The following introduction is as provided by Zvezda:
The T-15 is a Russian heavy armoured infantry fighting vehicle, based on the unified Armata platform. Its fire power has been significantly increased: the 57mm version of the TBMP, with the Ataka anti-tank missiles, include high precision guided ammunition with an intelligent remote detonation system. The latter are equipped with a special system, with a programmable detonator and are especially dangerous for adversaries sheltering in buildings and trenches. The T-15s 57mm guided ammunition can be used against drones, helicopters, aircraft and even missiles.
This offering from Zvezda arrives in a large flip top cardboard tray, that I believe will give a good level of protection to the contents. Inside there are three plastic bags containing the parts for the model, with the lower hull being packaged loose and the clear elements being packaged in a Ziploc bag with the decals. An examination of the parts provided, reveals no obvious moulding issues with the possible exception of sink marks in the suspension arms, unless that is a design of the vehicle.
This offering from Zvezda will build into a model that is longer than an Abrams of the same scale, and so this gives you some idea of just how big this kit is. Starting with the turret, you bring together a number of panels to make up a quite complex shape. The barrel is a single piece moulding, but the muzzle is not hollow at the end, and so will benefit from the attention of a drill bit or burr. With that slight hiccup out of the way, the other details provided in this area, such as the ammunition feed for the automated turret mounted machine gun, which are the kind of details that are sometimes missed. Periscope ports have been provided in clear plastic, which is something that I like to see. The missile assemblies on the other hand have been moulded in two halves, with separate end caps and I am not a fan of the seam lines that this production method often results in. With that said, with care and a good clean up the turret assembly has to potential to be very pleasing.
The suspension arms for the road wheels are locked into a neutral position and so designed for sitting on a level surface. I am not familiar with this vehicle, when it comes to nut and bolt detail and so I am happy with what is provided. A small tip for the newer modellers is that taking a new blade to the tyre detail on the wheels and then using the dry brush technique results in a realistic looking finish with colour tones that emphasise the detail. The tracks provided for this release are link and length with a pleasing touch in the Zvezda has supplied some twin link pieces that have an accurate bend to them when placed on the wheels. The guide horns has been provided separately from the track links, and while this a a bit of a pain, it does mean that their hollow nature has been very well replicated.
The upper hull of the model despite the size of the model as a whole, has a very low parts count. Basically consisting of some reactive armour panels, the hatches that were previously mentioned, the smoke grenade launchers, and some mesh similar to what used to be supplied by companies such as Tamiya to replicate the mesh grilles. I suspect however, that the after market manufacturers such as Eduard will release sets for this very soon. The rear access door has been provided separately, but as no interior is included it is of a quality suitable for the display of this model. There is a small amount of BAR armour of this door, and so I wonder if this is a weak area of the real vehicle and that has been added as a defensive measure for this purpose. Once that is done you only really need to add the side guards, and so what is a quite large model can be built and finished in a relatively quick time.
Finishing wise, Zvezda has provided two finishing options, with no details on what these finishing option represent. However, the decals included on the all green vehicle finish indicate to me a parade finish, and due to these being especially clean I feel would make this model fairly boring. The other option is a three tone camouflage that will enable the modeller with the painting skills to make this large model very visually appealing. This is due to the inclusion of weathering, and panel detailing I feel will make this model pop, and so rather than one plain colour you get something that will be particularly eye catching.
This offering from Zvezda is a mixed bag which comes with a small parts count. Detail would appear to match on-line images, but I can’t help thinking that it could be so much more. But if painted as a vehicle in the field, rather than in a parade, its large size and amount of raised detail could easily result in something very pleasing to the eye. My main complaint would be in not providing details on what the finishes represent.