Alanger's T-28 Soviet Medium Tank (mod. 1938)

By Kent Kirkpatrick

Soviet T-28 Tank

It was designed to carry high firepower to be used during major offensives. This design was inspired by the British A6 tank with a centrally mounted main turret and two auxiliary machine gun turrets in front. The suspension was copied from the Vickers design. The T-28 was armed with a 76.2mm low velocity main gun and weighed in at 28.5 tons with crew of six. To move its 28.5 tons the tank used a 500hp gasoline engine capable of moving at a speed of 23mph. Armor plate from 10 to 30 mm protected the crew.

The Kit

There is a very good artist's rendition of a T-28 in green drab color on the box cover. Inside the box you will see two sealed bags stuffed with ten part sprues molded in a light gray styrene with the upper hull and floor plate loose. There is also a small decal sheet. Visual inspection shows that there are sink marks and some flash. I wouldn't worry about the flash but my review kit has some sink marks in parts that would be either difficult to fill or annoying to do so. You may end up losing some detail to repair these. Thankfully, injector pin marks are on the inside surface of major parts otherwise they are found on the sprue racks. Part detail is adequate and appears to be in scale. Not the best I have seen. The six-page instruction booklet (Russian/English) is adequately illustrated. To assist in assembly there is a parts location diagram.

Remarkably, there is alot of interior detail in this T-28 kit. Step 1 and 2 you will assemble a complete engine and transmission. The detail is somewhat basic but still quite an effort was made to create this subassembly. In step 3 you will assemble the driver's compartment. With some extra gadgetry from the old parts box you could really have something to show off here. After mating the engine, transmission and driver's compartment to the floor plate you will add the lower hull sides, engine compartment bulkhead and side sponsons (AKA, mud chutes) in step 4. The suspension system, drive sprockets and idlers are added in step 5. There is some annoying flash on the small road wheels that you will have to remove. Steps 6-11 have you adding armor plates and surface details such as exhaust, tool stowage, hatches, vent grates, head and tail lights. The main turret is assembled in step 12. It also has quite a bit of interior detail including seating, ammo storage, turret basket, front and rear coaxial machine guns. The main gun breech lacks detail and has some of those annoying sink marks in it but an experienced modeler should be able to overcome them with patience. The 76.2mm gun barrel comes in two halves. Of note, I found it curious why Alanger 'molded' a large star into the top surface of the turret. You will have to sand this off and find a Russian red star decal to replace it. The kit also comes with radio antenna for the commander's version of the T-28 but it is not mentioned in the instructions. In step 13, you will build the two front turrets comprised of nine parts each.
On this model I do like the choice of having all the hatches open or closed. Step 14 completes our kit assembly by mating the three turrets to the upper hull then attaching the upper hull to the lower hull. It is not well documented but you will build the tracks from individual links onto the suspension. This may be somewhat confusing but the links are nicely detailed. I would do this step after step 5 in the assembly.

Painting and marking your T-28 is simple enough as your decal sheet only has two tank numbers and that's it . . . no red stars. For painting you have the choice of three T28 tanks for paint. One in white from the winter of 1939-1940 or a two-color (brown / green) scheme from 1940 and don't forget the green drab T-28 on the boxart.

Conclusion

Although not on par with the offerings from Tamiya and Dragon in terms of scale effect detail this is still a unique subject for a model kit and a welcome one. From a visual inspection, I give this kit one thumbs up for effort but Alanger had better keep an eye on their quality control. I found too many sink marks in my review kit and in my opinion, this is inexcusable with today's molding technology. I would recommend this unique T-28 kit to an experienced and patient modeler of Russian armor. I would like to thank Alanger for the review kit.

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