T-62 – Syrian Rebels’ Spoil – Trumpeter’s 1/35 kit Part 1

This project in the way that you will find it once finished in this article /part II probably/, happened by pure accident. I bought it to make it a conversion of this particular T-62 into an M version, using MIG or Legend resin sets. However, while discussing it with one of the gurus of the modern armor modeling – Mike Rinaldi – I decided to
follow his advice and get the BDD version of Trumpeter’s well known line of T-62s.
He advised that the kits they are releasing are very nicely done, and there is actually no need for serious improvements along the build. I actually can agree with that. They need mostly fuel lines addition, which is the Legend’s offer actually. However, the price of Legend’s set is 90% of the T-62BDD kit itself, and MIG is old and hard to be found resin set. Besides MIG had some complaints in the past for shrinkage of the cupola in time.
That pretty much resolved the issue. T-62M project was put aside. Deciding what I want to do with that one though, was another story. Having watched many videos of the troubles in Syria last couple of years, I remembered about one with T-62 in it, beaten and worn like it was driven below the sand, not over it. That pretty much helped me decide – while having a kit that I actually wanted to convert, and didn’t know what to do now, I was given the opportunity to make it very dirty, dusty and chipped, and still make it looks nice.
Besides, I was kinda amazed of what rebels did, and for how long to beat the forces of Bashar Assad in Syria. They obviously burned down all the country – both sides I mean – but you gotta have guts to do that, having in mind that you gotta rebuild it shortly afterwards.
So it was decided – rebels’ spoil of war – old Syrian T-62. The box depicted that one as well. Well, not old and captured, but Syrian…

Onto the build. It is pretty straight forward. Trumpeter did their job nicely, although there is some “trouble areas” for rivet counters. Actually the only planned addition that I did was the fuel lines.
Buying another kit of the same tank, I decided to spare money to invest in it, besides investing here, and only for new resin set which is pretty small – tanks and fuel lines.
Aside of all that, there was no troubles with the tank at all. It has nice photo-etched parts – exhaust, engine deck meshes and so on. They can be covered /engine decks/ but I left them as seen on the pictures of captured ones. And the rear drum tanks which are placed behind the tank itself were removed too.
Better realism, or just spare of time. Whatever you like it!

The hull itself does not present any challenge, besides finding the right place to drill for the fuel lines.
I did used some telephone cable for that. A great advice from my dear friend and chief judge of the NOVA IPMS chapter in Virginia. The phone cable consist from two lines, which are insulated, and can be bent easily, giving you the option to recreate the short insulation with brackets used on the real tank. Which I didn’t do. But still, the option is there!

Once I did that, I got onto the wheels. They are consisted of five parts per wheel, and two of those are the tires, which allows you to rough them up with a rotary tool, making them absolutely perfectly realistic and worn nicely. Once I did that, I put those aside, because my final decision was to complete the tank and the wheels and then decide do I use the kit tracks /which is most likely to happen/ or add Friuls for better realism.

Turret is kinda the same deal as the superstructure. Nice and easy to be dealt with. Only one short side to that: it doesn’t have the locking pins and stays loose. That is not a common in scale models from any company and I am still in doubt why Trumpeter did that decision here. I glued it before painting. Usually don’t do it that way, but as I told you: one T-62M is going to be build soon as well as Tiran 6, which is pretty much the same base, so why burn myself over here?!

Once everything build, I decided to spray the primer through my brand new single-action airbrush, because I was experiencing troubles with Vallejo primer from time to time. That was the first, but not last troubled area for that project. The airbrush appeared to be faulty. It started well, but after 10 seconds it started spraying unevenly and not all the time, which caused too much primer to be sprayed onto the model. However, thanx to the even finish that you get in a while with Vallejo primer, most of the troubles were hidden. Besides, only the end result counts!
Then I added some rust colors – 4 of them actually – and neglected to note that one of them was matt the 2 others semi-gloss and the third was glossy. As you might expect, chipping over gloss is not the greatest deal you can get, so you need to cover everything with matt varnish for easier application of the technique with hairspray.
And I forgot to do that. Thanx to the fact that my hairspray varnish was pretty hard, it went OK.

As I mentioned above, that was not the only mishap with that model though. At that time I didn’t even knew what is going to hit me next, and before missing the varnish with Matt coat I was pretty excited and pleased with the result. Mostly because it hid some of the troubles that I did with the primer.
We all know that there isn’t a project that starts and ends as we planned. Many claim that they do it exactly like that, but that is a lie. If you don’t trust me, write down all the steps, the primers, varnishes, colors and tools that you plan to use, and the final appearance that you are after, and start the job. At the end of it, you will see that I was right.
But anyway..once rusted, I left it to stay couple of nights, just to be sure everything is cured and ready for the next stages.

So, that did it for the first part of this project for me. And decided it to make a short video instead of showing all the pictures below the article.
So here it is, and see you in Part 2!