Cold War Jedi, WW2 Sith needs Tamiya T-72M1 advice

At Cookie Sewell’s lecture on the T-72 tank at AMPS Saturday, I realized my lack of T-72 knowledge. So Darth Wader, needs your expert advice on making a more accurate Tamiya T-72. Ideally a"Dolly Parton" style T-72M1 w/ERA.

Parts inventory two Tamiya T-72 kits.

Metal 125mm gun barrel, SBS turret & Sector35 tracks, both flavors RMSK & OMSK.

I think the Tamiya kit glacis should be replaced for a T-72M1 because it basically a T-72B? Which one?


For adding ERA this is available.

Please feel free to suggest basic fuel line or PE update set as I don’t have one for the kit.

Thank you for your time and advice.


So; you’re building one of these?

A T-72AV…


Yes, if I’ve collected the appropriate parts. I’m not up to speed on all the T-72 names and versions.

1 Like

The “V”, stands for “Vzryvnoi” meaning “explosive”.

The T-72AV, it’s a T-72A fitted with “Kontak-5” ERA.

The T-72MV, it’s a T-72M fitted with the “Kontak-5” ERA.


Is this one a T-72AV? The picture is my favorite out of all the images Frenchy posted.

To me this tank and driver say, we’ve been there, done that have the T–shirt.


“Rode Hard; Put Away Wet”.


Sell the pile and get a Trumpeter kit.

1 Like

Dan that of course makes sense and that would be the wise choice.

However, I hoping to turn the Tamiya T-72 “AV” into qualifying as a “Conversion” entry for an AMPS show.

I wonder if replacement of glacis, turret & tracks & adding ERA will be enough to qualify?

1 Like

I think it would cleanly qualify as a “conversion”.


These are all T72 BV, the subsequent photo you posted and Wade’s photo are AVs.


Gotcha; so, to clarify…



1 Like

Affirmative. Additionally, the block type ERA is “kontakt-1” while "kontakt-5 " is the chevron shaped cross section type as seen on the later versions of T72B(see below) as well as T90 & T80U & UD. I believe the follow on of these, “Relikt”, is the type seen on the T80BVM. A lot to wade through , but this is pretty much everything you may want to know about the T-72. Tankograd: T-72: Part 1 Tankograd: T-72: Part 2


I don’t know but here is the rules.

Category IX, Major Conversions: A “Major Conversion” is defined as a model which requires a considerable change in the base mark or version of the vehicle or equipment from that provided in the base kit which results in a new mark or version of the vehicle or equipment. This conversion results in a new mark or version of the vehicle or equipment which is not be produced as a single kit in any medium. Conversion work may be performed from scratch by the modeler, a commercially available conversion kit, kit-bash of other kit parts or combinations of any or all of the above. Neither cosmetic changes in external details, nor changes in markings or paint schemes constitute a ”Major Conversion”; any such models shall be entered in the appropriate regular category. It is the responsibility of the modeler to provide the judges with details of the conversion work he has done on the entry. Judges should carefully consider the higher degree of difficulty when reviewing the model for degree of difficulty points.


Thank you, Ryan.

In 1996 as explained to me, slapping a new turret on a tank wasn’t a conversion. Some structural change and other work needed to occur. That seems to be saying it can’t be a minor change.

Would replacement of the glacis be enough other work? Hopefully, someone will have experience and comment.


I am thinking not myself but I am not I am T-72 expert, especially as you move up the skill levels but interested in what @SSGToms or @SdAufKla thoughts are.


I think that in this case replacing the glacis is considered accurizing and not a major conversion.


I’m nothing close to being an “expert” on the T-72 and all of its many variations and permutations, domestic Russian/Soviet, export or foreign indigenous manufacture. Nor am I familiar with all of the many, many different kit offerings of it. With regard to the proposed conversion project, I’m pretty neutral.

However, with regard to the AMPS rules, this is, I believe, the relevant portion of the “Major Conversions” rule:

So, at least in my own opinion, it is not enough to convert a kit version of a vehicle manufactured by one kit maker into another version of the base subject if that “new” version is already made by some other kit maker. Taking a Tamiya T-72 and turning it into a different T-72 version that is already kitted, say, from Trumpeter, would not qualify. On the other hand, if no one else already makes the proposed version of the T-72, then it probably does qualify for the category.

(As someone else mentioned, the result would likely be considered simply a better detailed or more accurate model of that same subject.)

However, I have to say that all of this would be up to the Chief Judge at the particular show to make the call. A few paragraphs discussing a hypothetical on some online forum with an opinion from someone who is not that particular Chief Judge can only go so far. If you have the facts on your side and are willing to back them up if the entry is questioned, then you’ll likely succeed in getting the model in that category (assuming that there’s any sort of question about that eligibility in the first place).

I would submit a couple of other considerations, though. First would be an assessment of your own goals for selecting to enter the build in the “Major Conversions” category vice one of the regular armor categories. Note that the judging and scoring criteria are not different between the two. The model will be judged exactly the same, so the skill of the work is what is being assessed and scored. Excellent work will be acknowledged with high scores regardless of the category (or without any regard for the other entries in that category).

There is one exception to this judging uniformity, though, which brings up the second consideration. That exception would be the “Degree of Difficulty” scoring group. The judges SHOULD make their assessment and scoring of this based on the modeler’s skill level and the kinds of work expected of ALL of the models eligible for that category. What this should mean in the context of “Major Conversions” is that the manner that the conversion was achieved will have (or should have) a significant impact on that part of the score.

The judges should be asking: How much skill and effort was required? Was the conversion done by just swapping parts (i.e. a simple “kit bash”) or was major “surgery” of the base kit’s components required? How much, if any, scratch-building was done? What was the source of the changed parts and details? Simply changing parts from those of one kit maker with those of another will possibly score fairly low in “Degree of Difficulty” since the judges are expecting to see a “Major Conversion” that involved “major” work and effort.

It may be that that same model if entered in a regular armor category might earn a much better score for the exact same levels and amounts of additional detail and accuracy work. The extra work and effort in creating a more detailed and accurate model of the variation of the tank could very well earn more points since that extra effort is certainly going “above and beyond” what most builders do in the regular categories.

You would, of course, already be providing the proper supporting documentation to earn the “Research Bonus” half-point which may be awarded in EVERY category (all of the vehicle categories - yes, to include sci-fi and hypothetical subjects, as well as the diorama, vignette and figure categories).

In the end, though, in AMPS the scoring really is all about the demonstrated work and skill of the individual modeler as it stands alone in front of the judges. Excellent work is excellent work regardless of the category or any other model entered in the show. Since all the entries are judged according to this fundamental rule, there’s usually very little controversy or “push-back” to self-selected categories or initially registered skill levels. Each modeler’s work stands on its own, and his or her work and skill is judged independently on its own.

Final scores have almost nothing to do with the categories entered and absolutely nothing to do with the other models. If it is a “competition,” it’s only a competition against yourself.


Mike & Matt, thank you both very much for the input. It’s obviously a gray area but I have a much better understanding of it now. Thank you.

Rather than a “conversion” entry this one can be a “modern” entry. No desire to petition or lobby a head judge at a show over something this minor.


So a converted kit could qualify one year
and get disqualified the next year because
manufacturer X saw fit to release a kit of
that specific version?
Total scratch build one year and disqualified the next
year because manufacturer Y has released a 3D-printed
model of that subject?

So are you looking to make a T72B with your parts ? I believe you mentioned making an A earlier but your SBS turret is for a B or B1, the difference being the B can fire ATGM ( sight has hinged cover) while B1 can not ( sight has bolted cover ). Additionally, Tamiya labels their kit “Russian army tank” but as I understand it Soviet or Russian built vehicles had a full set of mine clearing roller/ blade mounting points along the lower glacis while the kit has only two sets which would make it an export version.