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Zvezda T-14 Armata

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model armor tank kit
Russia’s battle tank T-14 Armata (Object 148) is so new it is still undergoing state testing.

One of the main features of the T-14 is the fully unmanned turret. The crew of three is all in an armored capsule in the front of the hull.

Zvezda’s new kit is a relatively fast build, with many details hidden inside the tank. The large box may seem imposing, but there are just a bit more than 400 parts and they almost seem to fall together.

The build starts with the turret, building from the main turret walls inward. Though unmanned, the turret has plenty of detail. Small hatches and smoke launchers festoon the walls. I found it easier to treat this like an airplane cockpit, painting the subassemblies before gluing them in place. That assured no bare spots showed through on the final model.

The upper hull is next. It has many small pieces, but the fit is snug and the detail nice and crisp. I like that the kit came with styrene screens for the engine deck (instead of photo-etch) because I was able to use normal Tamiya Extra Thin Cement to attach it. This made one of the harder, more tedious parts much easier than on many kits. I wish more kits included styrene screens and grilles.

The lower hull went together quickly, it being a simple tub. Be sure to test-fit the front and rear suspension arms prior to attaching. Mine fit without fuss, but this is a spot where mistakes could easily be made.

After the suspension arms and road wheels are in place, you can work on the tracks. I don’t usually glue the tracks in place before painting, but did here. These being link-and-length style tracks, plus more than half being covered by the side skirts, it made sense.

Likewise, before gluing on the side skirts I gave the suspensions’ upper portion a coat of black paint and then painted only what I could see. I’m pleased with the results as the upper suspension and tracks are next to invisible with the side skirts attached.

Finishing was easy. Zvezda provides three marking options: two in three-color camo and one in dark green parade trim. I thought the three-color option was a little more interesting, and I recently built a T-14 in the parade color. I used Tamiya acrylic colors for the camo paint and finally got a chance to use Tamiya panel line wash for lining and weathering the tank. I wanted this T-14 to appear clean. 

Overall, I spent about 50 hours building and painting this T-14. I would suggest it to any modeler looking to add modern Russian armor to their collection. It also was simply a lot of fun to build and paint.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2017 issue.
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