by: Kevin Brant [ ]
Based on the British Vickers 6-Ton tank, the Russian T-26 light tank began development in the early 1930ís. During those years there were no less than 53 variants of the T-26 built, including flame-throwers, engineer vehicles, self-propelled guns, and more. The T-26 was one of the main tanks used by the Russians during this period. The tank was used during the Spanish Civil War and was the most plentiful tank in the Russian Army when the Germans invaded in 1941. While obsolete at the time of the German invasion, the tank saw action throughout most of the war including Stalingrad, Leningrad, and was last used to defeat the Japanese Kwantung Army in 1945.
This newest release of the T-26 Light Infantry Tank Mod.1938 from Hobby Boss is based on the previous variants of the T-26 previously released. The Mod.1938 includes the new conical turret, small changes to the hull, increased fuel capacity, and new stabilized gun sight.
14 sprues of molded plastic, including lower hull
2 small sprues clear plastic
240 track links (2 per sprue)
8 small sprues of plastic track pins
2 small frets of photo-etch
1 small sheet of decals
Color Paint Scheme and Marking Guide
This new variant of the Hobby Boss T-26 Light Infantry Tank Mod.1938 at first glance opening the box looks to be a great looking kit. The kit is molded with green plastic with no visible flash. There are some ejector marks that will need to be dealt with on the bottom of the fenders and some ugly ones on the inside of the sprocket wheel. A little putty and sanding should take care of these though.
The molding of the plastic is very well done, crisp and clean, with some great looking molded detail. The slide molding has left some nice touches to include hollow barrel end and horn end. And for extra detail, the kit does include photo-etched details.
The build of the kit from Hobby Boss is spread across 13 steps in the 12 page instruction booklet. The assembly begins with the running gear. This looks to be a little bit of a daunting task with small plastic pins. Care looks to be called for as the small pins will make the running gear moveable, and this should help keeping the wheels level and on the ground. With the running gear assembled, completion of the lower hull can commence, and it does look pretty straight forward.
The instructions then show the assembly of the track, again this looks be a bit daunting. Each track require 113 links and the workable track is assembled using very small pins, two per linkage. The links come on a small sprue, two links per. The links will need to be cut off and a little sanding will then be required. The kit does include a small jig to help in the assembly of the track, but it still looks like it could be a long process, and hope the carpet monster does not eat too many of the very small pins needed.
With the track complete, the build moves on to completing the upper hull, including attaching fenders and adding remaining hull details. Again this part of the assembly looks straight forward, and should go smoothly.
The final assembly begins with the turret, including the great looking antenna included in the kit for the turret. I must say, it looks to be well molded and well protected on the sprue. To me, this antenna really adds interest to the T-26.
The kit includes a color sheet showing two paint schemes and markings, or should I say one. Both vehicles are painted the typical Russian Green, but only one scheme shows use of markings. The kit does include a small decal sheet, which does include the Russian star that does not seem to be shown in the markings. I would suggest if you are looking to create a specific T-26, a little research may be need to identify required markings.
Overall this looks to be a great kit of the T-26 Light Infantry Tank from Hobby Boss. The molding look to be clean and crisp with great looking details. The only real drawbacks are some ejector marks and the daunting task of the individual link tracks. But once built, this kit should produce a great little model of this little tank. I would highly recommend it.