ARV having fun yet?

I like the look of ARVs and I have several in my stash. I decided to take a plunge and build one. I chose Armada Hobby’s 1/72 VT-55 ARV. Kit 72099.

This picture shows the numerous resin and several photoetch parts.

The build started from the bottom going up. I took care of the road wheels to get the repetitive parts out of the way.

I also test fitted the armature for the dozer blade.

Once I was satisfied, I worked on installing the tracks. These are from OKB Grigorov. The Armada kit came with tracks but the detail from OKB’s are much more crisp.
Not a bad start.


Cant wait to see this build progress!

Not a bad start indeed.
I’d love seeing more of these ARVs in plastic in 1/35.
Enjoy your build.


Thanks for the interest! I forgot to mention that aside from images available online, I will heavily rely on this book as a reference. It’s full of close up pictures that will be very useful. I highly recommend it!

Here is what I have worked on so far. I assembled and dry fitted the stowage boxes that will be placed around the fenders. Each of the photoecthed parts will go over resin blocks. They will provide strength to the boxes. Unfortunately, the gaps and the perforation will need some work.

I then worked on the tow cable and its guides.

I saw from my reference book that there is a wheel guide under the deck. Using spare photoetch parts from my model ship kits, I fashioned a cable guide.

This is how it will look like installed.

That’s all for now.


Amazing work!

I really like your photo etch scratchbuilding! Outstanding work and excellent detail! :beer: :+1:

Thanks very much! Looking at my last post, I didn’t mention the deck. Here’s how it look all bent up. Gotta give a heads up that this was not easy to do. The bend points are too skinny. I had to test a couple of times before I finalized the way they were bent.

Here’s how it looks underneath. I glued some L bars to secure the two supports. I also didn’t follow the positioning hole for the last support (far right). According to the reference photos, there is no overhang there so I glued it to the edge.

Here is how the edge looks. I also added some triangular loops.
And lastly, I added a final detail. A small bar under the left side of the deck.

Further work was done on the stowage boxes. I added very small latches. First order of business is to secure the stowage box and make sure it doesn’t move.

Then I cut the part from the fret.

I used the wax pen to pick up the small piece and glue it to the box. There are six of them that I attached in this stowage box alone!

Four more stowage boxes to go!


That’s sick. I do the same thing with a sharpened toothpick moistened with saliva, but it’s still sick. :woozy_face:

I can’t even imagine handling parts that small. My hat’s off to you sir!

Thanks! It was definitely a bomb-defusing moment gluing those tiny pieces. It was like I was deciding whether to cut the blue or red wire. I held my breath the entire time for each piece I glued! Looks like the effort worked out though. Happy with the result. Glad to hear from both of you and your interest.

On a side note, just in case you are interested, I’d like to share one of my previous build logs in the old forum. My previous call sign is “BravoTwoZero”. Here is the link 1/72 Valley of Tears Check it out when you have time and let me know what you think.

Ammo of Mig recently had a Facebook online contest to commemorate the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. I submitted this and it got selected! My work appeared on their Facebook page cover along with two other “winners”. I also received personal Ammo of Mig logo and a 1/72 Ammo of Mig T-54B! Pretty cool!

Here is my work as featured on their page.

Here is my Ammo of Mig logo.

And here is the prize I received!

Thanks very much Ammo of Mig!!!


Here’s the latest! Let there be lights!

After I glued on the headlights/searchlights, I proceeded to scratchbuild brush guards. OKB Grigorov has a photoech detail set for T-55/54. Included in the set is a brush guard for the headlights. I used the measurement from the set as reference. That way, there is uniformity on the sizes. I then built the brush guards for the lights on the fenders.

On the top deck, there is a platform for a cylindrical light. I observed this in my WWP reference book. Using the measurements from the brush guards, I then scratchbuilt the platform using spare photoetch frets. BTW, this picture shows the OKB brushguard (on the glacis) next to the scratchbuilt brush guard on the fender. Since OKB is photoetch, it is flatter compared to the ones I made from brass wires. But, because I used the OKB for reference, you can also see how comparable the dimensions are.
Additional railings to protect the cylindrical light came from 1/350 ship railing set. Somewhat visible is the cylindrical light I fashioned from clear sprues.

And now for the navigation lights. I got these from OKB Grigorov’s Rear-lamps for soviet tanks set. I first cut some frets from the spare photo etch sets. I then bent them intoform.

I glued the bent brass on to my thinnest plastic cards and then trimmed off the excess.

I then glued the OKB lamps on to the mounts that I scratchbuilt. Measurements were eyeballed. They look about right to me.

Here they are attached to the fenders.

And finally, I wanted to improve the kit supplied rear navigation lights. That way, the rear lights match those on the front fenders. I used the lights from OKB set plus some more spare photoetch frets bent into shape. Here are side by side comparison of my scratch built rear light next to the resin one.

Those details are now done! It was quite an enlightening experience.

Thanks for reading through the post!


Your work is magnificent.


Thank you very much! I’ve been lucky with the results so far. I just hope I continue with this streak.

That’s what I call modeling, not just assembling parts in a box! Great job!


Thanks very much Bison126. I appreciate your comment.

Just posting an update on this build. According to my reference book, there is a platform located on the left side of the deck

There ws no part supplied in the kit so I scratchbuilt one.

Side photo of the platform showed what looks like folded telescoping legs.

I also created the legs from scratch. Here are a series of photos on how I did this.

  1. I cut some spare photoetch frets plus some brass wires and tubes.
  2. I assembled the legs by inserting the wires on to the tube. Then glued the square pieces to the sides to give an impression of pivot hinge points
  3. glued the assembled legs under the platform

    And this is how mine ended up when the platform and legs are glued in place.

    I think it mimics the reference picture.

Heads up, this will be one picture heavy update!

After a long period of silence for this thread, I am providing a lengthy entry. I couldn’t keep up in updating the build log for this kit, but I was able to finish this VT-55 in time to enter it in the recent IPMS Nationals at Las Vegas. I am happy to announce that it won 2nd Place!

Here are some shots of the completed model.

There are no decals available, I painted the sign on the crane by hand.

Just to show that this model is indeed 1:72 and not 1:35, here are photos with a US Penny for reference.

Here are oblique shots.

And finally, some before and after shots.

Thanks for viewing. I’ll still post pictures of the build as construction notes. I just wanted to post the latest update about the win.



Your VT-55 is amazing! Thank you for sharing how you do such fine work. First place in my books. Well done!

Outstanding build and I thought it was 1/35 until I saw the lower pics. Well done on the placement… Looks amazing and extraordinary detailing :+1::+1: