|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The KhPZ's Komintern artillery tractor was based on the suspension of the T-12 tank (50 built from 1930) and later the T-24 (2,000 built from 1935 to 1941), powered by a 131-hp diesel engine. Despite the dismal fate of its predecessor tanks, the tractor was more successful and was put into mass production. The Komintern inherited several of the T-24's disadvantages, but some of them were fixed by designers, others were not as significant for tractor as for a tank. The Komintern was used to tow medium artillery such as the 152 mm gun-howitzer.
Another rather unusual military vehicle from the folks at Trumpeter. This is also something nice to have if you happen to have a medium artillery piece and want to have a tractor to tow it for a diorama or display.
As it is based on the T-24 tank, it is not surprising that there are going to be a lot of parts dedicated to the track and the suspension. This aspect of the kit will be a lot of road wheels and the individual track links to keep the modeler busy for a while in assembly. These components will fit onto the one piece lower tub along with the exhaust system.
Atop that will be the engine housing and the driver's compartment. As there is no engine, the housing is a single piece, which should be helpful. To this housing attaches the lights and a few latches. The driver's compartment is simply a bench seat with controls. A decal is supplied for the dash instruments. Over the top of this is what very much looks like the cab of a Zis truck. It is here that one has a windscreen option, which I suppose gives the ability to have it open. There are nicely done clear bits that fit into all the cab windows.
The crew bed is probably also from a truck as it is a standard wood flat bed with sides. A box is created for the forward section and the back of the bed has two wooded benches with their backs to each other for the crew. It does not look very comfortable and thanks to not having a top, had to have been a cold ride in the winter. This bed fits behind the cab section.
Instructions are well done with crisply drawn construction sequences. All of the color information is supplied on the full color exterior painting and markings guide so you are on your own as to how the interior of the cb is painted. This lack of interior information is probably the biggest drawback to Trumpeter military vehicle kits and why they do not supply something so basic is a mystery. Markings are for one anonymous vehicle in overall green. The small decal sheet is nicely printed and should work well with most setting solutions.
Nice to see these sorts of vehicles being produces. After years of little more than your standard armored vehicles and US/German trucks and scout cars, we are now having a goodly selection of Russian equipment, something I know many of us are pleased to see. If you are willing to have a go at individual track links, then you should put this one on your list.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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