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Shar2

T-14 Armata. 1:35

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T-14 Armata

Revell 1:35

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The T-14 Armata is a next generation Russian main battle tank based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform. It is the first series-produced next generation tank. It has entered serial production, with the first batch of 100 T-14 Armata tanks being deployed with the Taman division, and it is expected to be completed by 2020.

 

The Russian Federation was expecting to order 2,300 new main battle tanks for delivery by 2020. In 2015, Russian media had announced that around 20 tanks had been delivered for testing, without naming a source, and at least seven T-14 Armata tanks appeared in the 2015 and 2016 Moscow Victory Day parade, five in 2017. But in 2016 the Russian defence ministry announced that it had signed a contract for a “test batch” of 100 tanks to be delivered by 2020, with the full project extended until 2025. In July 2018, Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Space Industry Yury Borisov said there is currently no need to mass-produce the Armata when its older predecessors, namely the latest variants of the T-72, remain "effective against American, German and French counterparts”, saying, “Why flood our military with Armatas, the T-72s are in great demand on the market(s).” Instead, a modernization program of the T-72s, T-80s and T-90s in-service will take precedent. In August 2018, at the ARMY2018 Forum outside Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defence signed a contract for the purchase of 32 T-14s tanks and 100 T-15 infantry fighting vehicles, with delivery to be finished by 2021

 

The Model

This is a re-boxing of the Zvezda kit from 2016, as such the kit is quite well known and from what I’ve seen is pretty good when built up. Unfortunately Revell have used their own flimsy end opening boxes rather than the strong Zvezda type, but its fine if you don’t want to store it for any length of time. The kit itself is very nicely moulded and come on eight sprues of light grey styrene and a single clear sprue. There are also squares of mesh which need to be cut to size for the engine deck grilles and a small decal sheet. There are no signs of flash or other imperfections and only a few moulding pips.

 

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Construction begins with the fitting of the engine deck grilles, using the netting supplied.  There are templates in the instructions for the modeller to cut to the correct size. For covers are then fitted on the underside of  the grilles. The crew vision ports and hatches are then glued into position on the upper hull section, while on the lower hull section the two, three piece exhausts are assembled and attached, followed by a large panel on the underside. The upper and lower hull are then glued together and two more net grilles are added to the very rear of the ending deck. The rear bulkhead is then fitted with the numerous brackets, towing eyes, and tow hook before being attached to the rear of the model. The two rear mudguards are assembled from three parts and glued into place. The lower glacis plate is then fitted with the attachment points for the various engineering equipment tan can be fitted to most Russian tanks such as dozer blades etc. The front mudguards are then attached, followed by the assembly of the fourteen dual road wheels, idler and drive sprockets.

 

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The return rollers, four per side are glued into place, followed by the axles and, where required, the three shock absorbers per side. The idler and sprocket axle covers are also fitted at this point, as is the spaced armour, and spare track links for the rear bulkhead. The road wheels, idler and drive sprockets are now fitted to their respective axles followed by the assembly of the tracks. Each track is made up from link and length with separate guide horns, and while not quite as realistic as individual links can make it easier to assembled for the less experienced modeller. The tracks are then glued into place, but I would normally do this at the end of painting as it’s easier to paint the track and vehicle before fitting. Because of the size of the two, three piece side skirts, it is possible to get away with only making the lower length of track if you’re not too worried about doing something that can’t be seen. You can add the side skirts after painting and fitting of the tracks if you so wish.

 

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The engine deck is further detailed with the fitting of hinges, stowage covers, deck armour, cables, and hinge covers. The towing cable is then glued to the rear bulkhead and the upper lengths of the side skirts are also fitted. The attachment arms for the slated armour to the rear of each side of the tank are glued into place followed by the armour itself. Fortunately the arms are moulded integrally with their hinge points, making the setting of the correct angles so much easier than the Takom version of this tank. The turret is now assembled with a plethora of panels, vision blocks, additional armour, grab handles, lifting eyes, and the many defensive launchers. Be aware that there are quite a few panels that have to be fitted internally including the sight doors before the turret ring can be attached, and including the large active defence launch tubes. The main gun is made up from thirteen parts and is fitted to the turret ring section before that turret is closed up. The remote machine gun mounting is made up from twelve parts before being attached to its base and sight consisting of another eight parts.  The mounting can be glued into position or left to rotate as required. The turret is then further detailed with additional sensors, aerials and other fittings before being attached to the hull.

 

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Decals

While there are two paint options, there are only decals for one vehicle, that of the prototype shown at the 2015 Moscow parade.

 

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Conclusion

Zvezda are gaining a reputation for producing nicely detailed and buildable tanks and have come a long way over the years. This does look a very nice model from the box and there shouldn’t be any need any aftermarket to produce a good looking tank for your collection. There are also numerous paint schemes available to be seen on the internet, so you could try your hand at one of those. It’s great to see Revell re-release this kit as it gives those modellers unsure of buying a Zvezda kit a chance to see what they’re like while being backed by Revell. It also keeps product coming from Revell while they continue their reorganization which will hopefully lead to more self designed releases.

 

 

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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