T-72 BM

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The inspiration for this project came to me while surfing the internet, and I came across a picture of a T72BM serving in the Chechnya theatre of war during the recent conflict there. It was equipped with the funky looking SLAT armour on its sides and turret, and was covered in external stowage and all manor of bits and pieces.

The donor kit is the old but well known Tamiya T72, in order to obtain a BM variant I had to add the excellent Miniarm conversion, this comprises of a new turret (provided with Kontact 5 ERA) with aluminium barrel, plus a new front hull part and the new type side protection which all come in the box. I also decided to add new six bolt wheels from Miniarm to replace the original 8 bolts ones from Tamiya, as these are the wrong wheels, but actually there is a mix of them, as seen on many tanks from that war.

All the SLAT armour you can see was scratch built using Evergreen plastic strips. I removed the Tamiya parts simulating the "rubber" side protection and replaced them with thin lead foil. Other details added include plastic bolts where needed and a new "real" log from wood rod. The kit tracks were replaced with the excellent Friul metal tracks to give them the correct looking sag.

The rest of the model came straight out of the box with no more alterations made, although its an old model, its a very good one for its age, and with a little TLC can be made into a great model.

Painting and weathering
I started by pre-shading the entire model with a semi gloss black colour in all the nooks and crannies, then Tamiya acrylic J.A. GREEN was over sprayed in a random pattern ,achieving the main colour. When dried a mix of green, plus a bit of yellow was applied to simulate a faded (Russian feature) body tone, this was kept very subtle.

I went on by adding a general Raw Umber oil colour wash,and when dry, filters were applied on the main hull and turret,using various coloured oil paint, the oil stains and rust were simulated with appropriate oil paint mixed in with the filters. Scratches were added starting with a Chrome Oxide Green oil colour, after being allowed to dry I added a light acrylic brown overspray across the whole vehicle to bind in all the weathering effects . All weathering effects were obtained using oil colours plus wide use of MIG pigments both pure or thinned with white spirit.

Once the painting and weathering was finished, I added Some "cool" details,such as a resin skull on the NSVT 12.7 mm machine gun (as seen in a picture from Chechnya war), an AK47, a water bottle, a playboy magazine and two helmets on the turret, to give it that lived in look, also some Plus Model leaves were added to help bring it all to life. All in all a very enjoyable and interesting project.

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About the Author

About Guido Adorno (guido)