Trumpeter 1/35 IT-1 Missile Tank
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The IT-1 (Russian: Истребитель танков–1, Istrebitel’ tankov–1, ‘tank destroyer-1’) was a Soviet cold war missile tank based around the hull of the T-62. The tank fired specially designed 3M7 Drakon missiles from a pop-up launcher. It saw a very limited service between 1968 and 1970. The large deadzone around the tank created by the missiles' minimum range combined with the limited amount of ammunition carried made it unpopular with the military. Also, the 520 kg of guidance equipment needed for the missile was impractical. Eventually, the tanks were converted into recovery vehicles. A turbine-powered version was also developed named the IT-1T.
The IT-1 has a crew of three, a driver, gunner and commander. It was armed with a pop-up missile launcher fitted into a low profile turret along with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun with 2000 rounds of ammunition. Twelve 3M7 Drakon missiles were stored in an automatic loader, a further 3 were stored in an unarmoured box on the back of the turret.
The missile was radio-command guided, using any one of seven frequencies and two codes. That prevented vehicles within a single unit interfering with each other.
The missile was launched slightly upward, and at an angle to offset any wind drift during the first second of unguided flight. A tracer on the rear of the missile allowed the guidance system to track the missile and transmit radio commands to the missile. The commands were decoded by the missile and translated into deflection of the missiles fins.
Night-vision equipment allowed some night operation but substantially reduced the missile's range.
It will be no revelation to most of you that what you have is Trumpeter's very nice T-62 tank with a pair of new sprues for the new turret and the missile. As usual with big armor kits, the box is stuffed full of sprues; in this case, Trumpeter's usual tan plastic. There are multiples of a couple of sprues. Specifically two of the sprue with suspension/road wheels, four of the black sprue with tires, and seven for the track sprues.
Yep, this means that the kit has individual track links. Perhaps you have not tried these before and while they are time consuming to assemble, give the sort of sag that would be required on a Soviet tank like this. You may also be wondering about the separate tires for the road wheels. This, to me, is a great idea. Painting road wheels can be a real slow-down, plus I always have trouble getting them to look nice. No worries with this set up as the slip over the wheels, meaning you can paint the wheels and then attach the tires later.
The kit includes a photo etch fret that has a few body bits and the screens over the engine intakes. As usual with Soviet tanks, there are a pair of fuel drums for the back of the tank as well as a log to help get it unstuck The upper surface of the hull is festooned with the usual gear compartments, most of these form fitting. The new bits are for the upper turret, which includes nicely detailed hatches, both inside and out in the chance you want to stick a figure in there. One missile and launcher is provided for the turret as well as the usual high powered spotlight and aiming mechanism.
The kit instructions are well drawn and provide no color information. That is saved for the full color painting guide. This can be any shade as long as it is Soviet Armor Green. No decals are provided as apparently this vehicle was not successful enough in its two years of operational service to actually be assigned somewhere that markings would have been applied.
As the more usual subjects get kitted, kit makers naturally tend to gravitate to the more unusual. This one certainly fits that description. It makes for an interesting comparison to a 'normal' gun tank, and a must have for those who have a penchant for battlefield missile weapons.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get this one at your local hobby shop.
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