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Indian Army PT-76 Light Amphibious Tank - PST PT-76B (72053)
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The idea of building an Indian Army PT-76 was realised when I came across some photos of Gurkhas and Sikh Infantry riding on the PT-76 during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. The model is based on the PST PT-76B kit with a bit of tweaking here and there. I thinned the track links, improved the guide teeth and cut out the holes in the drive sprockets. These were cast by my great friend Horst Kalinke to produce a complete set of track links and drive sprockets. As I wanted the large turret hatch open, I had to scratch build a gun breech and other details which could be seen through the opening. Many of the hull and turret details were re-built to improve the look and accuracy of components. Such as:- trim vane, grab handles, tow hooks, boat hook, lights, pioneer tools, mud flaps, rear hull rail, tie downs, lifting hooks and loops, antenna mount, main gun mantlet, main hatch cover, rail around the top of the turret and the hatch support catch. After spraying the model with Humbrol No102 and varnishing with Winsor and Newton matt varnish, the model was weathered by applying an overall wash of Humbrol No72. Wear and tear has been added to heavily used area with a darker shade of the green base colour and a soft graphite pencil. I added a standard Russian de-ditching beam, although not usually carried by PT-76s there is some evidence that Indian PT-76s carried them in the 1971 war. The PT-76 crew figures were converted from Preiser 1/72nd US tank crew figures with heads from CMSC Soviet tank crew. The Sikh Infantry tank riders were modified from Preiser 1/72nd WW2 Russian Tank Riders with heads converted with the addition of turbans. Milliput was used to modify the poses and uniforms, with belts and personal weapons made from plasticard.