Mirage 1/72 T-26 Model 1933




$13.98 ($12.47 at Squadron)




Scott Van Aken




The T-26 was the main Soviet light tank. Developed in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Model 1933 was the first major modification to the original design. The hull was basically unchanged, with the differences between the earlier tanks confined to the turret. It was discovered that there was a need for additional ammunition storage and inclusion of a radio so an additional bay was added to the back of the turret. Also added at this time was a new commander's cupola. Other additions such as another machine gun and searchlights were added as well, though many of these were removed in the field. Some 1,000 Model 33s were built from 1934 to 1937 when the type was replaced by the Model 1937. The T-26 Model 33 saw action in the Spanish Civil War, in the Far East during the Manchurian campaigns, during the Soviet invasion of Poland and early in the Great Patriotic War. Many were captured and used by the Wehrmact (designated T-26B-738(r)).



Molded in a light grey plastic, the sprues are packaged in two bags. One containing the common stuff, like lower hull and running gear, while the other bag contains those items changed from kit to kit. Mirage has produced a LOT of T-26 variants and has added or removed bits from the sprues to match whatever version is being produced. The sprues to the left are the common ones.

Detail on the parts is really quite good for a kit this small. There are the usual problems with some sink areas in the thicker pieces such as the gun barrel and searchlights, but not much of a real problem. There is no flash and ejector pin marks are engineered so that they will not be seen once the kit is finished. The tracks are of a vinyl as is the tow rope. Painting these may be a tad tricky but a good lacquer primer should cut into the parts enough so that other paints will stick OK.

Instructions are excellent and provide a number of clearly done construction drawings. All the parts are clearly numbered and any areas that are optional or have specific color requirements are plainly annotated in the 14 construction steps. There is no parts layout guide as one has come to expect from modern model kits. Color information is provided in a chart with references in generic terms and matched to Humbrol and Vallejo paints, the first time I've seen Vallejo's brand mentioned in kit instructions.

There are markings provided for four tanks. One is the box art vehicle from the Spanish Civil war in Olive Green and Sand with a large white Spanish cross on the turret top and the red/yellow flag markings around the turret sided and back. Next is one used in Spanish Morrocco in overall Forest Green with Cream and Brown camo stripes placed on the upper surfaces. An overall Panzer Grey version is next as used by the Germans after capturing it from the Russians. Finally, a Red Army T-26 in Khaki with a heavily applied and blotched winter white applied as used against the Finns in the Winter War of 1939/40. Decals are fairly well printed and very thin. They may also be a bit transparent as the whit seems to disappear against the light blue backing, but one really can't tell until they are used.


Overall, it looks like a very nice little kit. There are a lot of small parts on it which may not make it appropriate for the beginner. Newer Mirage kits have generally fit fairly well and I expect this one to be about the same.

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