by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The T-50 tank of the Russian Army was developed just prior to World War 2 with the plan of replacing the T-26, a copy of the British Vickers tank. Experience during the Spanish Civil War showed that the T-26 was quickly becoming obsolete. The T-50 was intended to become the light tank of the Russian Army, but being of a complicated design for the time and the high expense, approximately only 70 tanks were built. Another main reason for the demise was the unreliability of the 4-cylinder engine. Some of the T-50 tanks were deployed and used on the Leningrad front. It should be noted that parts of the design also lead to the famous T-34, which became the main tank of the Russian Army in World War 2.
A new release from Hobby Boss has now delivered this early World War 2 Russian tank to model builders.
17 x Plastic Sprues including upper and lower hull and turret, and 4 sprues of track
1 x Small Clear Plastic Sprue
1 x Fret of Photo-etched parts
1 x Small Decal Sheet
1 x Instruction Booklet
1 x Colored Painting and Marking Guide
This new Russian T-50 Infantry from Hobby Boss is molded in tan plastic and looks good, with no flash or visible sink marks. There is some great looking surface detail with the rivets on the rear engine deck. There is also some good looking fine parts in plastic, and with the included photo-etched parts the detail should be enhanced.
The kit does look like it will build into a good looking model, and while the kit includes a plastic molded barrel, it is slide molded for an open end. Unfortunately none of the hatches have internal detail, so if you plan to display with the hatches open a little scratch building will need to be done. And while the kit does have individual link track, they guide horns are a separate part, thus after removing from the sprue you will have some extra work to do. Each track link is small, but very well detailed.
Construction of the kit follows the standard armor build sequence, starting with road wheels and lower hull. It should also be noted that a couple of holes will need to be drilled in the upper hull as shown in Step 2. It just seems to be a little out of order as several steps after deal with the lower hull.
The upper hull construction looks pretty straight forward as there is not a lot of extra items on the tank and no external stowage. The kit does provide the option for a plastic or photo-etched air intakes, and I would recommend the photo-etched ones, they look much better. Another strange item is some of the grabs are in plastic, but the one installed on the rear deck is to be formed from the little bit of wire included.
On to the turret. Oddly, while the coax machine gun has a full breech, there is no breech detail for the 45mm main gun. But then as mentioned above, there is no internal hatch detail either. Again there are minimal parts for external detail on the turret.
The kit does include one clear plastic part for the main headlight, but none for the viewing ports. And the instruction show them all installed closed.
For painting and markings, there is one option provided: 4BO Green, Red Star, and number.
Based on the size of the tank and minimal exterior details, this kit from Hobby Boss should be a quick build, with the exception of the tracks.
Overall this is a great looking new kit from Hobby Boss for one of the small Russian tanks. The kit does include some good details with the exception of a lack of detail on hatches, precluding showing them open without some scratch work. The track may prove to be a little tedious having to attach the guide horns, but when together the track should look good as it is well detailed. I would highly recommend this kit, especially for Russian armor fans, and it could be a quick build.