Monday, March 12, 2012

T-90: "Shtora"

For the past month I've been very busy assembling Zvezda's T-90 main battle tank (MBT).  The T-90 is the ultimate evolution of the former Soviet Red Army's T-72, the MBT famous for its rugged mobility and low silhouette. One of the most notable additions to the T-90 is its countermeasure suite, known as "Shtora-1." The system incorperates an array of sensors that can detect lasers emitted from anti-tank targeting systems, and can use smoke grenades or various jamming techniques to defend itself. The Russians insist that it works, but the West insists that it is out-dated and innefective; realistically we won't know the truth for a few decades, but for the time being the Shtora-1 system is undeniably an interesting looking system.

Futurama's Hypnotoad
My favorite feature of the Shtora-1 suite is the infra-red scramblers. They emit a dull red-orange glow that is blinding to IR cameras used in some anti-tank weapons. These lights are situated on either side of the T-90's 125mm L/48 cannon. They kinda remind me of the Hypnotoad from Futurama. Anyways, enough tank jargon; on to the model.

 I inserted the smallest LED lights I could find into the IR defense modules on either side of the cannon.  I had to modify the delicate kit parts with strips of plastic to make room for the lights, and I also painted the inside of the boxes with a metallic orange paint. The LEDs are powered by two AA batteries that are eventually going to sit underneath the tank in a wooden base. The wires still protrude out the back of the IR boxes and into the turret, and unfortunately they are still visible... I'm trying to figure out a way to hide them, either with some camo netting or foliage.
A real T-90 with Shtora-1 IR defenses active.
I'll begin painting as soon as I finish wrestling with the photoetched parts on RB Model's metal barrel. I'm also going to add a few extra wires on the turret electronics.


  1. Stunning model, I knew nothing of this development...

  2. Excellent subject choice, the technology part is fascinating and you've really executed that lighting well. I know the quality of your work and I predict this model will be winning Gold medals and being published in magazines in the near future.

  3. Kyle,

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  4. I never assembled a model , but i really appreciate the details and results you get , those leds are big time and the other t90 is very impressive! solid work !

    -Alkaline Samurai


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