T-15 Armata Object 149
Panda, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Panda 1/35 Classical Scale Series Kit No. PH 35017; T-15 Armata Object 149|
|Media and Contents:||1,265 parts (768 in brown styrene, 408 in dark green styrene, 67 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, 1 twisted copper wire)|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Another new kit of this prototype future heavy armored combat vehicle; very detailed kit; optional position hatches.|
|Disadvantages:||Individual teeth on each track link; separate asphalt pads for track faces (at least these are optional).|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all modern Russian armor fans|
The Russians have worked hard on new concepts for armored vehicles since the fall of the USSR in 1991 and one of the concepts they find promising is the heavy infantry combat vehicle - Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty Tyazheloy or BMPT in Russian. Their first efforts emerged as the Article 199 “Ramka” vehicle, better known by its nickname of “Terminator”. This combined the hull of a T-72/T-90 tank with a turret mounting two 30mm guns, one machine gun, four “Ataka” heavy antitank missiles, and in its first iteration twin “cheek” mounts for 30mm grenade launchers and a crew of five. It ws defined as a tank escort vehicle for use in city fighting or in open combat.
After the failure of the T-95 program, the Russians switched to what was called “T-95 Light” in western circles and what emerged as the Armata heavy combat vehicle family in May 2015. The family currently is proposed to consist of the T-14 (Article 148) main battle tank, the T-15 (Article 149) BMPT, and the T-16 heavy armored repair and recovery vehicle (BREhM). All share the same basic lower hull platform, engine, armor protection and some of the same self-protection systems such as the “Afghanit” active protection system and a KOEhP electro-optical projection system.
The T-15 has a crew of three but can carry a dismount team of nine men as well with a rear exit ramp. Its “Epokha” turret complex includes a 30mm cannon and coaxial machine gun as well as four “Kornet-D” ATGM missiles.
The Russians have indicated they wish to buy an initial purchase of 2,300 Armata vehicles of all types, but as of this writing have only committed for 100 T-14 tanks in 2018 as money is now tightening.
These vehicles have proven popular with model companies with Meng, Trumpeter and Zvezda all producing the “Terminator” and now Meng, Takom and Panda working on the Armata family to include the T-15 BMPT as well. This is the Panda version of the vehicle and is quite different in the kit’s layout from the Takom T-14 kit.
The biggest difference is the tracks - Takom only provides 380 parts for them but then again they did not include the “asphalt” rubber highway pads, which amount to half of the track parts so it is a wash. Each track sprue comes with a jig for assembling the tracks into runs of 12 links each; they are not snap together ones and require cement however.
Assembly begins with the road wheels which have a “keeper” inside so they will rotate as do the idlers; the drivers simply insert into the final drives. Bump stops and mounts are separate parts. The lever action shocks include the levers and attach to the correct road wheel arms. Note that in Step 5 the directions do not indicate the asphalt pads are optional.
Most of the kit’s assembly is straightforward with a large number of small details to be added to the upper hull. Rear of the hull is reminiscent of the Merkava with projecting bins on either side of the dismount ramp. Most of the PE with the kit is useful and sensible but then again there are 34 itty bitty rivet heads which will be a pain to install. The hatches are moveable but there is no interior other than viewers below them.
Unlike the T-14 the only “reshetka” grill armor panel goes over the dismount ramp at the rear of the hull. Like the hatches, while it may be attached either open or closed there is no interior detail.
The bow armor array is separate and consists of some 18 parts plus the splayed covers over the exhausts on either side of the bow.
The turret comes with all necessary items such as the wind sensor and new style digital enhancing antenna. Each missile launcher pair consists of some 17 parts but are fixed in elevation when mounted. The coaxial gun mount is also fixed in its position. The rest of the turret is covered with sensors and input devices for the various self-protection systems.
One set of markings and one finishing option are provided: Victory Day Parade, 2015, with an overall dark green finish and the “St. George Medal” ribbons and stars on the skirts.
Overall this is a nicely done kit and does match the appearance of the T-15. Keep in mind all of the Armata vehicles shown thus far are only pre-production prototypes and thus each company’s effort at producing them is probably no better or worse than another’s.
A 105x2 Wheels, suspension, suspension details
B 8 Glacis, left skirt assembly, reshetka panel
C 10 Glacis, right skirt assembly, hull panels
D 96 Upper hull details, “Afganit” launcher tubes, turret details
E 67 Turret, missiles, gun
F 15 Turret details
GP 21 Clear styrene
PE 67 Etched brass
T 96x8 Tracklinks, rubber “asphalt” pads
– 1 Twisted copper wire
– 1 Lower hull
– 1 Upper hull