UM 1/72 T26 Light Tank (Cylindrical Turret)

Kit # - 361

By Kent Kirkpatrick

The SU-12

Using the famous Vickers light tank design, the USSR licensed-built the T-26 in 1932. The T-26 was an all-riveted design with an air-cooled engine in the rear. It was armed with the 37mm B3 gun and a coaxial 7.62mm DT machine gun. I won't bore you any further on the design but there is plenty of reference material out there on the Vickers tank.

The Kit

 

Typical of UM is the colorful box art that gives you an idea of how to paint your T26. It may even assist in part assembly or further detailing if needed. This box art is of an unmarked T26.

When you open the box you will see a sealed bag containing three part sprues molded in UM's trademark green drab styrene. Closer examination shows no sink marks or flash and the injector pin marks are on the inside surface. Parts detail is very crisp and to scale. There are a total of 104 parts in this kit. You will also find 2 photo-etch frets containing 22 parts, two one-piece vinyl tracks and a decal sheet. As the norm, you have a multi-lingual (Ukraine, English and German) instruction sheet. You will find it is very well illustrated. To assist in assembly is a symbol legend for gluing, painting, drilling, etc. Second page contains a numbered parts location diagram. Unused parts are crossed out. Put those unused parts in the old parts box for later use.

The fourteen-step assembly of the T26 begins with the four piece lower hull (steps 1-6). The suspension arms are the most tedious as they require nine parts for each of the four. The drive sprockets use photo-etch parts for the first time. Using the outer and inner drive teeth rings for assembly.

Next up is the upper hull (steps 7-9). I suggest replacing part 29B with some PE screen for added scale effect and molded grab handles with brass wire. Rusting the muffler out would be authentic. The fenders are molded very thin and have nice rivet detail. Steps 10-13 are where the turret is assembled. Here you will 'wrap' the turret in a photo-etch jacket, which gives the turret rivet detail (which is nice). Here you will want to place the photo-etch under a flame to anneal the metal for flexibility. I wonder why UM didn't make the turret top photo-etch as well. You also add photo-etch to the rear turret overhang. Don't forget to drill out the one-piece 37mm main gun.

Final assembly, step 14, mates the turret with the lower hull and adds other upper hull details. Here, I suggest replacing the headlight (part 35B) with an MV lens.

The only drawback I see to this kit are the one-piece vinyl tracks. I believe there are after-market photo-etch tracks for this kit out there by Part or Eduard. If there isn't, there should be soon. The kit tracks are OK but have flash on them since they are small this could be tedious to cleanup.

When you get to paint the T26 there is a Humbrol paint reference calling for H155, olive drab, as the primary color. With all the nice rivet detail this kit begs to be dry-brushed to bring them out. Instructions call for the markings of a 1940 Finnish T-26 but by the numerous well-printed decals it would indicate more choices. These include choices of turret bands and numbers. Can never have too many unused decals.

Conclusion

I have seen other T26-type kits from other manufacturers in this scale. You will not be disappointed with UM's T-26. I'll bet they are not done with just this version of the venerable Vickers chassis. UM has continued their reputation for creating quality kits in 1/72 scale. I highly recommend this kit to experienced small-scale modelers.

I would like to thank Squadron Mail Order for the review kit.

 

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