Review - Petner T-62 and T-72

The following Review - Petner T-62 and T-72
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I have been a fan of "small scale" HO armored vehicles since I began my fascination for armored vehicles with Roskopf and ROCO models 40 years ago. I have a pretty fair selection of them on hand and find it fun to play with them from time to time, as it doesn't take much work to get the "little fellas" to look as good as their larger counterparts any more..

I found these two in a model railroad shop in Berlin, Maryland the other day and picked them up. While I suspected that I had seen them before, it took only a few seconds when I arrived home to prove that I was correct.

Boley is a new company which came out about two years ago with "semi-scale" model vehicles for HO model railroaders at dirt cheap prices. Okay, so the model "sort of" looked like a Ford F9000; it only cost $3 vice the $19.95 for a dead-on scale version of the same truck. This changed earlier this year with the release of scale models of International 4700 series trucks, albeit at three times the price – $8-10. Boley also released a series of toylike military vehicles, but then they have now released this model of a T-72. On close examination, it is the old Petner Panzers P001 kit in a header bag and with a new dealer.

The Petner Panzers T-62, on the other hand, is the older Armortec T-62 kit in a new box with some minor changes to the model. Obviously the molds make the rounds in this scale, as at one time ROCO was offering both models in Europe under its auspices.

Both are reasonable representations of the prototype. The T-72 model is apparently a model of a T-72M minus its side skirts, and in this issue comes with the hull assembled and bagged separately from the rest of the parts. While it theoretically is a scale model, there are a number of goofs that tend to throw its overall proportions off. The lower rear hull is too short, which results in an overhang by the upper hull; they should fit flush. Also, the radiator exhaust vent is completely missing, with the result that the auxiliary fuel tanks simply cement to the rear of the hull. All this means the main gun is slightly too long. While a commander's searchlight is included, the main L-4G light is not, and will have to come from the spares box. This version does include smoke grenade launchers, which my original version of the kit did not. A commander figure with separate arms also comes with the model.

The T-62 represents a T-62 Model 1970, and as a kit is an older model which theoretically was cut by a different moldmaker. Both models are missing the prominent exhaust port on the left rear side of the vehicle, however, and they would appear to have some common parentage in their design. The new version of the T-62 now sports a moving gun barrel, a feature which did not come with the original model. It also has a totally re-engraved belly pan that now says "PETNER PANZERS U.S.A. T-62 USSR" in place of the small raised "ARMORTEC (C) T-62A" on the original which was far easier to trim off. The turret has some shape problems at the front, caused by molding limitations, and the front fenders are far too squared off. The worst problem the model suffers from is that the moldmaker apparently used a burned-out T-62 as an example, for the road wheels have no tires! Finally, the model appears to be about 5% overscale, as it is larger than the T-72 in most major dimensions (it should be slightly higher, but not wider or longer.)

Overall, however, they are relatively inexpensive at $8 or less apiece and can be used to build up a good size force for a reasonable investment. It's not hard to add basics such as skirts and splash boards to the T-62, or come up with skirts and a searchlight for the T-72. They look the part, and en masse will be suitably impressive. But unlike the ROCO kits, many of which are now jewels in this scale, they will be hard pressed to turn into true scale models without a lot of work.

Copyright 2009 - Cookie Sewell

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