Monday, 1 May 2017

T-72BMs with cage armour – finished at last!

It's only taken three years and four months, but here are the finished Zvezda T-72 tanks at last. the machine guns and cage armour are homemade. You can read about the various stages of assembly, painting and weathering here, here and here.

Tank 1

The commander is from Peter Pig’s ‘AK47’ range of modern miniatures. The driver came with an Old Glory BMP-1. I’m pleased with how I managed to cut away and rebuild the driver’s hatch and the commander’s cupola. However, this was my first attempt at adding figures to models that weren’t made to accommodate them and I made a bit of a mess of the driver.

I sited the gun barrel unusually high so that I could turn the turret a full 360° without it getting stuck on the driver’s head. It looks odd but I believe a real T-72 can elevate its gun that high.

If I knew then what I know now about Russian tanks and their operation, I would have had the turret facing backwards and the tank commander facing forwards, so that it looked like the tank was travelling rather than in combat. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll do that for another project.

The driver’s hatch is made from scratch. But it is upside-down! The driver hatch pivots on a spindle, instead of flipping up on a hinge. It makes perfect sense to me now why it would be made like that, but I didn’t know much about tanks when I started this project.

Best not to look to closely at the driver, whose has lost part of his face under a blob of epoxy resin…

Tank 2

Tank 3

Tank 4

And a group shot of the four finished tanks:

Next on the list is a pair of Russian MT-LBs and a platoon of Russian BMP-2s. I painted them all last year but haven’t got around to finishing the bases yet. My vehicle box is beginning to empty and I have a horrible feeling that I can’t put off painting the infantry for much longer…

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