The Best Plastic Modern Tank Kits 1/35: Review and Tips

  • By: Richard
  • Date: September 28, 2021
  • Time to read: 13 min.

The best plastic model kits for 1/35 tanks are the ones that make you feel like a kid again. I remember building models of my favorite cars and trucks with Lego blocks or K’nex pieces when I was younger. The same feeling is present when you’re assembling these tank kits.

These models are high quality and can be found at various price ranges with different levels of detail for the perfectionist to choose from.

The History of Plastic Modern Tank Kits

In the late 1960s, advances in molding technology allowed for more affordable and higher-quality plastic models to be made. It was not until September of 1970 that Revell released their first set of tank kits to great success.

Since then, many manufacturers have sold these modern-day armored vehicles from different militaries around the world. Today, Revell and Italeri are two great companies that sell these plastic models.

How To Choose The Best Tank Model For You

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best tank model kit.

The scale you want is a good place to start because while most tanks can be made in different scales, they’re usually only available at one or two price points. The level of detail will also affect the cost and patience required for assembly.

Some people prefer to assemble the model while others want to paint it. There are kits for both types of people, but keep in mind that painting and weathering will increase the time needed to complete assembly.

The last factor is your budget because there can be many variations between prices depending on what you’re looking for.

Reviews On Some Of The Most Popular Modern Tank Kits Currently Available

 

1. Tamiya Models M1A2 SEP Abrams Tusk II Model Kit

Tamiya Models M1A2 SEP Abrams Tusk II Model Kit

Tamiya Models M1A2 SEP Abrams Tusk II Model Kit

Put together an M1A2SEP Abrams Tusk II today and recreate the latest combat used in Iraq! This kit will give you a replica of our country’s workhorse tank with all the addons that increase fighting. It’s 1/35 scale for easy display, too.

Pros
  • It is flash-free and well-engineered
  • The figures are lifelike and in scale in modern uniforms
  • Kits are well researched and fall together with minimal fit issues
  • It will also provide a great start for the super detailer
Cons
  • Lacking detail in many areas
  • Plastic mesh for the rear turret baskets, which is fiddly to assemble
  • You’ll need to remove quite a few sink marks on the plastic parts

2. T-90 Russian Main Battle Tank Zvezda Models 1/35

Zvezda Models 1/35 T-90 Russian Main Battle Tank

T-90 Russian Main Battle Tank Zvezda Models 1/35

The T-90 Russian Main Battle Tank is a historic 2007 release. if you want a large-scale and intricate metal kit with rare parts for intermediate and advanced builders that will look great on your shelf, then this is the tank for you!

Pros
  • Detailed and challenging kit
  • There are many small parts, mostly for the turret
  • To intermediate and advanced builders
Cons
  • The parts are very spread out on the molded part, and you have to search for them at every step
  • Poor faint instructions
  • Hard to read faint drawing
  • Corners badly warped out of shape

3. M109A6 Paladin US Self-Propelled Howitzer TAMIYA 1/35

TAMIYA 1/35 M109A6 Paladin US Self-Propelled Howitzer

M109A6 Paladin US Self-Propelled Howitzer TAMIYA 1/35

This 1/35 scale M109A6 Paladin US Self-Propelled Howitzer kit is a great option for modelers of all experience levels; you’ll feel right at home whether you’re new to assembling models or have some previous modeling experience. It’s built with high-quality parts, and the small pieces are simple enough for experienced modelers, but it still offers a lot of challenge, as they won’t be pre-molded into any set positions! The kit comes with many accessories and poses options for the crew members inside the car. Great if you want to add your own personal touch putting them in different roles. This product features good packaging from TAMIYA and fast shipping.

Pros
  • Good packaging and fast shipping
  • High-quality kit with a lot of accessories for the price
  • Small parts demand skill which makes it more fun to build
  • It also gives you the option to place parts such as tools, gear, etc..where you want. no preset holes
Cons
  • As installing minute parts can be frustrating without proper diagrams
  • The model for the driver isn’t sitting down like I was
  • Experienced modelers this kit will have fit issues due to old molds and tooling on some of the parts
  • Sprues hard to read some numbers of parts are not clear
  • Too many tiny parts; need tweezers to assemble them

4. Academy Merkava Mk.IV LIC 1/35 Scale 13227 Plastic Model Kit

Academy Merkava Mk.IV LIC 1/35 Scale 13227 Plastic Model Kit

Academy Merkava Mk.IV LIC 1/35 Scale 13227 Plastic Model Kit

This Academy Merkava Mk.IV LIC 1/35 Scale is a must-have for any military collector or model maker aspiring to make the perfect IDF diorama! It comes with highly detailed and accurate modeled parts, ranging from the main chassis to all of its tracks. With a realistic paint job and tiny details featured on thumb screws and more, this kit might be just what you need to put that hole in your ground floor filled up!

Pros
  • Well packaged
  • The tracks are link and the length
  • Good photo-etch detail parts
Cons
  • A lot of inaccurate parts
  • Tow cables are inaccurate

5. French Main Battle Tank Plastic Model Kit TAMIYA 35362 1/35

TAMIYA 35362 1/35 French Main Battle Tank Plastic Model Kit

French Main Battle Tank Plastic Model Kit

The TAMIYA 1/35 French Main Battle Tank Plastic Model Kit is easy to assemble with good characteristics. The kit has clear parts to recreate the headlights, taillights, and periscope lenses on the vehicle for a more realistic model. The Leclerc tank is perfectly replicated with an accurate 120mm smoothbore gun, and a thermal sleeve from French developed tanks in Series 2. Finally, details like stowage boxes, short and long snorkels, air conditioning units, air conditioning units, and air conditioning units and air conditioning units reproduced accurately while creating a fun experience building!

Pros
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good the characteristics of the kit itself are
  • The Leclerc is captured with exceptional detail, including Series 2 specific smoke dischargers, stowage boxes, short and long snorkels, and an air conditioning unit
  • French developed 120mm smoothbore gun with thermal sleeve is accurately reproduced
  • Clear parts recreate headlights, taillights, and periscope lenses
  • The rear hull includes a finely detailed engine grille and surface imperfections reproducing the non-slip finish of the actual tank
Cons
  • The track is not good

6. Jgsdf Type 10 MBT Tank 1/35

Jgsdf Type 10 MBT Tank 1/35

Jgsdf Type 10 MBT Tank 1/35

One of the most potent and intimidating tanks ever to see combat, thisJgsdf Type 10 MBT Tank is yours on a realistic 1/35 scale. It has everything you need – from exquisite detailing to an easy assembly process. You get a booklet containing expert instructions for no-fail assembly! Reviewers are excited about its ability to show off detail: “No fit problems anywhere.” Switches can be showcased as either open or closed depending on your preference, while heat vents not included with the kit still look realistic when they’re put together according

The skid guards running along the treads receive special mention as well — giving this formidable machine even more realism than we could’ve hoped for!

Pros
  • 1 piece vinyl track shoes with excellent detail on both sides
  • Great rendition of the .50 caliber machine gun
  • Easy to follow instructions in booklet form
  • No fit problems anywhere
  • The “anti-skid” surfaces are rendered in great detail as well as the engine screens
  • The commander’s sight and the environmental sensor can be built to move.
  • The gunner’s sight, you have the option of having the protective covers in the “open” or “closed” positions
  • The front mud flaps and the mud flaps on the side skirts have some awesome detail – they have the appearance of “movement” instead of the usual straight/smooth appearance as in most other kits
Cons
  • The communication antenna is not part of the kit
  • The skirt looks thicker than the armor

7. T-14 AR Russian Main Battle Tank, Revell 03274 3274 Multi-Color

Revell 03274 3274 Russian Main Battle Tank T-14 AR, Multi-Color

T-14 AR Russian Main Battle Tank

The T-14 is a Russian main battle tank based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform. It’s an articulated, all-wheel-drive vehicle with active protection and massive “Bars” armor plating guarded by explosive reactive armor arrays.

This Revell model scatters great detail across its hull and comes in three colors to replicate various camouflage schemes; each set of markings is removable for customized looks. The kit has 410 parts that make it great for builds of all experience levels.

Pros
  • Good quality
  • Beautiful model
  • Very detailed model
Cons
  • I’m not too fond of the solid track arrangement
  • Parts are tiny and difficult to assemble

8. M1A1 Abrams Tank with Mine Plow Tamiya Models

Tamiya Models M1A1 Abrams Tank with Mine Plow, Model: TM35158

M1A1 Abrams Tank with Mine Plow Tamiya Models

The Tamiya Models M1A1 Abrams Tank with Mine Plow, Model: TM35158, is a great value for any model builder looking to get started. The turret seems even have a welded texture, and the detail on this kit is better than you would expect from an inexpensive tank. It’s worth noting that there are some missing parts – like antenna mounts – but the parts fit well together, and it builds fast.

Pros
  • Parts fit well
  • Fast shipping
  • Great value for the money
  • Very realistic comparably
  • The turret seems even have a welded texture
Cons
  • Missing parts
  • Poor quality control
  • Better mounts for antennae

9. Israeli Merkava MBT Tank Plastic Model Kit 1/35

Tamiya 35127 1/35 Israeli Merkava MBT Tank Plastic Model Kit

Israeli MBT Merkava

This Tamiya model kit will let you build your very own Israeli Merkava MBT for all you tank enthusiasts. With no photo-etch, the track may be a little short in this particular design, but the many other features more than makeup for it! Pieces fit well, and the material is sturdy enough.

Pros
  • Pieces fit well
  • Easy to build
  • Very finely detailed
Cons
  • Track a bit short
  • This kit contains no photo-etch
  • The machine guns mounted on the top are very thin and may break easily

FAQs About Buying, Assembling, And Painting Military Vehicle Models

What scale should I choose?

The scale you want is a good place to start because while most tanks can be made in different scales, they’re usually only available at one or two price points. The level of detail will also affect the cost and patience required for assembly.

Should I paint my model?

Painting a model will make it more appealing to the eye and may even be necessary for some models. A good paint job can also help you tell one tank from another, which is important if you display your collection with other people unfamiliar with military vehicles or want something pretty to look at.

What Is A Plastic Model Kit And What Are The Benefits Of Owning One?

In short, plastic model kits are a replica of the real-world item that you’re building. You can find them in a variety of scales and materials to suit one’s needs. The benefit is that it takes the guesswork out of scale or detail as they’ll be right there on your table for you!

Here Are A Few Tips For Assembling Your Tank Kits

  • The model should be placed on a flat surface and leveled. You can adjust the front of the tank by screwing in or out the pins at either side of the tracks, but don’t overtighten these as they may break.
  • Cut off two lengths from one end of each strut before you assemble it to make connecting them easier.
  • Use a sharp blade to cut the plastic and prevent it from fraying when you connect pieces.
  • One strut has two preformed bends in it that should fit over the pins on either side of the tank hull, but these are not always lined up correctly – assemble them without glue first so you can adjust as needed.

Conclusion

When you take the time to choose a model kit, it can be something that will last for years. It’s not just about choosing one of these kits because they’re popular or cool – it’s about finding one that speaks to your interests and has enough details, so you feel like you’re really getting into the hobby in a way that suits you best. I hope I was able to help with this blog post!

Richard

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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