Esci/ Amt Ertl main battle tank T-72 kits

Hello all, i bought these two kits off of eBay for a decent price each. I realize the amt kit is a reboxing of the esci, or maybe it’s vice versa. Regardless they came with East German and Iraqi army markings. Are these supposed to be strict T-72 variants or are they an T-72M1 variant. I know these kits aren’t the best but i figure they’ll be fun to work on.

I have done both of those kits. They are not very good, but when finished, they do look like a T-72. At least from a distance.
The kit in the upper photo is supposed to be a T-72M or M1, the other is an early T-72 A or Ural, with the coincidence rangefinder.
Understand that this kit dates back to the late '80s. References for T-72s were almost non-existent, and model kit standards were not even close to what they are now.


@tankerken thank you, i figured they’d be fun kits to build and use as mules at worst. May do an East German dio with them but am currently unsure at the moment.

When finished, these kits are best viewed as silhouettes. That’s about as close as they get to resembling T - 72’s.

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I don’t mean to rain on anybody’s parade here, but these kits are just awful; I bought the East German version sometime in the late 80s (must have been when it first came out) and tried to build it. And tried. And tried. I eventually realised that it just wasn’t working for me and canned it. The best thing about it was the artwork on the box.

Details and fit were pretty poor as I recall. By all means, use it for painting practice or similar, but to be honest, in my opinion of course, it’s just not worth it.

There were details available back then re the T-72, not least in an article within the International Defence Review and the German Soldat und Technik (the latter with very good scale drawings) but it seemed that Esci just couldn’t be bothered to do it justice, which was a shame. Luckily - although they had their detractors - Dragon came out with their T-72 range in roughly 1990 (I think) followed, eventually, by Tamiya’s version. Both have come in for criticism but at least they were better than the Esci horrors - as I say, in my opinion(!)

@BootsDMS @SSGToms thank you for the critiques on the kit, definitely nice to hear real feedback about kits rather than read an article trying to sale you on it. I may keep them in the stash to paint and practice techniques on or maybe I’ll try and trade/ sell them later. Fortunately T-72s are a hot item in the modeling world because of the Ukraine war.

If i were to undertake making these kits actual T-72s, are there are any upgrade sets worth the money to buy? I had an esci T-55 kit and a verlinden upgrade set made the kits better but i haven’t seen anything for these two yet.

No upgrade sets specifically for these kits. Personally I wouldn’t bother trying to upgrade them but just accept them as they are.

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I wouldn’t waste any money on an upgrade sets for these. They are really not worth the effort. You would be better off spending a little more money and get one of the much better Trumpeter or Meng T72 kits.

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Greg, I don’t think there is anything re an upgrade for the Esci T-72. It’s just that some dimensions are really out, and when tackling the turret the fit of the stowage boxes - as far as I recall - and it was a long time ago, was what tipped me over the edge.

Their T-55 was a much better effort though apparently had some dimensional issues, but to me, when I got my hands on it, at least it looked the part, and for its time, was then the only game in town for Sov/Warsaw Pact modellers.

I suppose these days one must look to Trumpeter for decent T-72s; so far I haven’t, mainly because I’ve several Dragon versions in the stash and will try and get the best from them. I have a Tamiya one but I camouflaged that to death:

(also shown in an earlier thread so apologies)

As I say, I suspect Trumpeter are the way to go - although some of their kits are getting quite busy. It might be worth tackling the Dragon ones (also re-boxed by Italeri) but I’m not really a T-72 Ninja to pronounce one way or the other. The main problem with the Dragon kits, as far as I can see (and I haven’t checked dimensions etc, and probably won’t) is the over-sized gun barrel; with a replacement barrel they look a whole lot better but I haven’t a completed one to show. Oh, there are accessory sets such as etch I believe for the Dragon series, but if you pursue those, then you might as well purchase a Trumpeter kit in the first place!

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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@Seanmcandrews @HeavyArty thanks for the information i did some more looking and can’t find an upgrade set so I’ll assume there is none. Like I said before maybe I’ll trade or just build them for giggles.

@BootsDMS that looks great, you did an awesome job on the camouflage

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I wouldn’t bother with the DML/Revell/Zvezda T-72s either . The Tamiya kit isn’t too bad but Trumpeter or Meng would be the way to go these days.

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Thanks Greg!

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@Seanmcandrews honestly I’d love to get my hands on the tamiya kit.

There was a PE set for it back in the day, I think Eduard made it. It’s hard to find nowadays, but as others have said before, it’s not really worth it. When these kits came out, they were the only game in town, so they seemed pretty good. Here is a photo of the one I built for Desert Storm (it’s the one on the right).

Today they are best used as practice for paint, mud, damage, etc. Maybe as a destroyed hulk in the back of a diorama.

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Amazon has the Tamiya T-72 for around fifty dollars. It’s a good kit and fun to put together.


I can vouch for the Tamiya T-72. I built one and it was a fun build.

Built it as a “New Iraqi Army” T-72M1; mostly out of the box, except for the addition of the M113 ACAV shield around the Commander’s cupola. I’m still waiting for the metal tracks to come from China.

Their T-72 tanks are a mixed bag of imported tanks from Eastern Europe, provided by the US to replace the units we destroyed during the 2003 invasion. These compliment the batch of American M1A1M Abrams tanks that we provided as well.

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@SableLiger that looks like a great build, great work, i love the m113 shield on the commanders hatch. I didn’t know that was a thing until today.

Some were removed from M113A3s we provided the Iraqi Army (Pic 2), while others were built from steel plate (pic 1).


And this one is a cool display; a former Iraqi Army T-72A crushing a Chevy Caprice sedan at the AAF Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia.

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