Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

Microart Studios

Posted on July 29th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

For my second Infinity partner focus I’m going to talk about Microart Studios. This Polish company has been around for some years and started with resin bases and conversion pieces, which I have used for my Blood Angels and Eldar. … Continue reading

Review Model – model collect 1/72 T-72B with ERA

Posted on July 29th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

The T-72 is another of those Cold War Icons, Globally exported its been involved in most of the worlds major conflicts since it appeared on the scene in the late 1960’s.  It was the Soviet Unions low cost alternative to the T-64 and T-80 series, equipping units outside of the technology challenging Central front area although it was the main stay of Soviet units in the Central group of Forces in Czecheslovakia.  Other than that it was mostly found in the Western Military districts of the Soviet Union or exported across the middle east.
The T-72B comenced production in 1985 and introduced levels of protection that exceeded those of both the T-64 and T-80 making it the best protected of the Soviet tanks. The other key capability on this model was the AT-11 Svir missile.  The model includes the Kontakt 1 ERA which was available from 1982, first mounted on tanks in 1983, first identified by NATO in 1984 and fitted to the T-72B  from 1988.  It is worth speculating on weather it would have been rolled out earlier if East West relationships had decended into crisis.

One of the major thrusts of Soviet organisational and equipment change over this period was the neutralisation of the NATO ATGW threat as the the density of Anti Tank weapons had increased to a point where the Soviet Army felt that success was unlikly.  This then drove their adoption of ERA and the significant increase in artillery systems over the period.

The improved armour provided the T-72B with base protection of 520mm RHA equivalent from APDS and 950mm RHA equivalent protection from HEAT, Kontakt 1 providing an additional 350mm – 400mm RHA equivalent against HEAT.  Of interest the Improved TOW missile would penetrate 900mm RHA equivalent with TOW 2A delivered in 1987 doing 900mm behind ERA. I suspect it was not until the introduction of TOW2B in 1991 that the balance of advantage was restored to the ATGW. A Tandem war head for Milan did not arrive until 1993 so for a significant period the impact of the ATGW and LAW capability was reduced.

This review looks at the modelcollect T-72B although there are a variety of options on the market including
  • ACE
  • S&S
  • Hobby Den
  • Model Collect
The modelcollect kit like a lot of their armour kits is priced at around £11 and depending on when and how many you order may be shipped from China or their UK warehouse. Like the TOS-1 it is staggeringly well packaged with clear instructions.
The Hull is cast from white metal and is finly molded and adds a rather pleasing weight to the finished vehicle.  The Tracks are flexible plastic but fit and fix easily using liquid poly. The remainder of the parts are Molded from plastic, the level of detail is generaly excellant and the quality of the molding is very good with only minor amounts of flash on one of the 4 models I built.  Modelcollect are certainly approaching Revell standards if they are not quite there yet.  No major issues with the build but a few minor ones as follows:
  • Turret fit to Hull
  • Fit of the front right Turret ERA (looking at the front)
  • Removal from Sprue and fitting of external fuel barrel supports
The Turret Hull fit is best sorted before you build the turret as trying to sort it once the turret is constructed is asking for a mishap.  The problem stems from insufficient space between the base of the turret and the retaining lugs to accommodate the depth of the molding of the hull deck, a little light filling between the top of the lug and base of the turret soon removes the issue more radically you could just chop off the lugs.

I have yet to try this but separating the turret front right ERA block strip into probably 3 bits will result in a better fit.

Care is generally needed with the finer parts such as the commanders MG. The external fuel tank supports definitely fall into this category and need a bit of thinking about before removal.  On the batch build I only lost one on the first vehicle I lost 50%.  Fitting them to the hull rear also requires some work as the mounting lugs can be a little large.

Other than that it was a breeze with assembly taking a couple of hours.  In contrast I have been building 3 ACE T-72Bs for at least 2 years :).  Once constructed the vehicle looks the part  and whilst I have seen nothing specific on this vehicle Alex Clark has made some very encouraging noises about a number of other models in the range.

Markings, Stowage and Damage.

The vehicles carry traditional Soviet numbers on the left, right and rear stowage bins and in some cases regimental identifying marks can also be found on the bins.  The left and right turret bins are of different lengths so may need different approaches to accomodating the markings. Examples of markings used can be found here. The large model collect decal sheet which can be separately purchased contains a range of these.

Stowage can be seen in a number of immages and a canvas cover could also be worked for the cupola mounted HMG, a usefull strategy should you break it.  I have seen images where the snorkle storage can be mounted up or down, in the down position it precludes the use of an identification number on the rear bins, not quite sure why I did that.
The modelcollect T-64 BV comes with an etched brass commanders screen which could also be deployed on the T-72. There are a variety of options to add vehicle damage around the side skirts  and ERA packs immages also exist showing incomplete coverage of ERA blocks on the hull deck.  Both provide a route for enhancing the models in your fleet.  I have currently added regimental identifiers and vehicle numbers on the left and right stowage bins and have not included any additional stowage or famage on the first four vehicles.
Painting.
My painting style with the airbrush continues to evolve.  On these beasts the lower hull tracks and underside were sprayed with black, then the whole was sprayed with Tamiya XF-13 JA Green ensuring that the lower hull is left a darker shade.  The pannels were then sprayed with Tamiya XF-65 field gray. Then the detail was picked out using Vallejo Black Grey for the HMG, Sight blocks and IR searchlights and sky grey for driving lights.  A pin wash was then applied using the Humbrol Black enamel wash and a blue grey filter applied to selected pannels and the skirts using diluted Humbrol Blue Grey enamel wash. The raised detail was drybrushed using a mix of Vallejo Russian Uniform and Buff.
Decals were then applied and the whole vehicle was matt varnished then weathered.  Weathering involved spraying the road wheels and base of the skirts with Tamiya XF-  Earth Brown before washing these areas with a dilute solution of Vajello Mahogany Sand.  The front and rear hull and lower hull was then oversprayed with Tamiya XF- Dark Yellow, with a progressivly lighter application as you move up the sides and onto the hull top than sides. 
The vehicle is based using laser cut mdf from East Riding miniatures this was painted dry brushed and covered with a variety of scatter material.

All up an excellent model, straight forward to assemble, quick to build and an excellent representation of the vehicle. Considerably easier than the ACE model and competativly priced against the alternatives.

References:

Books:

Soviet/Russian Armour and Artillery Design Practice 1945 to Present
Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, D Isby, 1988
T-72 Main Battle Tank 1974 – 1993, Osprey

Web:
Modelcollect @ Henk of Holland 
On The Way Models, T-72 Model comparison
On The Way Models,Modelling The T-72 Family
Army Recognition T-72A datasheet
Army Recognition T-72 Overview Part 1
Army Recognition T-72 Overview Part 2
Alex Clarks Inspirational T-72B
Alex Clarks Inspirational T-72M1
Missing Lynx T-72B1 Thread

Other Posts of Interest:
Modelling – Cold War Soviet Vehical Markings and Decals
Review – Models 1/72, ACE T-72B
ORBAT – 1980’s Soviet MRR and TRR, Part 1 Deployment and ORBAT
ORBAT – 1980’s Soviet MRR and TRR, Part 2 Tank Change 

Book Review: The Martian

Posted on July 28th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

Another of my summer reading volumes which I really enjoyed.

A manned mission to Mars goes wrong in an unusually strong sandstorm, resulting in 5 crew safely departing the Red Planet but leaving one of their team dead on the surface.  Unfortunate…

Making time to read

Posted on July 26th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

Since my redundancy last year my reading output has dropped drastically. I rarely get a proper lunch break these days and this was usually the time when I’d get most of my reading done. Add to this the fact that with my new job I’m so knackered when I …

Review: Age of Sigmar Starter Box- Part 1 Unboxing

Posted on July 19th, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

I’m a little late here, but I didn’t want to go with just an little unboxing for the new AoS Starter but rather a full review of it, the components, about the new rules fluff etc. So to do this it will take some time. So I will do this review in parts,…

First game of Age of Sigmar – a few thoughts

Posted on July 19th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

I actually tried out Age of Sigmar for the first time yesterday, digging out my dwarfs and Chaos Warriors.The Dwarfs brought1 Dwarf Lord1 Rune Lord10 Hammerers10 Warriors10 Miners10 Thunderers10 Quarrelers1 cannonWhile Chaos had1 Chaos Lord1 Chaos Sorc…

40K on iOS: Warhammer 40000: Deathwatch – Tyranid Invasion Review

Posted on July 19th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

I’ve been traveling a lot recently for work, which means I’ve been able to devote less time to the plastic toy soldiers. Miniatures gaming, wonderful as it is as a […]

Airbrush “INFINITY CR plus” – Harder&Steenbeck

Posted on July 18th, 2015 under , . Posted by

In the following review, I will present you in a well-known in modelers world airbrush company Harder&Steenbeck  – INFINITY. I’m not going to go into a detailed construction of the airbrush. The main construction of the nozzle and the method of it’s installation I’ve already described in the previous reviews of H&S airbrushes.
W poniższej recenzji, zaprezentuję wam dobrze znany w kręgu modelarzy aerograf firmy Harder&Steenbeck – INFINITY. Nie będę wnikał w szczegółową budowę aerografu. Kwestia budowy dyszy i sposobu jej montażu opisywałem już w poprzednich recenzjach aerografów H&S.

READ MORE »

Review and Reflection – Warhammer: Age of Sigmar – First look at the hardcover Rulebook and Stormcast Liberators

Posted on July 18th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Book Review: Red Army

Posted on July 16th, 2015 under , . Posted by

If you are a wargamer, the chances are pretty good that you’ve read Red Storm Rising and Team Yankee at least once, probably more.  This book deserves to be right next to them on the shelf; it’s that good.

This is the story of WW3 entirely…

Review: Fox at the Front

Posted on July 15th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

This book follows on from its predecessor Fox on the Rhine (see here) so closely that I consider it Part 2 of the story as opposed to a sequel.  In fact the opening sequences are a retelling of the last section of the first book but from a …

Review: AK Interactive Weathering Pigment

Posted on July 15th, 2015 under , . Posted by

I’ve been looking for a decent weathering system recently, and on a whim grabbed a couple of jars of AK Interactive weathering pigment and fixative from Hobby City recently to try. At around $10NZ a jar, they’re not cheap, but after a little experimentation they seem like pretty good value. The ‘North African Dust’ I […]

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  3. Review: Cheaper than Games Workshop Skull White Primer

Review: Fox on the Rhine

Posted on July 14th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

Another OOP volume I managed to snag recently for the princely sum of 1 cent (plus 3.98 for postage!), this is a WW2 alternate history novel.  Well written by two wargamers, they have a style similar to other late 1990s military style novels by La…

Battle Report – Warhammer: Age of Sigmar – Realms of Conflict Ep 02!

Posted on July 11th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

I bring my freshly painted Stormcast Eternals against Chris’ Khorne Bloodbound! Also check out our reviews and reflections on the release!

Review: White Dwarf Issue 75 – Age of Sigmar release

Posted on July 4th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

With the arrival of Age of Sigmar (see our exclusive advance preview here) White Dwarf has delivered something special this week. Just like what we saw back in the early 90s (free Space Marine, Wizard and Necron models!) we now finally carry on that tr…

Review: Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Set

Posted on July 3rd, 2015 under , , . Posted by

Stop the press. We’ve got our hands on a copy of the new Age of Sigmar starter set, which isn’t out before next Saturday. We’ll take a close look at its contents, the miniatures, and the gaming materials. Click “more after the jump” for this exciting review which marks the beginning of a new era of Warhammer Fantasy.
More after the jump

Review – Book, The Race to The Swift, R Simpkin 1985

Posted on July 1st, 2015 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

The Race to the Swift by Brigadier R Simpkin recieved rave reviews across a range of professional military journals in America and Britain, for good reason, its an excellent treatise on manouvre warfare, focusing more on the operational rather than the…

Plastic Soldier Company’s ‘The Great War’ boardgame: a video review

Posted on June 24th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

We pack up our troubles by casting a strategic eye over The Plastic Soldier Company‘s new World War I board wargame, The Great War:

The post Plastic Soldier Company’s ‘The Great War’ boardgame: a video review appeared first on Model Dads blog.

Book Review: My Immortal – The Vampires of Berlin

Posted on June 22nd, 2015 under , , . Posted by

I’d been looking about for this book for ages (since 2011 – see here) but without success.  Then recently it popped up for free – or maybe I just found it – on my Kindle Unlimited account; got to be happy with that!
The book starts out in modern…

Painting Miniatures A to Z

Posted on June 15th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

One of the reasons Infinity (the Game) has a repution of having some of the best minitures in the industry is down to one of their staff painters, an extremely talently gentleman by the name of Angel Giraldez. After producing … Continue reading

Review Model – ACE 1/72, AML 90 Armoured Car

Posted on June 14th, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

The AML -245 Armoured Car was developed in the late 50’s as a private venture, over 6,000 were produced and it has been fielded by over 50 Nations participating along the way in a range of Cold War conflicts including;South African Border War, Fal…

Gamers Grass Tufts – Review

Posted on June 9th, 2015 under . Posted by

I purchased a selection of “tufts” from Gamer’s Grass a few months ago to try and spice up my desert bases. I’ve always been a bit wary of grass tufts after a bad experience with a crushed packet of unnatural looking grass from Army Painter. These tufts proved to be much better and in a […]

The post Gamers Grass Tufts – Review appeared first on My Wargame.

Review: Forgeworld Warlord Titan Unboxing

Posted on June 8th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

I am honoured to join the Tale of Painters as a contributor, and what better fitting way to do so than with the largest GW/FW model going… I welcome you to the Warlord Titan!

This  is a YouTube video I made of the grand unveiling of the model, from first tape rip to last component showing what comes in the box. Are you ready for resin goodness?!

More after the jump

Review: New XL Ultramarines Transfer Sheet

Posted on June 7th, 2015 under , , . Posted by

Hey guys, you probably all know how much I love transfers. So I couldn’t resist buying one of the new XL sized decal sheets for my Ultramarines. Read on to find out more about my thoughts about the new sheets, as well as size comparisons and large sized pictures.
More after the jump

Review – Book, Soviet/Russian Armour and Artillery Design practice, 1945 to present

Posted on June 6th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

This is frankly an outstanding reference work if you are interested in post war soviet military vehicles and artillery systems, sadly this is reflected in its price and availability.  Written by two of the worlds leading experts and drawing on a wide range of sources that became available at the end of the Cold War as the Russians sought to export their technology and needed to more widely publish its capabilities to the world.
The book covers;
  • Evolution of Soviet/Russian Tanks
  • Anti Armour Developments
  • Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles
  • Armoured Airborne Vehicles
  • Self Propelled Artillery
  • Towed Artillery
The principal component of the book is the evolution of Soviet/Russian Tanks which covers its subject in significant detail looking at both the major production models and the main prototypes it includes their evolution through the various marks and provides good coverage of the enhancements introduced. Through it all runs the broad thread of the design strategy and vision.  The focus is very much on post war tanks and includes:
  • post war production of the T-34/85
  • early post war medium tank production T-54/55/62
  • Soviet Post War Heavy Tank Design
  • Soviet Post War Light Tanks
  • Second Generation Tank Development T-64/72/80

The sections on Anti Armour developments, Armoured Infantry Vehicles and Airborne vehicles traces a similar story through these sets of vehicles. Whilst the level of detail presented is extremly useful the breadth of Armoured vehicle types covered inevitably mean this is less than that provided within the tank story.
The section on artillery is both comprehensive and provides good coverage and technical detail on all the systems covered again tracing the evolution of the design concepts through the systems that were developed, the focus is delivered against system type looking at SPGs, Gun Mortars, MRLs, free flight rockets and ballistic missiles. Of note its not just about the delivery system.  The Soviets designed for end to end engagement concepts in artillery; target acquisition, delivery and supply so the book includes a range of specilist logistic and support vehicles as well as command and observation post vehicles.  The one noteable ommision under the artillery title to my mind is Air Defence systems although this may be more a reflection of the organisation of the the Soviet Armed forces, sadly this misses the oppourtunity to explore an area where the Soviets may well have outperformed the west.
At the end the authors provide an overview of the design philosophy which really highlights the technology push component of the Soviet approach and enables one to contrast this with the more requirements lead approaches of the western world. In Summary a superb book, that can be read cover to cover or dipped into as required, it contains a wealth of data that I have not come across elsewhere particularly in relation to the performance of armour. The sting in the tale is the price, at £130 on Amazon its not a cheap.  If you can afford it, its worth buying if you see it for less than £50 don’t even think about it, just buy it, great book.

Soviet/Russian Armour and Artillery Design practice, 1945 to present @ Amazon

Other Book Reviews:
Review-Book, Modern African Wars (3) South West Africa
Review-Book, Red God of War, Soviet Artillery and Rocket Forces
Review-Book, Iron Division, The History of the 3rd Division 1809-1989
Jane’s Armour and Artillery 2002/2003
Review-Book, Rats Tales and Royal Scots in The Gulf
Review-Books, Warpaint, Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003, Volumes 1-4
Review-Book, Air Battle Central Europe, Alfred Price
Review- Book, Confrontation, The Strategic Geography of NATO and the Warsaw Pact
Review – Book, Mil Mi 8/Mi – 17 Rotary Wing Work Horse and War Horse
Review – Book, A History of Soviet Airborne Forces 
Review – Book, Soviet Tactical Aviation
A History of Soviet Airborne Forces
Soviet Tactical Aviation
Armies of NATO’s Central Front
Red Thrust, Central Front
The Soviet Afghan War, How a Super Power Fought and Lost
Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army
Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics
The Military Balance
Encyclopaedia of the Modern British Army
The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Manoeuvre
First Clash
The Third World War
The British Army in Germany
The Cold War Bookstore contains links to over 60 Cold War titles covered in my book list
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