T-90MS is a modernized version of the T-90 main battle tank (MBT) built by Uralvagonzavod. The tank is being proposed for the Russian Army and potential export customers. The tank was first demonstrated during the Russian Expo Arms in Nizhny Tagil in September 2011. The capabilities of the T-90MS were also exhibited at DEFEXPO 2012 in New Delhi, India, as well as IDEX 2013 in Abu-Dhabi, UAE. The T-90MS tank will deliver enhanced combat capabilities. The tank offers superior fire power and protection than that of its predecessor.
The T-90MS features improved automotive components, suspension, protection, firepower and mobility. It can accommodate three crew members including a driver, commander and a gunner. The tank can incorporate an optional air conditioner cooling unit and an auxiliary diesel generator producing a minimum electric power of 7kW. The main armament is a 125mm 2A46M-5 gun and can carry up to 40 rounds of 125mm ammunition. The MBT is also armed with a 7.62mm 6P7K anti-aircraft machine gun on a remotely controlled weapon station mounted on top of the turret. Six smoke-grenade dischargers are also fitted on each side of the turret. The tank features modular explosive reactive armor (ERA) panels installed on rear and side projections. The ERA panels protect the tank from small weapons and shell splinters. The forward hull and turret can be equipped with RELIKT ERA for protection against anti-tank missiles. The rear hull and turret are fitted with slat armor to protect the engine section and ammunition compartment.
This box is loaded with parts and contains:
The build begins with the assembly of the road wheels, rear sprockets and the front road wheels. Make sure you used the correct road wheals there are two types on the sprues. The assemblies are typical sandwiching the poly caps between the parts. The sprockets have two photo etched guide plates which fit beautifully. There are no issued what so ever and the parts and molded on the sprues in a way that lets you easily remove the excess leaving the detail on the exterior of the road wheels intact.
The torsion bars are next and after clean up you place a photo etched connector between parts D1,2,6,8 and 12 and melt the plastic in a manner similar to the old style rubber band tracks. Once assembled these operate very nicely. You then place all the torsion bars into the lower hull and the front and rear axles. Pay close attention to which torsion bar goes where. After the small detail parts are fitted to the lower hull the instructions have you place the road wheel on which can be removed later for painting due to the poly caps. After fitting the front of the lower hull with the mine roller mount you proceed to the rear lower hull and its appropriate detail parts and fuel drum mounts. You are required to trim off a portion of each fuel drum mount but this was not an issue and went smoothly. The lower hull is now complete and it fit beautifully. I was amazed at how well the parts fit and the operation of the working torsion bars!
Next is the part of the model I personally found to be a tedious and arduous task that took me a couple of sessions to complete. The tracks. You must remove and clean up each track link section. Then you must remove and clean up each guide tooth. After the clean up you snap the track section together with a guide tooth between them. I found that the tracks link pins would break easily. I remedied this by taking my curved hobby blade and prying open the guide teeth where that track section pins go into making the fit a bit looser and the sections then easily snapped together. after you assemble 5 links you place them in a handy tool provided by Tiger -Model with the kit and you slide the rubbery end connectors on tying the tracks together. It is actually a pretty slick system. It was just very tedious. after tracks were assembled I test fit them to the lower hull and adjusted the number of links and they fit perfectly. Nice !!!
You then assemble the fender covers on the underside of the lower hull and drill out some pilot holes for parts attachment. After adding the photo etched grills to the rear of the lower hull you place the lower hull on WITHOUT cement. It fits perfectly and can be removed and left off until the entire model is painted. Next comes a myriad of details to and of them which are superb even fuel lines on the upper hull. The era panels headlights there are lots of parts so take your time. There are a couple of depressions to fill on two of the front glacis panels but it was easy enough. I am sure this is where parts would mount on their Terminator kit which incidentally shares the same lower hull and there are T-72 style road wheels as well left over in the box. Once you complete the upper hull. You move on to the engine vents with photo etch grills and the APU which are nicely detailed. These are then added to the lower hull as well as the superbly detailed side skirts, slot armor and fuel drums. Be very careful when adding the rear most engine vents so you do not glue the rear of the uppers hull to the lower hull. You then assemble the side skirts and fuel drums. This can be carefully removed for until final assembly and after the tracks are painted and fitted to the model.
Next is the main gun which is a multi part affair but is easily assembled and looks great.
The turret is next and you start by gluing part L-7. Make sure you do this first because once you glue the top and bottom together it will be impossible to install this part. The turret has many steps and a lot of parts and looks like a space ship being assembled The only issue I encountered during the assembly process was part J-2 on the instructions is actually J-3. There are 13 steps just to assemble the turret. Everything fits great and no gaps or filling was required. The aluminum smoke launchers are very nice. The rear turret basket has a very complex turret basket which needs to be bent but have no fear Tiger-Model gives you a bending jig which med the tack very easy and I had no issues. Take your time and go slowly there is a lot going on. If you so desire you can even have the top panels open and display the ammunition which is included. Once the turret is complete the assembly is fragile and take care not to break the electronics mast like I did I ended up having to pin it with brass rod later. I also left the movable remote weapons unit off until later so I would not damage the machine gun barrel.
I primed the model with Krylon Grey from a can and let it dry a couple days. I then painted the model using The Mig Ammo paints called out for on the instructions and attempted to replicate the camouflage pattern as closely as I could with a little artistic license thrown in. Once I was pleased with the camouflage base coat I moved on to paint the tracks.
I painted the tracks with Tamiya hull red with a touch of flat black mixed in and after they dried I covered them randomly with Mig pigments old rust and new Rust and then washed them with a thin black oil wash. After they were dry I dry brushed them with Tamiya gun metal and sprayed on a coat of Testors dull coat.
I gave the entire model a coat of future and once dry for 24 hours I moved on to the weathering. I did not want this vehicle to be heavily weathered due to the fact I was depicting the vehicle used for testing. I started with a thin wash of van dyke brown. Once dry I pin washed specific areas with van dyke brown and black. I then sealed the washes in with a coat of Testors dull coat and painted all the detailed such as the ends of the smoke emitters the optics and periscopes. I then dry brushed the model with van dyke brown missed with titanium white. The subassemblies were put together and the T90MS was complete.
This is a highly detailed model that assembled easily considering the number of parts and the level of detail. This would not be a good choice for the novice modeler but if you have built a few armor kits you should have no problems. I highly recommend this kit and plan on build the Tiger-Model Terminator in the near future.
Thanks to Tiger Model and IPMS for the chance to review this fine kit.