CMR Line have produced for Train Garden, the Class 99A main battle tanks in HO scale, being the first dedicated Chinese military items to date. Technically they were made in conjunction with the NX17AK flat cars, however as both are available separately, I have in turn made separate reviews. You can find the review for the flat cars by clicking here. Sixteen versions have been made available, with the numbers ranging from TJ101 to TJ116. The turret and barrels are positionable, and the turret lifts off by turning it 90 degrees and lifting it off.
Paint work is very nice with sharp lines between the colours. The PLAGF logo and tank number are all very sharp.
They have a superb amount of onboard detail including the machine gun, smoke grenade launchers and laser receiver being beautifully recreated. I initially thought there were some pretty serious moulding lines along the barrel, however comparing photos of the real things, it appears to be correct. The only flash I can see from the moulding process is in the middle of the drums on the rear of the tank, although not too serious. The only details to add are the wire antennae which are included in the box in a separate baggy. As they are seen in the photos below, they are simply sitting on the roof and would need to be glued into place for practical reasons.
Performance (sort of)
The tank tracks are moulded in place, so they don't "roll" for lack of a better term. Glued to the bottom of the floor is what I thought to be a weight, however they are also magnetic to hold them down to the deck of the flat car. The turret, as mentioned above, is very easy to remove which is a good thing as the magnets on most of mine had come loose during shipping. On another note, they are slightly wider than the flat cars for which they are designed (which is prototypical), this may be useful information with those running trains with very limited clearances (also watch for height restrictions with the antennae).
A wonderful addition for Chinese layouts. Military trains are somewhat common in China and its great to see them in model form. They may be a bit too modern for many rivet counter modellers, but they really look the part regardless. I hope Train Garden keep up with a little more military hardware - I can't think of a better addition that a few DF-21D ballistic missile launchers on my military train! Now, will someone point me in the direction of the Spratly Islands, please...