PT-76B Light Amphibious Tank
Manufacturer: PST (Kit No. 72053)
by Stephen Brezinski, Portland, Maine USA
Vehicle Background for The Modeler
Light amphibious tank, developed and produced in the 1950s. The PT-76B variant was produced 1963 to 1968. Over 12,000 were produced and used by many Warsaw Pact nations, North Vietnam, Egypt (in 1973 War), by Israel (captured) and by other nations. Well armed with a 76-mm cannon it was lightly armored and large so as to allow it to retain its amphibious feature. This PT-76B variant differs from earlier versions by its double-baffle muzzle break, fume evacuator and double-axis gun stabilization.
The PT-76 chassis was later modified and developed into the BTR-50 APC, ASU-85 airborne tank, and then the BMP which largely has replaced the PT-76 in the reconnaissance role.
Parts are finely and delicately cast. Assembly of the hull requires gluing the top, the two sides and bottom together. Thin flash is on a number of small parts though clean-up does not appear difficult. Unlike the PST T-55 model, the torsion-bar suspension arms are not separate but are molded onto the hull sides (typical of most small scale models).
The circular item on the turret rear is a turret vent, similar to that on top of the T-34-85 and T-55. Unfortunately the seam where the turret halves come together goes right through this vent. The turret grab handles are a little thick though is acceptable and their design precludes easy substitution with wire.
The decal markings look good, are colorful and are in-register. Water slide decal markings are for two Soviet, one Polish and one East German vehicle.
The Wheels & Tracks
Tracks are the link & length type common to many ESCI, and to ACE, Revell, and PST models. The tracks and wheels look reasonably accurate. Little clean-up appears necessary to assemble.
Overall a very nice looking model kit that does not look difficult to assemble and without (I hope) the inaccuracies of the PST T-55 kit. ACE Models has recently released their version of the PT-76 tank so a comparison review of the two 1/72 models would be nice.
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