T-90 is one of the favorite subjects of Russian-armor fans around the world. A tank that barely saw combat use, and a tank that is looking like a new concept but its actually based on the old MBT project.
Most of the T-90s that we can see are those on the Victory Parade on 9th of May on the Red Square. However, with some good research, we can find lightly weathered and
used vehicles. That makes it a challenging project, since we all know that armor models are to be weathered. And heavily….
Anyway. Before we had only Zvezda kit of T-90, which only few know is it accurate or not. During 2013, Meng released their state of the art T-90A, and shortly after Trumpeter followed with three more options for that tank.
Since I count on Meng’s wonderful company management and my previous experience with their kits, I got theirs. The good thing was, that it is amazing kit. The bad – I didn’t knew what I got myself into.
The only think I can make a comparison with is Tristar Panzer IV. Panzer is a relatively small kit, containing around 900 parts, and its a hussle to be built. Small parts, hooks, turret elements and annoying tracks.
However….another relatively small tank – T-90 – from Meng, has 1300+ parts. Each track link is made from several parts, which makes a modeler’s life a pure misery.
I can honestly say, that this was the hardest model that I’ve ever built in my life. It took me more than it took me to built Su-27 with a lot of resin and PE in 32nd scale.
There is nothing easy about this model actually. I bet this will be the last model for many, especially for novices. Once you get into the project, its like a drug – hard, but very very challenging. Nothing to wonder, that there aren’t many built out there.
As you can see from the pictures, detail is good, and instructions are easily understandable. Trust me though – this doesn’t help.
I started with the engine. Last couple of years, I enjoy building engines the most. This one is colorful, not heavily weathered, and not so complicated.
The fit inside the engine bay is a bit tricky, but either way, I suggest to everybody who is interested in that kit – leave the engine out. The model can be closed, and the engine placed aside. First it will look a lot more attractive due to its colors and additional info seeing the power unit naked. Second – you will close the tank engine bay with no regrets of covering your work, and ruin the mean battle appearance of T-90. And it looks sleek!
The suspension of the tank is active. The wheels, sprokets and tracks are workable. I was onto that next. It is of course – tricky. To make all axles aligned is a lot of work and attention. And as for the tracks, even with Meng’s track tool, you need a couple of days to finish everything.
There is an option to make tracks off-road option and on-road option. With or without pads in other words. The scond option will save some time, and I can assure you, a lot of you T-90 builders out there will be tempted to do so.
Then, a friend of mine, commenting on my camouflage /actually criticizing it, since he is an armor jury in IPMS club/ showed me a tank placed on a concrete pads, which by size was looking exactly like they will fit my diorama frame perfectly. One of those was broken and the tank was kinda sunk into the concrete.
So I quickly did them and placed some grass in the gaps between the blocks, then weathering and problem was solved! I couldn’t have been more thankful to him for that!
The diorama pad was quick and painless, and that was the only quick and painless thing about this project. I will discuss those types of diorama bases on some next article, or maybe will make video tutorial. As for the tank, I must say, this is not a novice-kinda-model. So if you are not confident in your skills, don’t try it out.
I can say only good things about Meng’s work with that kit, and most of my criticism above is a joke. The model is stunning! However everybody interested in it must consider that it is a great challenge!
I build models from 1990. I’ve built tons of them. That was the most horrifying and challenging model of them all. And I don’t mean to scare you away from it! Just beware!
It looks sleek and looks mean, but the road is long and with many traps!
Hope you will like what I did with it!
P.S. A short video of “how to” make the track links, and that is before you place the pads for on-road driving. You will find more pictures of the built tank below the video and soon – update with the diorama pad.
|IPMS Nationals 2014 First Place!|
Small update: September, 2014
another medal from
Veliko Tarnovo Model Expo