Merry Xmas everyone and a happy new year! This is my first completed build of 2017, Meng’s 1-35 Russian MBT, the T-90.
The T-90 replaced the T-72 in 1995 after concerns about it’s poor performance during the 1991 gulf war. Long story short, the T-72’s sold to the Iraqi army didn’t do too well against modern western tanks. Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor (ERA) was mounted to the original design which offers additional protection against high explosive anti-tank weapons such as the U.S. M829A2. The T-90 was also fitted with electro-optical countermeasures to protect against anti-tank guided missiles, as well as a more advanced sighting and firing system and advanced infra red night sight optics.
The main armament is a 125mm L48 2A46M smoothbore gun, which can fire a variety of ammunition including AP (armor piercing), HEAT (high explosive anti-tank), HE-FRAG (high-explosive fragmentation) projectiles as well as 9M119 guided missiles. The secondary armament is a NSVT 12.7mm remote controlled anti aircraft machine gun operated from inside the tank. The T-90 uses a crew of three and is powered by a V-84MS multi fuel diesel engine generating 840hp.
The kit itself was fantastic to build. The suspension is fully workable and the track links are all individual working links. The sprues were a variety of different density plastics, including rubber parts for cables and the protective anti WMD armor around the cast turret. There was the option of fitting a TBS-86 tank dozer, but I chose not to fit it for this model, it’s in the spares box and I’m sure it will come in handy even if I never use it! You get lots of different goodies in the box such as photo etch, wheel stencils, string for the tow cables and plastic jigs for the tracks and to align the suspension. A very nice little touch is the LED lights for the infra red night optics which are included as standard. It wasn’t cheap at £50, but you can see where your money has went once you inspect the product.
One slight negative however, and a bit of advice for anyone planning on building the kit, the tracks on the earlier version of the T-90 with the tank dozer are a bit more flimsy than the more advanced tracks with the rubber pads on the T-90A or BMPT ‘Terminator’. They are a lot more simple to construct, however there is a certain technique to assembling them. It’s hard to explain but will be easy to see if you are building the kit.
They consist of only two parts, links and pegs. The links are placed in the jig, then the pegs slotted into the links through the side of the jig, then cut of to hold the links together. The links themselves have tiny plastic pegs at the opposite ends to the holes where you place the larger separate linking pegs. Great care needs to be taken when slotting the individual links into the plastic jig. If the links are simply pushed in the slots, the smaller connecting plastic pegs will be snapped and the tracks won’t link together properly. They need to be carefully slotted in which isn’t explained in the instructions. I found this out the hard way assembling the first section of track, lucky you get a few spare sections in the kit!
I painted the tank with AK interactive acrylics which left a nice smooth but also matt surface which didn’t require massive amounts of gloss to wash over. There is a choice of three schemes to follow in the instructions, one of which is a fancy livery from a tankers day parade. I decided to mix my own colours though and do a free hand camo scheme, which is half the fun I think!
I had decided at the start of the build that I wanted to portray a well-maintained modern vehicle with no combat usage, but with signs of exercise use typical to that of a fast moving piece of armor through a muddy assault course. After I had added the washes then put a layer of matt varnish over the top, I was very tempted not to weather the vehicle at all. In the end though I wanted a bit of practice using the MIG pigments to create mud effects so went with the first plan. In retrospect now though, I wish I had took some photos before and after the weathering…
I really like building the Russian armor and I’ve added some photos of my other builds in there at the end, hoping to add to the collection in the future! Thanks very much for looking, Cheers!
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.