He's BaaaaAAAAaaaack. Yes, I have returned as was foretold by the sages. Life got a little hectic for a bit, but I'm back baby, here to share my thoughts and tricks and tips on the T72 Tank by Battlefront for their Team Yankee version of Flames of War. The set I will be talking about is the T72 Tank Company (TSBX01) which has 5 complete T72 tanks. This also covers the T72s that are included in the Potecknov's Bears Battalion Starter Box (TSUAB1), as the sprues are identical (with one exception for earlier spurs we will talk about in a bit).
Bottomline up front...This is a great plastic model kit. Battlefront continues to kill it on the plastics. There are a couple of little tricks you should know about for this model.
- Main Gun Barrel. I have seen 2 sprue types for the Main Gun. The first has sprue contact points on the top of the barrel, right where that little thin line across the barrel is located.
|The contact point at the bottom and middle are on that ridge|
|Contact points on the underside of the barrel...much better|
Later copies of the sprue, like in the Tank Company box, seem to have corrected this and have the contact on the bottom of the barrel which makes it much easier to clean up and keep the detail.
- Smoke Dischargers. These are a pain to clip and clean easily. You need to be extra careful and have a sharp knife when you clean these up. Doable, but you have to be careful. Attaching these to the turret is also an experience. There are 2 sizes.
|Notice discharger on the left is smaller and the VERY tight sprue connections|
The smaller one goes on the side of the turret where gun barrel search light is located. When you attach it, you need to place it close to the spotlight. If you don't, when you place the numbered turret decal on the turret, you will find that the decal doesn't fit.
- Spotlight. Make sure the the spotlight is aligned with the barrel. I found that it was easier to put the light on the barrel before the barrel was attached to the turret.
Build Plan. You can pretty much put these babies together in any order, but after having built just over 30 of them I have learned a little.
Everything always starts with a dry fit. Make sure the pieces fit cleanly together before you glue them together. If they don't fit cleanly fix it with a little filing and knife work until they do.
You can do the Hull or turret first as they are independent of each other. For the hull, dry fit then glue the back to the main hull section.
Next dry fit then glue on the track pieces and then do the same for the hull deck. With the deck in place you can now move to adding the side skirts. Now a tricky part...the spare fuel tanks. First, gluing these together is a little tricky.
|On the left fuel tanks the "smaller" peg/hole is on the left|
Looking at the inside of each half, you have a long slot on one side and a short slot on the other. Get these lined up when you glue them together. and the detail will be lined up as well. When these dry, you can glue that bar across the back. While this is still a little "pliable", glue the fuel tanks into the recess so that the pegs go into holes and the tank rests lightly on the bar.
For the turret, dry fit then glue the turret top and bottom together. Next, dry fit and glue the spotlight to the barrel ensuring that it is aligned with the barrel. Now, dry fit then glue the barrel to the turret. Next come the smoke dischargers following the tips mentioned earlier. Next comes the hatch and if its an open hatch the tank commander. Now finish it all off with the AAMG.
Magnets. I LOVE magnets. They help the turret turn smoother and keep it on the model during any movement. But there is a golden rule that has to be followed when using magnets. You have to keep an eye on the polarity of the magnet and make sure that the two connecting sides are of differing polarities. Otherwise, you get the opposite effect where the turret will pop off...a cool damage effect, but not what you want for most of the game. So how do I ensure proper polarity pairing (like that?)? A Sharpie or other permanent marker is your friend. I get a stack of magnets that will fit and set them aside on something that will help me ensure the same side is always "up"; I use my flat file.
Next, mark the top of the stack with the Sharpie. Now comes the tricky part...which part to magnetize the first...the hull or the turret? The rule I go by is to magnetize the piece with the deepest/widest hole.
|Even though these are BMPs, you can see that deck has a shallower...easier hole|
|BMPs again, but you can see the deck magnet is not marked and the turret is|
- Place the magnets on something metal so that they keep the same orientation throughout your assembly
- Mark the top of the magnet stack
- Put the first magnet into the piece with the deeper hole first
- Put the second magnet so that the opposite side shows (marked/clean or clean/marked)
Paint Plan. I used the paint plan from the Team Yankee book (pages 116-7) as a guide.
- Vallejo Surface Primer Black
- Basecoat of Vallejo Model Air 71.017 Russian Green.
- Then I hit it with Ordnance Shade From the Team Yankee Color set.
- Then a hi lite of 75% model Vallejo Air Russian Green 25% AK Interactive Dunkelgelb Light Base coat AK-007.
- The side skirts and top third of the smoke dischargers are Vallejo Model Color Black 70.950, then a little hi lite with Vallejo Model Color Black Grey 70.862.
- I did the tracks like the book. A dirt brown with a metal hi lite and then an Ordnance Wash. Very nice way to do metal tracks.
- Glass areas/Vision Slots: Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black, Vallejo Model Color 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform, Vallejo Model Color 70.943 Grey Blue
- Night Vision lights: Vallejo Model Color 70.979 German Camo Dark Green; Vallejo Model Color 70.968 Flat Green; Vallejo Game Air 72.732 Escorpena Green
- Mantlet: Vallejo Model Color 70.988 Khaki; Bradley shade; Vallejo Model Color 70.821 German Camo Beige
- Next the model is gloss varnished.
- Decals are now applied. Micro Sol used were appropriate to kill the edge and make the decal melt into any detail and when dry a little gloss varnish applied over the decal, ensuring this layer covers the decal and goes over the decal edges. This helps keep those edges from coming up.
- A pin wash of Black was applied to the detail areas. A pin wash is a very targeted wash, just to those detail area and any excess that gets on top is wiped off. My wash is a pretty traditional "Magic Wash" of 10-20% Acrylic Floor Was (I still have a bottle of Future Floor Wax I use) then the rest distilled water. I add a drop or two of Vallejo Model Color Black 70.950 to the mix and there you go. The Gloss coat on the model pulls the floor wax in the wash (and the rest of the wash with it) into the detail doing a lot of work for you.
- Lastly seal it all with an anti-shine spray. I LOVE Army Painters Anti shine. About the best I have seen. I use mine through my air brush with no issues and have never frosted a miniature as can happen with spray cans of anti shine. Don't go heavy with any anti shine...too much and can get a shine and defeat the purpose.
And the money shots:
|Tight fit for the decal between the turret detail and smoke dischargers|
Jeff Flint "SonBae" has been a long time contributor to WWPD and admin on the forums. A long time gamer and painter and recently a new studio painter at Mastermind, Model and Miniatures in Huntsville, Alabama. Just trying to keep the cats herded in WWPD-South!