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Mike

Hobby Boss
Soviet T-28 Medium Tank (Early) 1:35

Soviet T-28 Medium Tank (Early)
1:35 Hobby Boss


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The T-28 was one of the first medium tanks, and like the larger T-35 was inspired by the British Independent Tank, even though that never progressed beyond prototype. It suffered many of the same problems as the T-35 too, such as unreliable engine & transmission, being under-armoured, and poor out-dated suspension. The tank had a main turret lifted directly from the T-35, and two small machine–gun turrets from the T-26. The main gun was a hefty 76mm cannon, which was upgraded late on to a more effective longer barrelled unit.

After the initial poor showing in the Winter War with the Finnish, the armour was upgraded by adding appliqué panels, which were sometimes fitted in the field. Many T-28s in the Winter War were knocked out and repaired many times due to the close proximity of a suitable factory. The tank was advanced when first developed, but by 1940 it was hopelessly outdated, and was overshadowed by the new T-34, as well as the flexibility of its main opponent, the German Panzer IV. It left service after a few attempts to bring it up to date with newer suspension, but it was totally outclassed by the T-34's superior design, with the last one rolling off the line in 1941. The Finns pinched a couple which they still have in museums and storage, with another in the Kubinka Tank Museum in Russia.


The Kit
Just like its sibling kit, the new T-35 from Hobby Boss, this tank has only been kitted before in this scale by Alanger/ICM, and it now long out of production. A completely new tooling that shares a few parts with the T-35, which arrives in a standard box with a shiny T-28 parading on Red Square. Inside are thirteen sprues in tan styrene, five in brown styrene, two clear sprues (containing one part each), two hull parts, three turrets, two Photo-Etch (PE) brass frets, and a small decal sheet. A length of braided copper wire is also included, although the instructions refer to it as brass, but colour implies otherwise. The instruction booklet is standard HB fare, and the double-sided painting and decaling guide is printed in colour on glossy paper.

hull.jpg

sprue1.jpg

sprue2.jpg

sprue3.jpg

pe.jpg

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Construction starts with the road-wheels as you'd expect, with four wheels added to each bogie with a central suspension rod installed vertically in the centre. Twelve bogies are made up of varying sorts, plus two each of the multi-part drive sprockets and idler wheels. The hull is closed up next, and is already moulded with plenty of surface detail, including the underside, and some very neatly moulded turret rings with teeth lining the inner edges. Unusually, the tank's main road-wheels are sat on an extension of the underside, which projects out from the sides of the tank, to which the bogies, separating pads and so forth are added, while the return roller axles are added to the sides of the hull. Large suspension units are then added to the top of the extensions, with their ends appearing to go through the plate and mate up with the tops of the bogies. The various gaps are then filled with angles plates to shed mud from the top run of track, before a full-length plate is installed over it, which has PE skins added to the sides of the stepped areas, and the side-skirts covering most of the suspension and road-wheels up. Various shackles, engine bay doors and a circular radiator fan arrangement are added to the rear deck, in much the same way as the T-35, together with angled sections across the front of the glacis to give it extra strength. A large double-ended exhaust sits in the middle of the engine deck with a shroud added to its front, and a central driver's compartment is installed in the space between the two machine-gun turrets, with a vision block inserted on the back-side of the separate front hatch-with-a-hatch. The engine deck is then given two vaguely triangular sectioned breather vents, which have PE grilles, and sit facing in toward the middle of the deck.

tracks.jpg


Return rollers are added to both sides made up from four pairs of wheels per side, and then it's track-building time. Five sprues of individual links are provided, which differs from the T-35, which had long lengths moulded together for the top and bottom runs. Each link has four sprue gates on curved surfaces, so a little sanding is all that's needed after they are nipped from the sprues. If you fancy counting the links in the diagram you could turn the tracks into link-and-length yourself with little additional effort above the clean-up of parts.

With the tracks done, the side-skirts are inserted into their retaining slots, detailed with PE straps, and the armoured louver is added over the radiator fan, which doesn't have see-through louvers, but does have louver detail moulded inside if you feel like posing it open. You'll need to remove a few ejector pin marks if you do, but they're quite easy to get to. Large stowage boxes are added to the fenders each side of the main turret, and pioneer tools are dotted around the sides, as are two spare bogies and two jacks. The rear formation light is shrouded with a PE protector, and a styrene light is placed inside, with one installed on each fender. Another stowage bin with a framework side is added to the port rear fender, and two more road wheels are added to the very back. The towing cables are built up from lengths of copper wire that is topped and tailed with styrene eyes and shackles, before being draped around the sides of the two machine-gun turrets with the other end attached to the front towing hooks. Possibly for ease if they were prone to frequent break-downs?

The turrets are the final part of construction, and should be familiar if you've got a T-35, as the two early T-26 turrets mount a machine-gun in a ball mounting with a poseable hatch, while the main turret sports a short-barrelled 76mm gun and separately mounted machine-gun in another recessed ball-mount. There is only one choice of towel-rail aerial that runs around the turret, and it is supplied essentially as one part, but with an armoured lead running from an exit on the top of the turret into the aerial tube on the starboard side. The turrets just drop into place on their respective rings, and that's the build done.


Markings
Russian Green is the order of the day, and two schemes are available from the box, although schemes might be a bit of an over-statement. One scheme has a red stripe running around the main turret with no other markings, and the other scheme has no markings at all. The red stripe is supplied as a decal, and that's the sole decal on the sheet. The red looks suitably dense and crisp enough, and as there is only one colour printed as a decal, there are no registration concerns.

decals.jpg



Conclusion
Another super kit that relegates the old Alanger offering obsolete, and as I understand it we can expect "late" versions of both this and the T-35 with upgraded armour and sloping turret faces in due course. These things are quirky, and represent the tank's struggles while developing, and the influence that the British efforts had on designs, while happened again after WWII with the Tortoise.

Very highly recommended.



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Review sample courtesy of
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If it builds anything like the T-35 then it will be nice and enjoyable.

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Thanks for cheering me up ..... I have the obsolete Alanger kit :weep:

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Thanks for cheering me up ..... I have the obsolete Alanger kit :weep:

Me too times two, as some kind soul found me an IT-28 to go with my standard T-28 :doh:

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