Here we take a delve into the Meng release of the T-72B3M with KMT-8 Mine Clearing System in 1/35th scale.


With the Russian invasion/annexation of districts of Ukraine interest in Russian military hardware has increased. Various companies have started to release new models of Russian hard-wear to satisfy this desire, in this review we get to look at the T-72B3M with KMT-8 mine clearing system in 1/35th scale. Looking at the model as a whole I would have liked to have seen some of the armour that has been added to the T-72, to show vehicles as seen in Ukraine. 


This release from Meng Model is provided in a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Inside the box the decals, instruction booklet and information cards are packaged in a re-sealable plastic envelope. The model sprues are packaged in a lot of sealed bags, usually containing 2 sprues. Looking through the sprues access to the parts would appear to be good in most cases. The sprue gates are not excessive in number, but the size of some of the gates could result in tearing of the moulded parts unless great care is taken. The box itself is very full, which should prevent movement and so reduce damage to parts in most cases. 

The lower hull of the model has a very high degree of moulded on detail, and due to the structures shown I believe a slide moulding technology has been used in its production. Additional front lower glacis armour plate has been well replicated using six parts. The torsion bar suspension system used on this tank has been replicated in a workable manner, and so could be accurately shown on an uneven surface. Lower side armour plate has been included, but will not be easily observed once assembly is completed. The road wheels can rotate due to poly caps being captured during assembly. This also means that the wheels could be left off, or removed during painting and weathering. The tracks themselves introduce an interesting assembly method, with the links being individual with separate guide horns and vinyl end caps to retain functionality of the tracks themselves. The road pads for the tracks are also separate and so will make painting an easier task depending on how you wish to finish your vehicle. A jig is also provided to make assembly of the track links as painless as possible. Assembly will take time, but the end result should be pleasing. Quickly going back to the road wheels of the model, the contact surface detail is very good but will need to be distressed to improve their accuracy. 

The upper hull of the model is in a single piece, to which further plates are added to enable accurate depiction of the armoured plates. The front armoured plates from the turret ring forward are especially well detailed, and should meet the requirements of all modellers. Track guard assembly and bin detail all occur prior to addition to the model. This does allow for easy manipulation of the parts during assembly, which will aid the ham-fisted of us. But I do have some concern about possible damage when mating to the lower hull. Moving backwards to the engine deck, detail is again good, photo etch use is kept to a minimum and so should not cause concern regardless of the modellers ability. I particularly like that Meng has taken the time to show those small formation lights and the correct lens covers. The armoured side skirts which hide all of that lovely lower hull side detail are very nicely detailed in themselves. The slat armour utilised at the rear portion of the hull looks good, and beyond being a possible pain to add depending on your ability should be pleasing. The log stored at the rear of the vehicle used to aide the vehicle when stuck, has a reasonable level of detail but I myself would use a piece of real wood cut off the detail that attaches the log to the tanks rear and add that to the real wood and replicate the straps. Lastly in this area, I like how Meng has tackled the loops on the tow cables, but again I would replace the cable with something more realistic.

Before moving on to the KMT-8 mine clearing system, the reactive armoured plate mounted on the skirts of the vehicle are individual pieces and so could be utilised as desired by the modeller. The mine clearing system is quite a complicated assembly, and I highly recommend that modellers check and check again for both location and fit prior to adding cement. It should be noted that the mine clearing system itself can be shown as in use or in stowage, and so a decision will need to be made prior to assembly being started. Attachment of devices to the tank itself is the easy part of this equation. 

The main barrel of this release is made up of eight parts. Disappointingly the front and rear portions of the barrel sleeve are made up of half sections, which due to the detail moulded in place will make clean up a harder proposition than it needed to be. The turret itself is basically two halves that are immediately stuck together with all the work taking place on the exterior. Most of this will involve the assembly and application of reactive armoured plates. On the plus side, these should look the part. The main gun is not manoeuvrable due to the mantlet being made up of three parts, which the main areas again being in two halves, which will again make clean up a difficult proposition depending on the filler you utilise. The lights fitted on the turret and for that matter the model as a whole, are provided in clear plastic and that includes the periscopes. The Commander’s cupola and air defence machine gun have been well tackled, and includes the option of the hatch being open or closed. 

Meng has provided three finishing options for this release, which are as follows:

Victory Day Parade, Marking the 76th Anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War, Moscow, May 9th , 2021

Russian International Military - Technical Forum “Army-2017”, Alabino Military Training Grounds, August 2017

26th Tank Regiment, 47th Guards Tank Division, 1st Guards Tank Army, Russian Ground Forces, Kursk Oblast, February 2022


This release from Meng Models is a welcome release that should please many. I am particularly interested in the method utilised for the track assembly as I have not seen this style previously. I am disappointed that the main barrel is provided in half portions; due to the potential issues with clean up. The reactive armour looks an easier option to use, than I have seen from some manufacturers and I am also surprised at how quickly I believe this model will go together, not considering the track links which will take time.



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