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  1. What better way to start off the collection of WWII Soviet armor/vehicles, than with one of the biggest ones available. The mighty T-35... or more accurately mighty looking, as it was pretty much completely useless in practice. Here is the WIP side of things,to give you a more complete idea of everything that went into making this, and my impressions on the kit itself. Basically, i wanted to create a T-35 that was a little more my own, and a little more lively and colorful than a huge Russian green steel brick. I also wanted to give the T-35 more of a fighting chance in WWII. The model is mostly out of the box with a new Gun 3D-designed and printed by me, and with a couple stowage items from Tamiya. The figures come from a couple Miniart-sets. Painting is a two coat job of Tamiya nato green and some matt white rattle-can paint put on top of all the parts, with everything else had-painted on top using basic Revell paints. Custom inscriptions where done using a 3D-printed stencil and a pen, and some of the decals come from an FW-200 kit believe it or not. "The Battleship" NOTE: the title-above, and everything below, is just a figment of my wild imagination, so don't take this too seriously. While i will be referencing history to a degree (to try an make all of this "fit in"), this vehicle or any of the guys operating it, aren't supposed to represent anyone or anything specifically. Not exactly the most popular or successful of vehicles, the last T-35 tanks where supposed to be scrapped in 1941 following a less than stellar success in the battle of Brody and further engagements in 1941. but our unit, dubbed the "hand-me-down division" still has 3 operational vehicles in the Winter of 1942, now on a small brake following the victory at Stalingrad. These vehicles being kept operational by using spare bits from other broken T-35 tanks. The 3 tanks of the units have been nicknamed "Battleship" "Monitor" and "Dreadnought" One we will be focusing on, is Tank 1, "Battleship" One of the tanks that took part in the fighting in 1941, still carrying around the scars from those battles. While otherwise a fairly lucky vehicle, in one battle it had to go up against a couple German tanks, thankfully these where or the older and lighter kind. The German tank crews realized that it would be best to disable the T-35's armaments first, and indeed managed to knock out the forward 45mm turret out of action pretty early on. As the battle continued, the two tanks exchanged fire while getting ever closer, With the Germans guns being rather light, and the short 76mm gun of the T-35 lacking range. A few hits where sustained on the main turret before the German tanks where eventually destroyed just in the nick of time. first hit scraped the roof of the turret... While the second scraped the side of the turret. By this point the other German tank was knocked out. Before the other one was taken out it had managed to get so close that the third and final hit nearly penetrated the turret armor. Instead of this and other T-35 tanks being completely scrapped as they probably should have, our, then fresh, unit's commander decided to accept a few of these into the unit, to be used as mobile-pilloboxes of some sort. 4 vehicles were originally planned, but the fourth one was instead assigned to be used as a source for spares. With a less than stellar success, and given the high likelihood that in further engagements, enemy tanks would be even better armed and armored. the commander and the tanks crews looked at ways of upgrading the vehicle. The Driver having worked as a test driver for the factory where these where built, he knew of some of the modification/upgrades that at some point where planned for the T-35 and even the T-28 tanks. And thus, they set about making these happen. First was the tanks main-gun. Since they couldn't get access to any ZIS-4 guns (one being tried on the T-28) they decided to instead modify some of the unit's ZIS-2 AT guns to work as tank-guns. With the ZIS-2 being a relatively light gun, it should work quite nicely give the sheer weight and size of the new platform for the gun (i know, while in many ways they are the same gun, there are some notable differences between the ZIS-4 tank-gun and the ZIS-2 it was created from) Another one was the addition of a new more powerful engine (a more powerful engine was an actual planned upgrade for the T-35, tough never implemented). They are of a rather dubious origin, and it's pretty-safe to say someone might come asking-around for them. It was also around this time that winter was coming around, so the tank received a new white winter-camo, onto which custom inscriptions where painted in red. And also some big red-stars where applied as-well. The unit not being afraid to "fly the flag" as it where. (I really hope that google translate didn't pull a prank on me and that that is the correct translation for "battleship") Winter of 1942 saw the vehicle engaging in some rather heavy fighting, having to hold off large German formations together with a network of gun emplacements and artillery giving fire-support. During one particularly nasty battle the tank was almost knocked out as an artillery-shell struck one of the skirts and pretty-much destroyed the entire armor-panel. Thankfully the shell wasn't big enough to cause any further damage. Coming from the spares vehicle, this panel is still sporting the original green color. To get the tank operational quickly, it was decided to leave the panel green and just slap on a new inscription in a hurry. As a result of some shrapnel damage from that artillery-barrage and other sources, a couple other bits where also replaced. It's winter of 1942 now, with the battle of Stalingrad won and the Germans now on retreat, the "battleship" is still rocking and rolling, tough wear and tear and sings of heavy use are evident troughout. And that's where the story ends for this vehicle. Overall, i really enjoyed the build, and it was a lot of fun taking things to the next level, and finally adding some serious weathering, as well as adding the PE bits provided in the kit. It was certainly a learning experience for me. Tough i wouldn't say there where any major pitfalls, i will certainly be doing a few things in a slightly different order. And to close things off, here is a little shot with some of the tanks crew together with their vehicle. And no, the guy on top is not actually part of the crew, he's the one wondering why he agreed to loan he's precious guns to be used on a monster like this. I left the original 76mm gun's barrel on the fender, so you can see just how tiny the original gun was. Oh, and be sure to check out the figure side of the project as-well, trough that you will also be able to find all the other parts of the WWII Soviet collection/project. for watching, and i hope i didn't bore you to death or explode your brains with my fictional story for this tank.
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