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Tiger BMPT-72 Terminator II

RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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To provide fire support in urban battlefields, the BMPT-72 mounts a new turret on a T-72 hull. Armament includes two 30mm cannons, four laser-guided antitank missiles, and a 7.62mm machine gun. Although the vehicle is not in service anywhere, it has been the subject of several 1/35 scale kits. Tiger’s offering features the second version, the Terminator II, with new missile tubes and no hull grenade launchers.

Most of the parts come in dark yellow styrene; tracks are in black plastic, and lights, vision blocks, and optics are molded in clear. Photo-etch (PE), metal cable, and vinyl poly caps finish out the parts.

The moldings impressed me with sharp details. I had to trim a little flash and eliminate some prominent mold seams, but only the lower glacis plate just above the spade showed ejector-pin marks.

The kit provided plastic alternatives for many of the PE parts, but the directions do not always point out the options. For those with butterfingers, the PE fret includes extras for many of the small parts.

Clear instructions show uncluttered assembly steps, but many of the part numbers are wrong. The marking guide has five views for each of four vehicles; all are BMPT-72 displayed at arms shows from 2013-2015. Color callouts refer to Tamiya and Ammo of Mig Jimenez paints.

Study the directions. I prefer to assemble the hull first, then add the details. But this caused problems because I built the armor plates that protect the turret before adding detail that runs underneath these plates. You have been warned.

Step 21 shows two doors on the ring around the turret, each numbered S22; the one to the left of the driver should be S21. Before gluing them in place, make sure to test-fit both; one fits in both spots, the other only fits on one side.

Each torsion bar has the part number molded on it, helpful if you cut them all from the sprue at the same time.

If you don’t like PE, Part PA8 has a plastic alternative not shown in the directions; it is Part A1.

The kit provides optional road wheels matching different color options.

Remember to drill holes in the upper hull before attaching the lower hull, but I recommend a smaller bit size than shown in the directions.

I found Step 11 frustrating because most of the PE part numbers are incorrect. Follow the pictures instead of the part numbers. The rest of the hull assembles without any real problems.
 
The workable tracks consist of individual links with separate guide horns and end connectors. The blocks are weak, and I broke many during assembly. Fortunately, many extras are provided. The directions don’t show how many links to use, but 82 fit the model perfectly.
 
Tiger’s jig eases installation of the end connectors, and once they’re in place the tracks are quite strong. Optional rubber pads are included, but none of the photos I found showed them in use.
 
Location of hooks N46 and Q8 in Step 24 is vague, so I glued them down after the boxes on the side of the turret were in place. Poor fit of the gun/missile supports forced me to fill gaps. I left these off for painting. The kit provides plastic and metal gun barrels, but the detail of the metal parts was too good to pass up.
 
I painted a Terminator II from May 2014 with Tamiya acrylics. The instructions show a mix of white (XF-2) and yellow (XF-3) for the yellow shade, but no ratios are given. The resulting color looked washed out, so I added a little dark yellow (XF-60) to warm it up. (By the way, the mix for the yellow using the Ammo colors didn’t make any sense, so check it if you use those paints.) No directions are given to paint the missiles, but the side of the box has color photos.
 
I spent 55 hours on my BMPT-72, most of it assembling tracks. With more than 1,300 parts, this kit might intimidate less-experienced builders. But good engineering puts it well within the reach of most modelers. The kit’s completeness — metal barrels, easy-to-use PE, metal tow cables, and workable tracks — means no aftermarket items are really needed to improve the model.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2017 issue.

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