I enjoy 72nd scale armor kits; they're usually easy to build without a zillion parts. Also, I've built mainly aircraft and cars over the last 15 years, so a fresh subject helps to get the modeling juices flowing again. This kit fits the bill. It's well cast with crisp moldings and excellent details for the scale, and the finished model certainly looks like the real-life subject (though I'm not counting the rivets).
The kit goes together well, but there are a few issues the modeler will have to contend with. Steps 1-10 deal with the tracks and wheels. You need to decide whether to use the optional street pads (I did not). The tracks are injection-molded, so assembly to the wheels was fairly easy. When you add the side skirts in step 12, however, much of the running gear will not be seen any longer. The next several steps have you glue small bits and pieces to the back hull and top hull. The top hull fits very well to the bottom. Next comes the turret, and here I encountered several issues. There is a small gap in front of the turret when you glue the turret halves, A2 to E1, but nothing major (you can see the gap in the attached pictures). Assembling the machine gun was very tricky and I doubt I did it correctly. But it was the bustle basket that gave me fits. Try as I did, I could not get the four-piece, nicely detailed basket to square up properly when attached. The front dozer blade was also tricky to assemble, and did not glue to the hull quite the way the diagram shows. Be sure that the dozer blade fits squarely and evenly before the glue dries.
All of the painting came after the kit was fully assembled. I airbrushed Polly Scale dark earth, then hand-painted Model Master acrylic olive drab according to the diagram. Unfortunately, the diagram does not provide the colors for the small pieces – front lights, rear cable, tools, etc. It's left to the modeler's imagination to decide. I applied the few small decals, then gave the kit a dark brown wash Despite the issues, the finished product is very nice indeed. Recommended.
Thanks to Fujimi and Dragon Models USA for the kit, and thanks to IPMS USA for the opportunity to build and review this model.