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  1. ZTZ96B Chinese Main Battle Tank 1/35 MENG MODEL via Creative Models The Type 96 or ZTZ96 is a second generation MBT of Chinese design which entered service with the PLA in 1997. The Type B tanks are an upgrade to the originals making the tank equivalent to a third generation MBT. The Type Bs have a new improved chassis coupled with a new engine and drive train. A new gun system has been added which features a new high performance gun, an upgraded fire control system, and an independent sight for the commander. The new Type B was first seen in 2016 when it attended the 2016 Tank Biathlon in Russia. The Kit This is a new kit from Meng though tooled in 2017 this is the first look we have had at it. As well as the main hull castings, and turret top there are 11 sprues of sand plastic, a clear sprue, the rear turret basket and a sheet of PE. In flexible vinyl there are the tracks, two separate gun mantlets and an ammo feed for the remote weapons station. Your build starts with the wheels. Two drive sprockets, two idler wheels and 12 sets of main wheels are built up. These include a poly cap which gets sandwiched between the pairs of wheels for each. Next up is the suspension. Here steel pins are joined to the suspension arms before they are pushed through the hull, Plates then secure these down from the inside of the hull. Additional mounting points for the drive sprockets, idler wheels, and return rollers are then added, with the return rollers being added as well. The wheels can then be pushed on, and the rubber tracks added. The rubber tracks are flat and must have the guide horns attached separately, these come on runs of 5 on the main sprues. Work now moves on to the upper hull. Various vision blocks, light, and other small parts are added. To the front of the main hull additional armour is added, along with the front fenders. Engine intakes are added, and a PE grill is put over these. The upper hull can then be joined to the lower hull. Once on the rear plate can be attached along with towing eyes and other small parts. The rear mounted extended range fuel drums can then be added. Side armoured skirts are then fitted. These vary dependant on which markings you are using, although the marking/paint diagrams don't actually show this and the information is in the main instruction booklet. Construction now moves to the business part of the MBT, the turret. The upper and lower parts of the main turret are put together and the outside armour plates added. Topside sights and vents are then also added, along with smoke dischargers and aerial mounts. The side mounted, partially enclosed stowage baskets are then built up and attached to the turret. The rear open basket is provided as a one part moulding, though TBH PE would give a truer representation of scale thickness. The hatches are then added, as is the commanders independent sighting system. The gun mantlet is added along with the main gun barrel. For the top of the turret depending on your marking options there is the standard 12.mm gun, or a modern remote weapon station. This is only for the decal option seen at the trade show, The turret can then be mounted onto the hull. Decals Decals are provide for 5 tanks;. two which attended the Tank Biathlon in 2016, two which attended in 2017 and one which was on show at a trade exhibition in China. Conclusion This looks to be a good kit from Meng of the latest Chinese Type 96, and their attention to detail is to be commended. Overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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