|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The T-62 is a Soviet main battle tank, a further development of the T-55. Its 115 mm gun was the first smoothbore tank gun in use.
The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975. It became a standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, partly replacing the T-55, although that tank continued to be manufactured in the Soviet Union and elsewhere after T-62 production was halted. The T-62 was later replaced in front-line service by the T-72.
T-62M (Ob'yekt 166M) (1983) - Extensive modernization of the T-62 with protection and mobility improvements and the "Volna" fire control system. It is fitted with a BDD appliqué armour package, an additional belly armour plate for anti-mine protection, 10 mm thick reinforced rubber side skirts and 10 mm thick anti-neutron liner. The BDD appliqué armour package was specially designed to defeat shaped charges (for example RPGs) and consists of an appliqué plate on the glacis and two horseshoe shaped blocks fitted to the front of the turret. The handrails around the turret have been removed to make space for the bra appliqué armour. Fastenings for four spare track chain links have been added on the side of the turret. The tank is fitted with RhKM tracks from the T-72 main battle tank and two additional shock absorbers on the first pair of roadwheels. The "Volna" fire control system was improved by fitting the KTD-2 (or KTD-1) laser rangefinder in an armoured box over the main armament. There is a new TShSM-41U gunner's sight, new commander's sight, "Meteor-M1" stabiliser, BV-62 ballistic computer and 9K116-2 "Sheksna" (NATO: AT-10 Stabber) guided missile unit with 1K13-BOM sight (it is both a night sight and ATGM launcher sight. However, it cannot be used for both functions simultaneously) which allows the tank to fire 9M117 Bastion ATGMs through its gun tube. The tank was fitted with a gun thermal sleeve, new radios, the R-173 radio set instead of R-123M and a new V-55U diesel engine developing 620 hp (462 kW). The ammunition load was increased by two rounds. Some are fitted with two clusters of four smoke grenade launchers each on the right rear of the turret. The US intelligence saw T-62M main battle tanks for the first time during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and they gave it the designation T-62E. There are a number of sub-variants of the T-62M, depending on how much of the modernization package the vehicle has installed.
I am guessing that this is pretty much the version that is kitted based on the addition of the appliqué armor package.
This is another of Trumpeter's superbly molded armor kits that comes with features you would normally expect to get from aftermarket sources. The kit is molded in grey plastic and most of the sprues are individually bagged. I found no instance of flash or sunken areas. A segregated compartment provides the hull along with the wire tow cable, the newly cast turret and an aluminum barrel.
There are two photo etch frets that provide several small parts that attach to the hull as well as intake and exhaust screens. In common with many modern tracked vehicle kits, this one has individual track links. These are molded onto several sprues and while a bit time consuming to put together, provide a realistic sag that is the norm for Soviet tanks. Another nice touch is that the tread on the road wheels is a separate item and already molded in black. I find painting road wheels to be one of my least favorite tasks so this is a boon for me.
The kit has no interior or engine detail and while all of the various hatches are separate, they are shown as to be built in the closed position. I also found it interesting that the turret is not keyed as on many kits, but simply fits into the depression in the hull. The hull as a large variety of storage compartments that are separate and designed to fit into specific locales. Also typical of Soviet armor, there are two fuel tanks on rear racks as well as a pole to help get the tank unstuck. The turret has a spotlight and IR light as well as the usual defensive machine gun.
Instructions are superbly drawn and typically have no color information in any of the 22 construction steps. Some holes will need to be opened for this version and those are clearly shown. Markings are provided for two vehicles. One is the box art vehicle in overall olive green while the other is in a nicely done desert scheme. No units are identified, but the desert tank carries Afghan insignia, which is a good choice as the Afghan Army currently operates these tanks. The full color painting and markings guide provides references to several different paint companies so finding something locally should not be difficult. The small decal sheet is well printed and from previous use of Trumpeter decals, will go on and react well to setting solutions.
If you are a fan of Soviet tanks, then this is a must have. It is an interesting vehicle and will fit well into any modern armor collection.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at your local retailer or have them order it for you.
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