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T-72 Driver's and Commander's Windshield

 

S u m m a r y

Stock Number and Description Panzershop Warsaw Pact Series No. PS35A312; T-72 Driver's and Commander's Windshield
Media and Contents: 9 parts (7 in etched brass, 2 in clear acetate)
Price: USD$7.00
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Nice, cleanly done accessories found on most modern Soviet and Russian tanks
Disadvantages: Mounting the commander's windshield is your problem
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


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F i r s t L o o k

 

When the Soviets first began to deploy tanks, they were forced to operate in some very cold climates such as the Karelian Isthmus in winter. Tanks were very cold, but the good news for the poor commanders and drivers who had to stick their heads out is that those tanks didn't go very fast so frostbite and windburn were not a major problem.

But with the advent of the 3rd generation of Soviet tanks the T-64 and later this now became a problem. Having ridden in open vehicles in weather below 35 degrees Fahrenheit I can personally attest to the value a windshield gives one in blocking the wind and keeping warm. So the Soviets began to provide a driver-mechanic's windshield for the poor driver to use in administrative moves. Later they began to provide a windshield with a snap-on canvas skirt for the commander to use in administrative moves. (Admin moves are when the tank is not likely to come under hostile fire, and thus the crew does not have to worry about combat so use of devices which may interfere is not a problem.)

Panzershop is a new company to me and is from the Czech Republic. With this little kit they have provided a neat method to equip a T-72 or other related tank with a pair of windshields, and the windshields themselves are slickly done. Each one consists of three main parts a front and rear section and a midbody. The result means that the windshields can be assembled and trap the acetate window panels neatly in between them which presents a complete and finished result. Since the winshield is then about 0.015" thick or about 1/2" in scale, they don't look bad; the commander's windshield also has an angled frame around the outside which hides its thickness. The last part included is the wiper blade for the driver's windshield.

The driver's windshield is not a problem to mount on a model as it goes right in front of the open driver-mechanic's hatch; it has folding braces on the side to keep it upright. (Note that to install this you will either have to wait until after your model is finished or trim the "ears" off the turret, because you can't swivel the turret once it is installed.)

The commander's windshield alas is not so simple. It requires a mount to be made for it, and the directions simply provide a photo and say "use 0.8mm wire" (about 0.030"). The skirt comes attached and flat as a board, which considering it is made out of rubberized canvas or plastic means it is somewhat unrealistic; however, it will be difficult to "ripple" it due to the fact it is fixed to the front part of the windshield. It can be cut off and used as a pattern for a lead, paper or plastic one, however.

Overall the set is a superb rendering of these frequently seen pieces of kit that make the model.

Panzershop products are being offered by Chesapeake Model Designs, PO Box 393, Monkton, MD 21111. Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell
AMPS


Review Copyright 2002 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 29 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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