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Mike

Soviet KMT-5M Mine-Roller (37036) 1:35

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Soviet KMT-5M Mine-Roller (37036)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd.

 

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Mines are a problem for AFVs, softskins and foot soldiers alike, and there are different types used for different circumstances.  Mines intended to disable tanks generally have larger charges to penetrate the thinner underside armour and tear off tracks and drive wheels, with a higher pressure required to trigger them.  The resulting explosion can cripple or destroy a tank, leaving crew killed or injured, a valuable tank out of action and sometimes blocking the way.  Most Soviet and Russian tanks are fitted with attachment points for mine-rollers that can be fitted as needed and clear a path for the tank's tracks to allow them to proceed.  Other tanks without a mine-roller must follow in their tracks exactly or risk detonating mines that are outside the cleared paths.  It's not an ideal solution, more of an expedient one that probably requires a more complete cleaning later when the enemy aren't shooting at them.

 

It has been in service since the 60s and was used until the T-64 after which is was replaced for newer vehicles with the improved KMT-7 and KMT-9.  It operated by breaking the ground up with toothed rollers of substantial weight to simulate the footprint of an AFV, ploughing up the ground and detonating any mines it finds.  Its rugged construction means that it can survive explosions, although they do take their toll on the hardware eventually.

 

The Kit

The KMT-5M has already been seen when included with various MiniArt kits, but if you didn't get one with yours or need one to fit to another suitable kit, now's your chance!  It arrives in a figure-sized top-opening box in shrink-wrap with sixteen sprues in grey styrene inside plus two lengths of chain of differing widths.  One of the sprues has been nipped in half to fit the box, and a number of elastic bands have been used to group sprues of the same type together and reduce chaffing.  The instruction booklet is like that of a complete kit, which is for good reason as it's a fairly complex build and there are plenty of steps.

 

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Construction begins with the toothed rollers, which each have three wheels on a central axle plus two end-caps.  These are fitted into short bogies that have small sections of chain attached in strategic places for later fitting at the end of the suspension arms.  These are next to be built and each has a pair of pads at the tank end and a hinged arm that is long enough to keep the tank away from the brunt of the blast, as well as absorb some of the upward momentum and reduce damage to the rollers.  The arms spread apart so that the rollers are placed at exactly the same spacing as the tracks, and there are parts supplied to fit the roller to MiniArt models, and other parts if it's another manufacturer's kit.  There are a couple a styrene rope parts in the box to further secure the assembly, with another momentum-absorbing spring at the roller end.  The bogies are attached to the arms via the short lengths of chain fitted to hooks fore and aft, with another chain linking the two together with a bobbin-like part loose along its length, acting as a further damper for asymmetric detonations.

 

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Markings

There are none!  There aren't any decals and you're not even given any clues as to what colour to use other than the boxtop colours.  Use your Google Fu or references to check before you start spraying your tank's main colour on it, just in case.

 

Conclusion

A useful addition to make your early Cold War Soviet AFV stand out from the crowd, to add in the background of a diorama, or even as a stand-alone – maybe being repaired?

 

Highly recommended.

 

At time of writing, this is on heavy discount at Creative, so strike now!
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Review sample courtesy of

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