ARM: Arsenal-M (SDV) 1/87 (HO) T-90 Model 1992

Kit Review: Arsenal-M 1/87 scale (HO) Kit (number unknown); T-90 Tank; 80 parts in mid green styrene; price US$23.50 (EU17.50)
Advantages: first good kit of a T-90 in this scale
Disadvantages: small sprues need major cleanup prior to construction
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all small-scale and HO model railroaders interested in armor
    Arsenal-M - the main European exporter of SDV Models from the Czech Republic - is now offering a kit of the T-90 Model 1992 tank. This is the first version of the tank which used T-72 based running gear, an upgraded T-72B based turret, “Kontakt-5" reactive armor, and the “Shtora-1" active defense system with its notable twin searchlights.
    The kit comes in their normal medium green styrene plastic and based on their modular system of kit construction comes on a number of small sprues. Due to the small sprues and the limited molding depth, it does require some more cleanup and greater care than with a ROCO model or any 1/35 scale kit.
    The model is designed around common sprues which are provided based upon the model the kit is to represent. Therefore, it consists mainly of a fender assembly with turret race and hull roof, a lower hull, track runs with the inner road wheels, and the rest of the parts are added as needed. As this is a gun tank one sprue with the turret halves and main gun is provided, along with a sprue of common T-72/ T-90 parts, specific T-90 parts, and generic T-72 parts such as the outer road wheels, drivers, and idlers.
    Asssembly takes some care. The wheels come with only a pin on the back to attach them and if not careful they will be “wobbly” when installed, so accuracy counts. There is no corresponding hole for the pin. The track runs mount with two pins that fit inside recesses on the bottom of the hull; when correct the road wheel arms on the backs of the wheels will line up with the torsion bar mounts on the bottom of the hull.
    The turret on this model consists of a total of 24 parts; a far cry from the Zvezda T-90A’s 199 parts but this IS a 1/87 scale model. Overall the assemblies do a pretty good job of capturing the early T-90's appearance. But some parts are very simplified so they will take extra time to properly place and align on the model (the “Shtora” searchlights are particularly finicky in this area).
    The kit does not provide any finishing directions but a small sheet of decals with “number jungles” and national markings for T-72s is included. Right now the T-90 Model 1992 is in service with Russia, Algeria, and India so those are the only currently valid choices. Color schemes vary but an olive drab/black/sand combination is most common on the Russian tanks.
    Overall this is a nice little kit - much more advanced over the old Petner Panzers T-72M1 kit – and fits in with the other offerings from SDV (T-72s, BREhM-1, TOS-1 “Buratino” among other options). I picked up mine from Eurotrains in the US.
Cookie Sewell
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