login   |    register
Meng Model [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
135
Russian MBT T-72B3
Russian Main Battle Tank T-72B3
  • move

by: Ian Barraclough [ BARRA733 ]

Introduction
Number 28 of Meng Models Tyrannosaurus Series arrives in a deep box with high quality, attractive artwork on the front that would give some of Tamiya’s great box art pieces a run for their money. I do think Meng have missed a trick by not choosing one of the bright schemes from the Russian Tank Biathlon for the box top; but one of these is shown on the box side and shown in one of the 5-sided profile in the painting guide. My box arrived slightly crushed but more about that later. Inside the box is:

1. A 24-page instruction manual (36 steps) including a detailed vehicle description; acknowledgment of Gur Khan Publishing House input and 5 colour profiles. There’s also a paint colour guide for Meng and AK Interactive colours.
2. Upper and lower hull parts.
3. Upper turret.
3. 23 sprues of dark green plastic, individually bagged in clear poly bags
4. Two small sheets of photo etch (Grilles and wheel mask).
5. A clear sprue.
6. Rubber track ends (7 sprues).
7. Decal sheet and rope (for cable).
8. 1 Sprue of softer (vinyl?) plastic for mantlet cover and fuel drum piping.
9. Track building parts (sprue J) and suspension adjustment tool.
Review
A scan of the instructions shows the now ‘regular method of building AFVs: lower hull and running gear; upper hull and then turret. Steps 1 through 9 detail the lower hull. It’s good to see Meng including working suspension and even a suspension alignment tool to ensure all wheels are level. For those of you that have built the Meng T90 the tracks will be familiar to you. They build up in sections of six, using three different supplied tools to ensure a speedy build. I almost enjoy building these individual tracks… almost.

The upper hull is covered in steps 10 to 25 and should provide no surprises. The parts are stunningly detailed, although the choice of dark green for the plastic means that you have to look hard to see it. I had to put some serious lighting up to get the detail to show in the pictures. Some of the parts are very fine and delicate and, as the sprues do not have any padding (as per some of the other manufacturers) some of the parts in my kit were damaged or had been knocked off the sprues. Meng do not provide any hull interior parts but they do have two types of T-72 engines as separate kits. The large engine deck door is provided as a separate part so could be easily depicted open. Step 23 adds the tow rope – usefully Meng provide a 100mm marked ruler opposite this step to ensure you get the right length. I would have liked to have seen the option to have the fuel drum brackets(F7) provided as folded, as seen on the Tank Biathlon pictures – sadly the fuel drums are in two halves each so will need a lot of clean-up to hide seams. Strangely one of the instruction call outs in the fuel drum construction (step 24) points to the completed fuel drum and states ‘Must fill’… I think this could cause a fire hazard!

The gun and turret are dealt with in steps 26 – 36: the main gun is provided in 7 parts with the two long barrel lengths provided as 2 halves. This will again take some cleaning up and careful alignment to ensure a straight barrel. The gun mantlet is provided as soft vinyl so the gun should be able to be moved up and down (whilst making tank noises of course). The gunner’s primary sight is provided for the turret interior, which is prominent with the gunner’s hatch open. I would have also liked to have seen parts for the commander’s sight as again this can be seen with the commander’s hatch open. Parts are provided for the hatch interiors. The turret boxes are provided as 5 separate side and will require patience when building, but should build up into very detailed representations. The commander’s cupola an anti-aircraft MG take up 5 instruction steps on their own – this should give you an idea of the amount of detail in this kit! The AA MG can be posed in two positions depending on the parts used but is not moveable. The final step attaches the turret to the hull and also adds the optional driver’s splash guard – a very nice addition.
Conclusion
I’ve heard grumblings on the modelling grapevine about there being no etched detail parts in this kit – as an etched brass addict myself I was quite surprised to hear that a modern kit was being released with no etched brass parts, but I can assure you that they are not needed here – the finesse and detail on the plastic is probably the best I’ve seen – period. Some may want to invest in an aftermarket barrel; if it wasn’t an in-box review for the build I would probably do the same. I would like to have seen the engine included, but having seen it recently for sale at a show I think it would add too much onto the price of the kit for something that might not even be used.

I hope now that Meng will add the T-72B3M (B4) to the series – although I don’t think that this would be too much additional work for those of us that are willing to have a go at some scratch building. I’m sure the AM guys will soon be all over this kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: A T72! Exquisitely detailed with working suspension, individual link working tracks that are easy to build and good colour choices (Google ‘tank biathlon’).
Lows: Multi part gun may cause alignment issues. Poor protection for very delicate parts on sprues.
Verdict: Another excellent release from Meng, possibly their best yet. Where's that Lime Green Paint.......
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: TS-028
  PUBLISHED: Aug 31, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.29%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.82%

Our Thanks to Meng Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Ian Barraclough (barra733)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I am an Electrical Engineer who has been modelling for 25+ years. I enjoy building obscure, but interesting pieces from the modern era, but will build anything if it grabs my interest.

Copyright ©2018 text by Ian Barraclough [ BARRA733 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)!
AUG 31, 2016 - 03:54 PM
Oh, I totally get that John. I just wanted it clear that you could not build tanks for all those countries from this kit. And it would be a LOT easier to modify the Trumpeter T-72B kit into many of the currently used T-72's than to backdate this kit. The most important thing is there are a LOT of excellent choices to start with, a range of blank canvases to choose from. While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)! [/quote]
AUG 31, 2016 - 05:45 PM
While true that not all countries use the T-72B3, the "blank canvas" provides the 'vehicle' for backdating and/or modifying to modern standards/series. We're modelers who do such things, especially when the technology of today's kits 'allow' such diversity! That is why in my original post, I mention the aftermarket possibilities with this kit (I have backdated/updated kits quite often in the past and this kit will be no exception)! [/quote] [/quote] So Gents, taking all of your various bits of information into account, (please bear with me- I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to "modern" Russo-Soviet Armor), which of the now relatively plentiful 1/35 T-72 kits has the most to offer in quality and content..?
SEP 01, 2016 - 05:08 PM
Ok Dennis...with Jacques references, and my input, you could never go wrong with the Trumpy, Tamiya, and now, the newly released MENG's version. I expect MENG's T72 will be as exciting and highly detailed as Trumpy's. Dragon's and Revell's T72 I know nothing of since they are not in my stash like the other 2 (MENG's kit will make 3). Stay away from AMT and ERTL kits IMHO. What it comes down to: how much you ultimately wish to 'invest', in time and money, constructing the particular version of the vehicle you wish to replicate from the basic vehicle. Thanx Jacques for your added and welcomed comments!
SEP 01, 2016 - 08:09 PM
Dennis, I agree with John. It is getting to be as simple as deciding what T-72 you want to model (from what era, country, or conflict), what level of detail you want it to have, and then finding the things you need. If you strictly want to build out of the box, then Trumpeter's T-72B, T-72B/B1, or T-72B Mod. 1989 are great. I have not seen the MENG T-72B3 kit "in person" but it also looks great from the pictures and reviews. These kits offer LOTS of detail, (meaning LOTS of little parts). You get a excellent modelling experience for your modelling buck, but it will take some time and patience to build these kits...hence giving you more modeling enjoyment (in theory). The Trumpeter T-72B/B1 is a particularly notable kit in that it actually received POSITIVE comments from Russian modelers about how complete and accurate it was. Tamiya's kit is a excellent low-stress build, but it needs work specifically with the turret. Beyond that, no other T-72 kits are up to current standards and should be avoided if you want a accurate, detailed, or easy build. So no ERTL, AMT, Esci, Dragon, Shanghai Dragon, Zvezda, Revell, Revell of Germany, Italeri, or Hobby Craft kits.
SEP 01, 2016 - 10:43 PM
THANK YOU, Jacques & John! Really, the only two T-72s that I was concerned with are the TRUMPETER and MENG kits- All the rest don't even enter into the equation. I realize that the older TAMIYA kit is pretty good, but the extra work that's required with the Turret, plus the "rubber-band" Tracks, just leave me cold. I guess that I should have framed my question around the MENG and TRUMPETER T-72s. In looking at the different versions of the T-72s that TRUMPETER is offering, and now MENG's -B3, I'm wondering what I want to achieve without "breaking the bank", so to speak...
SEP 02, 2016 - 12:15 AM
Please note that the commander's sight interior parts ARE included - I didn't notice this in my initial review.
SEP 02, 2016 - 04:36 AM
Great review, thanks
SEP 04, 2016 - 06:49 AM
Will wait till see the build review as many build we see now has problem of K5 ERA angle problem....and it will be interest to compare with incoming Trumpeter B3 and B3M https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12924375_586698328155431_5373991040069441848_n.jpg?oh=6aa3957310174e38bcc405fc92c801eb&oe=584AFA48 https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1918142_586698364822094_1670788177740413638_n.jpg?oh=7040f264e1459c4984ceba4e5344a3bb&oe=58425EF2
SEP 06, 2016 - 08:44 PM
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move