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Colin Gomez
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T-72M Saladin Armored Division, Kuwait, 1991 – Tamiya 1/35

September 6, 2020 · in Armor · · 21 · 4.8K

Here is my Army T-72M completed as part of the Gulf War/ Group Build. I corrected the Tamiya kit with a more accurately-shaped SBS resin turret, including supplied photo-etched details for the searchlights and stowage boxes. I also used an RB productions metal barrel with additional photo-etch. I scratch-built the wiring and other key details for the smoke grenade launchers (starting with the very basic tubes from the Tamiya kit), then grafted the whole assembly onto the SBS turret. All this was very fiddly to attach but a good learning experience - check out the Group Build if you are interested. I painted the Arabic slogan using a homemade stencil. The slogan reads: "Asad Babil" - Lion of Babylon - which was painted exclusively on the the tanks of the 2nd Regiment of the 12 Armored Brigade in the Saladin Division operating in Kuwait. The markings are from the Osprey book Main Battle Tank 1974-93 by Steven Zaloga. I found an image of an actual vehicle with this slogan from a video on Youtube. - see attached pics. Painting is done with Tamiya and Model Master Acrylics and weathering with oil paints, Easy Mud, CMK pigments, charcoal, graphite and chalk pastels - all sealed with various gloss and matt coats. I was going for a dusty, sun-bleached look, rather than a mud-caked vehicle. I closely followed available color photos of Iraqi vehicles. I am happy with the authentic look of the weathering- not all of which comes through in bright artificial light for photography. I hope you like it. Comments welcome.

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29 additional images. Click to enlarge.

21 responses

  1. Great lucking build!

  2. This is an excellent model, Colin!
    A true masterpiece indeed, with all this extra detailed work put by you.

    • Thanks, Spiros, I really appreciated how you kept up with the build and provided encouragement along the way. The group build experience really helps me to make a little extra effort on a kit and keep up the momentum to finish projects.

  3. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Great work on this model Colin.
    Very subtle work on the weathering, and the details are a plus, nicely done.

    • Thanks! I am really happy you like the weathering. I try to go for a kind of realism that fits the context and the photographic evidence. Subtle works for me in this case.

  4. That thing looks very imposing. Impressive build, and moreover excellent weathering. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Andrew. Imposing-looking is certainly the effect I was going for! I try to adjust my painting technique and the look of details as I go, taking low angle photos along the way so that it looks like a full size vehicle. I am glad it comes across in the end.

  5. Very nice T-72 build and weathering! Kudos!

  6. That rough-cast turret looks great. Also all the rest of the work you put into this.

    • Thank you, Tom. The authentic texture of the SBS turret catches the eye so much that I felt compelled to bring the other detail elements up to the same standard. You look closely and just expect to see all the proper wiring, lighting and visual aids done properly. Anyway, it was fun to do in the end, if a bit challenging not to break anything off in the multiple building and painting stages.

  7. Colin excellent finish on the Iraqi T-72. Thanks for contributing an excellent tank. The finish is just as they were, at least the few we encountered. The details you added has really enhanced the overall finish of the T-72. Nice touch with the slogan on the side as well. Overall excellent build. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Chuck. I really appreciate getting your perspective, given that you saw the actual vehicles where they served. I would like what I do as a modeler to do some justice to reality and pay proper respect to the history. Thanks again for commenting along the way in the Group Build - it was very helpful.

  8. Hello Colin,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and finished model on this website.
    The finish on the tank is superb.
    Regards, Dirk

    • Thank you, Dirk. This website is a really inspiring place to share techniques and learning experiences. It definitely makes me a better modeler to exchange ideas with my fellow craftsmen along the way.

  9. Awesome build! In 1991, we went up against T-72s of the Iraqi 3rd Mechanized "Tawakalna" Division, 1st Corps, Iraqi Republican Guard Forces Command at the battles of "73 Easting" and "Norfolk" (75 easting). Thank God that we were an armored Task Force with M1-A1 MBTs imbedded or else the T-72s would have certainly "smoked" us.

  10. Thank you! I am really grateful for your interest and kind regard for my humble efforts. In common with many people on this site, I have read and listened to a variety of accounts of the Battle of 73 Easting. You guys have certainly gone down in history for prevailing in an epic event of modern military confrontation (and for once the word “epic ” is most justified). Given that the results were so decisively against the Iraqis in Desert Storm, it is to easy for some people to think that they were not a seriously capable enemy. In fact, they had some very formidable equipment in the T-72 and other weapons and capable experienced soldiers. The bravery and skill of the coalition forces, as well as their technological edge was what made all the difference. Of course, I don’t need to tell you that. Thanks for your kind comments on the model.

  11. this is so real!
    what colors codes did u use please!

    • Hi Sameer. Thanks for your interest. I mixed the Iraqi Sand from Tamiya Acrylics in different proportions at different stages. For the first stage, I used the following proportions: Iraqi Sand Mix (Tamiya XF 60 x 2, XF-59 x 1, XF-78 x 1, XF-3 x .5). I also did weathering layers using oil paints and pastels over Tamiya Clear. The last light application of the mixed Sand had no Flat Yellow (XF-2). In that case wanted a more pinkish color typical of more sun-bleached T-72s I saw in photos. You can follow the complete build including assembly, painting and weathering at the following link on this site:

      This link should work for you. Otherwise, just go to the “Groups “ page where you can see the Desert Storm/Shield Group Build. My project is listed as a topic there.

      Once again, thanks for commenting. I am glad you like the model. I was going for the most realistic look possible, based on photos and video.

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