Яusso-Soviэt Forum: Cold War Soviet Armor
For discussions related to cold war era Russo-Soviet armor.
Updating turrets for the T-72
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Armed Forces Europe, United States
Joined: November 04, 2005
KitMaker: 84 posts
Armorama: 73 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 06:03 AM UTC
Even after reading everything I can, I am still super confused about T-72 turrets and hulls.
I have 2 kits that I want to work and really need your inputs/advice on how to update/finish them

The first is Tamiya's beauty for which I bought the SBS Models T-72 M1/A turret. I want to do an Iraqi tank. What mods/updates do I need to do to match the turret with the hull? I know the kit is a "rare" mismatched East German model...but I still cannot pin down what needs to be done to update it.

The second (don't laugh) is Dragon's old T-72G/M that I want to do as an early T-72. So I got SKP Model's Early T-72 turret with the coincidence rangefinder. I'm down with using the Tamiya kit as a guide for the basic hull updates, but I don't know how "accurate" the fwd hull is for this kind of turret. What needs to be done?

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District of Columbia, United States
Joined: March 05, 2009
KitMaker: 154 posts
Armorama: 137 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 07:49 AM UTC
Hi David,
First question: I think that you are to a good start. I know it is more money into the project, but I would recommend getting the Modelling the Gulf War 1991 by Abrams Squad. It has an article on the beautiful Lukasz Orczyc-Musiatek's Iraqi T-72 build (he uses the SBS turret and Tamiya kit).

Second question: Are you sure you want to do it? . You would have to choose which version, example Soviet or export. I think an easier path is the Tamiya kit + Verlinden hull + SKP turret (since you already have it).

Good luck on your builds,
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Budapest, Hungary
Joined: May 07, 2009
KitMaker: 461 posts
Armorama: 443 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 02:14 PM UTC

Soviet tanks show a huge variety in general and the T-72 is not an exception.

They were produced in different plants and countries, multiple updates were made and even production batches were different sometimes.

So the best is always follow the photos.

For your questions:

1) The Tamiya hull is M1, so the turret purchased should be a good match.

2) If you are after an early hull, do not use the Tamiya as a guide since it is for an M1 with added front armor on the hull.

But these are very general guidelines, you should try searching some photos.

Just an example: the new Iraqui Army received a number of T-72-s that were refurbished before being sent off. It is a mixed bag, including vehicles produced in the Soviet Union, Poland and the Czech Republic. Some were first used by the Belarus, then sold to Hungary and then passed on to Iraq.


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Minnesota, United States
Joined: March 04, 2003
KitMaker: 4,630 posts
Armorama: 4,498 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 12:40 AM UTC
1. Tamiya hull and SBS turret for T-72M1 is good enough for a decent Iraqi build, nothing else needed. If you want to spruce it up, you can add Trumpeter workable tracks, a metal barrel, aftermarket SGL's (resin or metal), a metal antenna pot, and a new NVS(T) AAMG.

2. DML, Italeri, REVELL, ERTL, AMT, Esci, and Zvezda T-72's are all way out of date, and not very close to proper dimensions. You can build them, and you can fix them up nice, but when you put them by a 1/35 T-72 in proper dimension, it shows. I would recommend getting a Tamiya kit for the hull, get a replacement T-72 front glacis for the early version (or scratchbuild it) and add the turret. You are not going to be doing yourself any favors using that turret with the DML kit.