B updated the design with a laser rangefinder and the ability to fire guided missiles out of its main gun in addition to its standard 125mm tank rounds. The T-64BV was a further update by adding explosive reactive armor (ERA) to the hull and turret to protect the vehicle and crew from most tank rounds and guided missiles.

This kit is second release from Skif, the first being the T-80UD. Since then, they've also released the T-64B and T-64BV (along with other cool Soviet-era armor and AFV subjects).

Molded in an olive green styrene, the kit captures the shape and details of the T-64A. Presented on five parts trees and two sets of rubber band tracks, the kit is flash-free and has nicely molded detailing.

The kit is a simple build as it is loaded with lots of external details, but no photo-etched parts. Some good modeling skills are required to dry-fit and trim the parts as needed to achieve a solid fit. As there are no photo-etched parts included, there is no need for cyano adhesives unless you obtain one of the several nice aftermarket detail sets for this kit.

Cookie Sewell has tried to explain to me the difference between 'live track' and the earlier track used by the Soviets. With live track, when it is off the vehicle, it rolls up on its own. The main visible difference when mounted on the vehicle is the use of return rollers. The T-64 (and later tanks) use return rollers whereas the T-62 and earlier tanks had the track sag on the return.

This kit features the visibly unique 'gill armor' that was designed to pre-detonate rounds coming from the front that might otherwise incapacitate the tank (or worse). This gill armor was later replaced with more conventional side skirts.

Markings are provided for Russian or Ukrainian service vehicles.

Where other manufacturers have released T-34, T-55, T-62 and T-72 tanks, Skif is the first company to tackle the T-64 series in styrene. The T-64 was previously only available in resin. This kit will build into a nice addition to your Guards Tank Division.