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Soviet T-20 Armoured Tractor Komsomolets 1938 - 1:35 HobbyBoss


Julien
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Soviet T-20 Armoured Tractor Komsomolets 1938
1:35 HobbyBoss


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The T-20 was designed in 1936 to tow light artillery pieces as the Red Army recognised the need to move to a more mechanised force. Only lighter pieces such as the 45mm, and 76mm guns, plus the 120mm mortar could be towed. A small limber was also in train with the ammunition. Some vehicles would also move only two limbers to increase available ammunition. The cab was armoured (7 to 10mm) and carried the driver and commander, the commander was provided with a ball mounted DT machine gun. In an unusual move both crew members were provided with controls in case the other was incapacitated. The gun crews would ride on the open exposed to fire! though a tarp could be erected for weather protection. One of the main problems of the T-20 was the use of a car engine to power it which was grossly underpowered and overloaded resulting in poor performance and high rate of breakdown.

Later in the war some of these vehicles would be used as tankettes. Some even mounting light antitank guns. Figures vary from 4000 to 7000 units being produced. Production was halted in 1941 to concentrate on T-34 production. Like many vehicles of the time captured example were used by other sides. The Finnish Army used these, as did the Germans (sometime mounting Pak 36 guns on them), in German service it was catchilly known as The Leichter Artillerieschlepper STZ 3 630( r ). Romania refurbished a number of captured units. The Romanians having an easy job to refurbish them as the they had a Ford Plant in Bucharest, and the T-20 used a licence built Ford Engine.

The Kit
This is a new tooling from HobbyBoss and another example of the lesser known vehicles of WWII they are producing. The kit is small and arrives in a smallish box for 1.35. You get a main hull part, top decking and the armoured front house all separate at one end of the box. In the main box are seven sprues of plastic, seven sprues of individual track links (these are tiny!), a small clear sprue, a small PE fret; and a small decal sheet.

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Construction starts with the wheel bogies. There are two bogies each carrying two wheels on each side. The one part wheels are sandwiched between the bogie halves along with a middle plate. A top cover plate is then put on each one. The completed bogies are then attached to the main hull. Mountings for the rear return wheels are also added at this stage. The front drive sprockets and there cover planes are added along with the idler wheels. The instructions would then have you add the tracks at this stage (there are 84 individual links per side), though I suspect most modellers will leave them off until later. The lower hull is then complete.

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The upper hull is then attached to the lower hull. The front part housing the driver and gunner/commander has it's machine gun & mount added along with the top hatches; and is then fitted to the upper part. The main seating housing is then added.

sp3.JPG


Following this construction moves to the rear of the vehicle. The rear plate is made up and attached to the main body. The rear mud guards are attached along with a spare road wheel.

sp4.JPG


Lastly the rear bench seating is added along with a foot guard each side. This completes the vehicle.

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Markings
Markings are provided for one Soviet example, and one captured German example.

Conclusion
A nicely detailed kit that just cries out for a crew, and a gun to tow. Recommended.


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Review sample courtesy of
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