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Mike

Soviet KMT-7 Mine-Roller (37045) 1:35

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Soviet KMT-7 Mine-Roller (37045)

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 to inflict maximum damage to man and machine.  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 dead 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 detection and cleaning later when the enemy aren't shooting at them.

 

The KMT-5 saw service until the 60s and was used until the T-64 after which it was replaced for newer vehicles with the improved KMT-7.  It operates 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 improved KMT-9 eventually replaced the 7 in use.

 

The Kit

The KMT-5M and KMT-9M have already been seen individually and included with various MiniArt kits, but if you need a 7 to fit to another suitable kit you already have, now's your chance!  It arrives in a figure-sized top-opening box in shrink-wrap with nineteen sprues in grey styrene inside plus a length of chain in shiny silver.  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 two-part wheels on a central axle plus two shallow T-shaped end-caps.  These are joined by short tubes 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 near the hull 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 cable 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, acting as a further damper for asymmetric detonations.  If your model has a bow-wash panel on the glacis plate, you will need to leave that part off the model as they were not fitted with the mine-roller.

 

 

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 mid 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 after a big bang?

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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