RetroTracks 1/72 Soviet T-50 (Late)
By Matt Bittner
Taken from the instructions:
"This resin kit allows for the making of a late production T-50, typical of the model manufactured at Plant No.174 after its relocation from Leningra(d) to Tskalov in September-October 1941. Sources differ a little, but no more than 35 to 40 (out of a production run of about 75 in total) of those T-50s were built from September 1941 until January 1942, before the plant was ordered to produce T-34s. The T-50 was still operational in Russia by the end of 1942, but easier to manufacture and cheaper to produce T-60s were replacing them. Some T-50s were given, at the factory, additional bolted on armour, including the one example captured by the Finns that fought in front-line units until 1944 before being handed over to the Parola Museum in 1954."
The RetroTracks 1/72 T-50 consists of 47 main pieces of cream-colored resin and a bunch of track links. According to the instructions each tack consists of 104 track links with 16 spares provided. So that's 224 separate track links. But the problem is the kit doesn't just consist of individual links, there are sections of links so there are not quite 224 parts for the tracks.
This will not be a difficult model to assemble. Time consuming, definitely, but not difficult. RetroTanks provides the turret hatches as separate so adding a figure into one - or both - of those will not be difficult. But as a resin piece, except for the "holes" where the hatches are there is no turret interior detail, the rest of the turret being solid resin.
You'll need to sand the area where the pour block was on the bottom of the hull; however, the hull is one piece. But even though it is one piece, the craftsmanship is top-notch; the molding is very crisp and the fenders are quite thin. The only thing that might be better replaced would be the intake grills for the engine; however, since this too is a solid piece of resin that will be time consuming. With the proper washes and dry brushing that area should look quite good regardless.
As I mentioned, most of this build will be time consuming. First adding the control arms and then all the wheels and return rollers, but then adding the tracks. I'm not sure if it would be best served to build up sections and then add them to the tank, or add the sections one-by-one, including the one-piece links. Getting the tracks under the fenders will also be time consuming and take some dexterity.
Even though this will require some modeling, especially in regards to time, it's a first-rate model of the Soviet T-50. There really is nothing to add aftermarket-wise as everything you need is in the box. Sure, you could add stowage and other small items, but out-of-the-box this will be a top-notch model.
My thanks to RetrokiT for sending the T-50 in for review.