Mirage 1/72 T-26LH/45 'Finland'
|$13.98 ($12.47 at Squadron)|
|Scott Van Aken|
As mentioned in the previous T-26 preview, the T-26 was the main light tank of Soviet forces during the mid-late 1930s and into the first years of the Great Patriotic war. This version is a variant of the Model 1933. With the addition of the storage area in the back of the turret, there was also room for a gun of greater size. These were also modified to include the addition of the 45mm gun during later production runs. These tanks and the flame thrower versions were produced side by side. These small tanks were used during the Russo-Finnish war of 1939/1940 and were pretty easy prey for the Finns. Thanks to the Soviets' weak command structure and willingness to use tanks even when it wasn't such a good idea lead to very high losses.
Fortunately for the Finns, they were using the Vickers 6 tonne tank, a design on which the T-26 was based so the Finns were able to easily repair and modify captured tanks. The Finns had no use for flame thrower tanks so usually replaced those weapons with a 37mm Bofors cannon, or used guns from other captured Soviet tanks. These tanks were so easily repaired that they could be quickly returned to the battle, only this time in Finnish service!
This kit has basically the same parts as the earlier flamethrower tank but without the flame thrower bits and with a new upper deck piece without the extra access hatch. All that is true of the earlier kits is true of this one. Good detail, no flash, minimal hassles with ejector pin marks and sink areas. The instructions are excellent and this one is very easy to paint, being an overall Russian Khaki as shown on the box art. There are decals for a single tank that includes the Finnish swastika insignia (that is not shown on the box art). The small sheet looks to be well printed and should work quite well. For those ready to get into a bit more detail on their small scale armor, this would be an excellent kit to use. It would also be a nice change from the usual Shermans and myriad German tanks!
This is yet another fine little Mirage armor kit. I do suggest it for those with some experience thanks to all the small parts. Careful building should be the watchword on this as well to make sure all the bits fit properly.
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