Tamiya- British MBT Challenger 2 (Desertised)
For the First Look review of this kit, head here: https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14928
The lower tub comes with all suspension arms attached and you add the long metal weight and final drive and idler hub bits to the tub in step 1. In step two, you add one road wheel with a special nub that attaches to the tracks which helps immensely in lining the tracks up. The rear armor plate is added here as well. Steps 3-5 involve assembling the road wheels, idler, and sprocket and the bulkheads which also have nubs to align the tracks.
Step 6 installs the tracks and you start with the piece that attaches to the road wheel nub (seen second from the left in the above pic) and moves around to the bulkhead nubs on either side- there is no top run as they would be hidden by the side skirts anyways.
Steps 7-9 have you add on the top hull and side skirts, as well as the extra front reactive armor. The detail on the canvas extensions on the side skirts is quite nice.
Step 10 attaches the exhausts, rear fenders, and extra track links. In step 11, you assemble the jerry cans and their racks, as well as the auxiliary fuel tanks on the back. Step 12 has you add these, as well as all the small bits to the rear end and the gun travel lock and crowbar. Step 13 attaches the headlights to the front.
The gun mount, turret assembly, and gun barrel are assembled in steps 14-18. You have to add the turret decals to the rear panel before adding the CIPs. The barrel is one piece, with just the barrel end added to it. You also apply all the small decals for the periscopes here. Step 19 adds the smoke dischargers, cupola, and hatches.
Step 20 adds the L37A2 (GPMG) machine gun to the turret which is then added to the hull in step 21. In the last step, the included half figure and tow cable made from the typical Tamiya black thread is added. The figure fits together quite nicely as all modern Tamiya figures do- and proved challenging to these eyes to paint in this scale.
Painting and Weathering
As mentioned in the First Look, there is only one scheme for the Royal Scouts Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) from 7th Armoured Brigade in Iraq, April 2003. I used AMMO by Mig paints to recreate the monotone scheme and added some chipping and weathering with various AMMO and Vallejo products. Decals went down like a breeze with no issues.
I really like to see Tamiya carrying on with it's 1/48 line of armor- especially with the modern entries. I would seriously love to see a Merkava or Leopard in the scale. It really never struck me how much of a size difference there was in these MBTs until I had this kit next to the RFM Pz. III 1/35 kit in for photos-- this smaller scale tank dwarfs the Pz. III in the photo below. The kit really was a joy to build, and I really loved how they handled the fitting of the tracks. The pegs aren't visible when complete since they are under the tank and the side skirts. Really difficult to mess this one up which is why it is highly recommended for all.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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