Nice progress Randall, What do you think of the fenders in the kit, I've seen quite a few pictures of T-72s in combat now that have had the external fuel tanks removed. Is the detail on the fenders such that you could leave them off also, or would one have to scratchbuild brackets and such?
Here's what the fenders look like. Bare with a few locating holes.
I have no idea which model is more accurate, but for a fender damaged T-72 I think the Trumpeter kit would be a better starting point because the fenders are separate. That is the one major annoyance with the Meng kit. For the battle damaged T-72 I have planned I will use the Trumpeter kit and borrow from Meng where needed.
I just got a Trumpeter T-72B/B1 (when did they start using gold plated molds! It cost way more than their T-90's) and compared it to the Meng T-73B3. Detail wise the Meng is a bit more crisp, but over-all the level of detail is similar.
The real advantage to the Trumpeter model is the one piece front plate. No real welds, but no frustrating seams in tight places to fill in either. The Meng kit is 1mm narrower than Trumpeter across the nose, 57mm vs. 58mm, but both are 62mm across the wide part of the plate. Those numbers are as close as I can get with an old metric ruler.
On the turrets the Meng model is more rounded on the front while the Trumpeter seems flattened. Detail wise I think both are about the same.
For my planned beat up T-72B I'm starting to think the Trumpeter will be a better base kit. No need to cut off the fenders, molded on radiation stuff etc.