Review Modelcollect 1/72 T-64BM2

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The T-64 is a Soviet second-generation main battle tank introduced in the early 1960s. It was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62: the T-64 served tank divisions, while the T-62 supported infantry in motorized rifle divisions. It introduced a number of advanced features including composite armor, a compact engine and transmission, and a smoothbore 125-mm gun equipped with an autoloader to allow the crew to be reduced to three so the tank could be smaller and lighter. In spite of being armed and armored like a heavy tank, the T-64 weighed only 38 tonnes.

These features made the T-64 expensive to build, significantly higher than previous generations of Soviet tanks. This was especially true of the power pack. Several proposals were made to improve the T-64 with new engines, but chief designer Alexander Morozov’s political power in Moscow kept the design in production in spite of any concerns about price. This led to the T-72 being designed as an emergency design, only to be produced in the case of a war, but its 40% lower price led to it entering production in spite of Morozov’s objections.

Although the T-62 and the famous T-72 would see much wider use and generally more development, it was the T-64 that formed the basis of subsequent modern Soviet tank designs, such as the T-80.

After the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine carried on the development of T-64 modernization, as the main factory was in this country. Two different upgrade packages were developed in 1999, one of which was the T-64BM2. The T-64BM2 has a 57DFM 850-hp engine, a new 1A43U fire control, a new 6ETs43 loader and the possibility to fire the 9M119 missile (NATO code “AT-11 Sniper”). it is protected by Kontakt-5 modular reactive armour, able to resist kinetic energy projectiles, as opposed to the first models which were efficient only against HEAT shaped-charge ammunition.

As far as I am aware this is the first kit of a T-64BM2 in any scale. Modelcollect also do the T-64BM.

The kit comes in a standard, very full, top opening box. Inside the box are the instructions, 4 small PE frets bagged separately, 2 decal sheets bagged separately, a metal barrel, one resealable bag containing 6 sprues and loose in the box are 5 sprues and a hull bottom. However, the box is so full that nothing is going to move around. The box contains:

  • plastic parts (not all are used)
  • 63 PE parts
  • 1 metal barrel
  • 2 decal sheets

The instructions are spread over 10 pages on glossy paper. The build instructions are in 15 steps over 5 pages. There’s 2 pages of colour guides, a sprue layout page and an intro page. The sprue layout doesn’t show you which parts are unused. The parts are numbered on the sprues, but you might need magnifies to read them. The diagrams are clearly labelled with sprue and part numbers and where they go. Interestingly the metal barrel isn’t mentioned in the instructions. The first 5 steps put the turret together with about 62 parts. Next comes the top of the hull in steps 7-10 using about 38 parts.The lower hull is covered in steps 10-12 adding the suspension and road wheels with about 56 parts. The tracks are of the link and length type and the 38 parts are added in step 13.  Finally the main parts are pulled together in the last 2 steps along with a final 7 additional parts. By my reckoning that makes the kit about 201 parts.

The level of detail on the parts is very good and the attachment points vary in size, but are comparable to the part they’re holding. The attachments are very small for the small parts and a little larger for the bigger parts; they’re nicely sized ad never too big. Elector pin marks are out of the way and won’t present a problem.

There are 2 painting guides in the instructions, both have Ammo paint call outs. There aren’t actually any decal placement guides on the images, but the decal sheets are pretty big and you will be able to make many other options if you search on the internet a little. I’d think it best to work out what specific tank you’re going to build and paint before you start.

Conclusion
Modelcollect has done 6 variants of the T-64  and this is a very nicely detailed kit of a variant of the T-64 that no one else has done. There are a lot of parts in this kit for a 1/72 armour model so it will make a highly detailed model. This will look nice on the shelf when completed and look a little different.

This kit is available direct from Modelcollect for $21.99, but you can also find it on Luckymodel for $14.99. Where you live in the world will probably determine which is cheaper after postage.

Many thanks to Modelcollect for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy

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