Tag Archives: OKB Grigorov

T-72 and T-90 wheels in 1/72: OKB Grigorov vs kit wheels

T-72B in Sofia, National Museum of Military History
T-72B in Sofia, National Museum of Military History

The T-72 main battle tank is one of the most recognizable combat machines very much thanks to the mass of real-time broadcast conflicts it’s participated in during the past 3 decades. A lot of companies have released model kits, including in 1/72 scale.

Two types of roadwheels have been used during the 72’s production run: the “8-hole” (early) and the “6-hole” (late) types. They were identical in diameter and rim width – 750mm and 190mm respectively. This scales down to approx. 10,4 and 2,6mm in 1/72.

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UM’s T-34 with L-11 complete

Using OKB Grigorov’s resing parts has been very easy. In fact with the help of a hair drier I was able to bend the track run around the wheels and get some sag on the track. The track run retained its shape so well it could hold the wheels in place with no glue whatsoever!

After the track was painted I started weathering the wholes assembly, and added some “volumized” mud on the hull, which requires some pigment powders to look like the real deal (dry mud).

A small detail – Albion Alloys copper tube used for the exhaust pipes:

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UM’s 1940 T-34 with L-11 gun and some aftermarket help

OK, after showing what’s in the box let’s see how to build this beast of a kit.

First, I glued together the hull halves and added the main fenders. They are way too thick for the scale and after being measured were chopped off.

Next step – fill the trenches where the former fenders join the upper hull, and sand the sides down until they are smooth.

Hull filled and sanded
Hull filled and sanded

Details will have to be restored…

Fabricate the new fenders from scrap metal – here 0,1mm brass sheet cut to size and bent. The bend is sort of uneven, which is fine considering this is a tank.

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OKB Grigorov’s Winterketten and Ostketten for Pz III/IV family

OKB Grigorov's Winterketten and Ostketten
OKB Grigorov’s Winterketten and Ostketten

Today I received two of OKB’s latest releases – their Winterketten and Ostketten resin tracks for the Pz III/IV family of armored vehicles. I was impressed with the casting and level of detail, so I am in a hurry to show you what the fuss is all about.

First thing about the track sets is that they are provided in 4 bands per set, each about 102mm long, like so:

OKB Grigorov Ostketten set S72057
OKB Grigorov Ostketten set S72057

Considering you need about 175mm per vehicle side for the lenghtened III/IV chassis on which a Hummel or Nashorn was based – you’re pretty well catered for in terms of spares.

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OKB Grigorov’s M109 complete

Since I needed decals in order to complete the model I had to raid the kit collection and source some. The victims were an Italeri M113 and a Revell (Matchbox) M40 SPG. I also used the lettering from their sheets to make up a code for a 5-16th Artillery machine (but sans the yellow weight class sign). Mr. Decal Softer helped the markings get grip and conform to the model surfaces.

The decals were sealed, and I used minimal amount of pigments to add to the dusty appearance. Diluted H2Oils (Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey) were used to simulate the leaks. Mixed with some dry pigments they helped create the mud buildup on the front upper sheet.

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Building OKB Grigorov’s M109 (kit 72002)

Alright – so why do I keep labeling articles using the full kit name and number? Because most companies “milk” their designs and have multiple releases using the same basic kit (or some of it). OKB Grigorov has already released the A1 and A2 versions of the M109, kits No 72004 and 72005, respectively.

Back to our initial SPH variant.

What’s the first thing we usually do? Dry fit major components so we’re able to judge size and get motivated by the upcoming result! I sanded the turret base and the hull recess that is intended to accept it a bit. The model is pretty small, yet rather heavy for its size.

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OKB Grigorov’s M109 US SPH, kit 72002

Alright, another resin + PE monster from OKB Grigorov, and despite it’s lower Cat. No. (the AT-T was 72007) I got it in the beginning of this year to build for a review.

I must say I liked the kit from first sight. Relatively small number of parts that will make for a detailed, compact model of a vehicle that has a bunch of modifications still in use today, 50 years after its introduction.

So – onto the kit.

All the parts are packaged in zip-lock bags, all protected by bubble wrap and a sturdy white cardboard box. There are

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AT-T from OKB Grigorov

The weathered and completed (as of today) model. Added:

– windshield wipers – “wiped area” masked off, the rest sprayed Vallejo satin varnish;

– idlers, drive wheels and tracks;

– fire extinguishers;

– 0,3mm winch cable with scratch-built hook;

– 0,6mm RB Models tow cables with kit eyelets;

– headlamps (blackout lights);

– windows in the doors, attempted imitating seals with acrylic gel and paint;

– weathering, and a lot of it. An experiment with a new technique went so far as to lead to completely strip-down of  the paint on the hull/cargo bed assembly.

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Building OKB Grigorov’s AT-T, part II

In the first part of the build I basically completed the lower half of the vehicle and the cargo bed. Back to the crew compartment.

The AT-T’s front lights reside at the very front of the bonnet/hood on metal supports. In the kit these are PE parts, which supposedly butt-join the resin engine compartment, and on top of which the lights are glued. Images of broken-off detail in my mind lead me to soldering a piece of wire (in red) through each support like this (looking from the front):

Front light support scheme
Front light support scheme

This would make the whole thing a bit stronger.

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Building OKB Grigorov’s AT-T

I started construction with the chassis tub. First thing to do is gluing the back wall. Next I cut the suspension arms out of the casting block and it turned out the holes for their pins are much too small. Off with the pins, arms are drilled through, as is the tub itself – naturally observing the locations of the original holes.

I decided to use thick copper wire passing through the whole tub to make new pins. This would ease me in terms of affixing the pins and make the whole thing stronger.

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