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Soviet T-26 Light Infantry Tank Mod.1931


nmayhew
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Soviet T-26 Light Infantry Tank Mod.1931
 

HobbyBoss
Catalogue # 82494

 

Available from Creative Models for £23.99

 

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This is my first look at HobbyBoss armour. The 'sister' company of Trumpeter (I have never quite nailed down the relationship between the two) have produced a fair amount of armour, but for the most part they have been peripheral WWII subjects or modern ones. Perhaps their most mainstream WWII subject was the SdKfz 222 armoured car - a kit which has some significant shape issues. I will be upfront and say I do not have any reference for the T-26, beyond what the reader presumably has themselves ie the internet. As such, this will be a 'what's in the box' review.

 

Knowing that we can all wiki search something these days, I won't say too much about the history of the T-26, but suffice to say this Russian tank was based on an English design by Vickers, and was produced in fairly large numbers in the 1930s. A quick glance at it will tell you it was completely obsolete by the outbreak of the Second World War; indeed it was probably so even before that. The kit is labelled as a Mod.1931 version - the initial one - which is slightly misleading, as this is only one of two versions you can build from the box - the other being the Mod.1932 version. They are both twin turreted tanks; later versions changed to one larger turret. The Mod.1931 had a light machine gun in each turret, whilst the Mod.1932 had one MG replaced with a 37mm cannon. I think not making the fact that you can build both obvious in the either the kit title or box front is a bit of an oversight by HobbyBoss - people like to know what they can build straight from the box.

 

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Anyway, to the kit...It comes in a small but very sturdy box - definitely stackable! There are a large number of small sprues, and the parts count is very high for such a pip-squeak of a tank (the hull is only about the size of my iPhone). A quick look at the bagged sprues will tell you that the parts count comes almost entirely from the tracks, which are indie link, complete with a separate track pin on either side.

 

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Single piece hull – no bigger than your iphone

 

The hull is tub is moulded as a single piece. There is rivet and bolt detail throughout which seems very crisp, and I saw no flash. The suspension is designed to be workable - really only any use if you are a doing a dio, but nice to have nonetheless. There are two suspension units each side, with four road wheels a piece, and each unit comprises some 15 parts. Construction looks fairly straightforward, however. The leaf suspension (parts #A4) are adequately moulded, but perhaps not quite up there with the best that say Dragon or Tasca would produce. Both drive sprocket and idlers are well detailed, but the former has six bracing struts between the two sprocket discs (parts # D9) which look as though they will be very fiddly to line up.

 

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Drive sprockets look nice but might be fiddly to construct

 

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Detail on the leaf springs is adequate, but not brilliant

 

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Engine deck grill moulded with gap between the slats

 

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Single piece track guards

 

The tracks are indie link, and look very sharp, but they do not come pre-cut like Dragon Magic Tracks, so you will have to snip each of them from the sprue. Keep in mind that at 113 links each side, there will be the same if not more work on these as there would be on a set of Tiger or Panther tracks. Each link has a track pin either side, and these are different for each side (parts #T8-1 and #T8-2), although the track links themselves are not 'handed'. A small jig is provided to aid construction and ensure the runs line up correctly. This, and the attention to detail in providing different track pins, is really quite impressive on what is 'just' a small kit after all. I have not tested to see whether these track pins will stay in place without glue - if they do then you will have fully articulating tracks - but you should still be able to set / drape them as required if using Tamiya Extra Thin sparingly I think.

 

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Lots of these tiny links

 

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And even more of these miniscule track pins

 

The hull front and rear comprise one plate each, with various details to be added on top. These include two different types of air intake (?), each with a different photo-etch PE grill. There are also a few PE access panel handles provided, as well as PE braces for the track guards - this is a really nice touch. The two-part driver's hatch can only be positioned closed, but given there is no interior (or ever likely to be from aftermarket) I don't think this is big loss. A single clear part is used for the headlight lens.

 

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Photo-etch grills and access panel handles are provided – no need for aftermarket here

 

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Nice detail, relatively simple construction

 

As mentioned above there are two configurations for the twin turrets. You can either have both with a single machine gun, or one (on the right) armed with a 37mm cannon. The same turret shell is use in either case, and again the hatches cannot be posed open. The machine guns are quite nice but plastic struggles with small barrels even more than large ones in my opinion; I have yet to confirm of there are any brass aftermarket ones you can use as replacements. The single part for the cannon is adequate, although you may wish to hollow it out a little more? The PE gun shield is very good - nice and simple but really adding detail.

 

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One of the two turret shells

 

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The machine gun is actually pretty neat

 

As for marking options, these revolve around different configurations of stripes on the turrets, and that's pretty much it. They are both finished in what is described as 'Russian Green' - this predates 4BO I believe, but I think most people will have there own preferences here given scale effect, current weathering and finishing trends etc.

 

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Nothing flashy in the way of markings is an understatement

 

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Conclusion

Quite a nice little kit. I doubt there will be mug aftermarket produced for it - or at least this relatively early version - but in truth it doesn't really need it. It is perhaps a good kit for a beginner who wants to take the next step, given the indie link tracks.

Highly recommended for fans of 1930s armour

 

With thanks to Creative Models for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

CMLlogoweb.jpg

 

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