Converting the Trumpeter T-72 MBT to RC 1/16 scale

by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site

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To improve the Heng Long T-90 I read some books and gathered information/photos from the web. This little research made me know more about these compact Russian tanks T-72/T-90, and so I grew my interest in them.

My interest in RC tanks is especially focused on the exterior details, improving the model appearance, and trying to give the best paint and weathering my skills allows. I look for images of 1/35 models to see, and learn, what leading modellers do and try to take it to 1/16 scale . Always within my abilities and effort I want to do, of course. You can see the tutorial about the T-90 in the following link.

So I bought the 1/16 T-72 Trumpeter kit. This kit was designed not only for static but also for RC. The static version has some extra details and modifications, reminds me the, T-34 from WSN, a brand with which Trumpeter sold the T-34 RC. The philosophy of the T-72 is the same, I still believe that the T-34 gearbox with its motors, would fit in the hull. Perfectly.


The whole kit is injected in a really hard polystyrene, difficult to get sprue leftovers removed. It supplies good quality tracks, but they’ve a problem, I'll explain later. The kit provides a well made sprue with clear parts for visors, PE for the engine inlet shutter (I spent many hours reproducing these metal meshes in the HL T-90). It is obvious that the injection technology is in line with the time we live in, so it’s possible to see how the machine gun has its muzzle brake open even though it is molded as a single part, and the auxiliary fuel drums is also one- piece molded, excellent.

Also the main fuel tanks and boxes are molded separately, which once built, give the whole, a very realistic look . With the T-90 I had to work hard to make these parts look separate. The same happens with the exhaust, correctly represented.

Trumpeter didn’t include workable suspensions, although it’s obvious that the kit is ready for it, but rubber tread for the wheels, with molded size on the side, a good detail.

Perhaps the poorest of the kit is the gun barrel, plastic in two halves, prepared to place a LED inside. Separated from the mantlet which would save a lot of work later. Unfortunately the mantlet has molded canvas in the same way HL do, but a little more realistic what would require extra work later for more realism.

Something curious, the A sprue includes a battery holder lid, which is obviously not necessary because the hull does not have it, a mold modification for the static model.


This tutorial is offered in PDF format to be read or printed using Acrobat reader, contact our webmaster > Here

Includes more than 140 pics, here we show only the text pages.


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