Modelkrak's 1/72 T-35

By Brent Theobald

History

The T-35 was a unique heavy tank in the sense that it was the only five-turreted tank to enter production anywhere in the world. It was designed to penetrate and destroy enemy strong points. Work on the new tank started in 1930 in the design bureau of the "Bolshevik" factory, Leningrad. The first prototype, T-35-1, was built in August 1932 and production commenced at the Kharkov Locomotive factory. Two prototypes and 61 production tanks in several variants were built between 1932-1939.

The main turret of the T-35 was armed with the KT-28 (76.2mm) gun, designed to devastate enemy strong points, and also two DT machine guns. The two medium sized turrets were armed with the anti-tank 45mm 20K gun and contained a coaxial DT machine gun. The two smallest turrets contained a single DT machine gun for use against infantry.

The majority of T-35s were assigned to the Separate Heavy Tank Brigade, which was part of the General Command Reserve. Throughout the 1930s, the behemoth T-35 symbolized the growing strength and power of the Soviet State. During this time the T-35s had mainly been used in military parades. None had seen combat prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

At the outbreak of war on June 22, 1941, T-35s were assigned to two tank regiments belonging to the Kiev Separate Military Region. All were lost during the first weeks of battle in the Lívov region of Western Ukraine. Almost all loses were due to mechanical failure rather than enemy action. Only seven tanks were actually lost in combat. Two T-35s saw action during the Battle of Moscow. Two more spent four years in the Kazan tank school.

The Kit

The kit comes packaged in a sturdy corrugated box. Inside there are a couple of bags filled with various sizes of resin bits. The amount of parts inside those bags is surprising. The bags of parts are well packed with bubble wrap to avoid damage during shipping. There is a Xeroxed instruction sheet, which is totally inadequate. A source of reference will be required for an accurate model. There are no decals or photoetch supplied with the kit.

Upon inspection the parts range in size from fairly large and robust to quite small and delicate. One of the first things that occur to the modeler is how well the parts are cast. Detail on all of the parts appears to be very fine and to scale. Covering the surface of the model is a wealth of tiny rivets. Louvers and other tin parts are thinly cast. A lack of bubbles in the resin is apparent. The hull of the T-35 and turrets are molded separately as solid pieces instead of being hollow. The bogeys are molded in two pieces with the wheels being attached. Tracks are cast in short lengths. All the parts appear to be of better than average quality in regards to casting and detail.

The modeler will have to be careful with these details when removing the casting plugs. There are plenty of parts and removing all those casting plugs may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately the parts were designed with plenty of forethought and most of the plugs will come away from their parts with minimal effort. The exceptions are the main hull and the bogeys. The hull has a very large casting plug along the bottom. A large amount of effort will be required to completely remove this plug. Since this plug is located along the bottom of the tank it may not need complete removal. The model may be displayed on a base where the underside is not visible. The bogeys are just delicate and the modeler will have to be careful and patient with them. Everything else will clean up fairly quickly and building can commence.

Conclusion

Even in 1/72 this tank is a monster. Once completed this will make an impressive display upon the model shelf or contest table. Look for it in an upcoming issue!

The Modelkrak 1/72 T-35 model is available from Roll Models.


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