Trumpeter 1/35 T-100 Heavy Tank
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Soviet Main Directorate of Armoured and Mechanised Forces requested proposals to replace the existing T-35 Heavy Tank with a new design in 1937, this original request called for a new development using a five-turreted configuration. The request was seen as very important so two design teams were given direction to provide competing designs for the T-35’s replacement. In May 1938 a meeting with the two teams succeeded in gaining approval to reduce the number of turrets to two. The two teams were both from factories in Leningrad; one under N. Barykov developed the T-100 design and another under J Kotin worked on the competing SMK design.
Both tanks featured more advanced features over the T-35 tank, such as inclusion of radio sets, torsion bar suspension systems and more extensive use of welding.
The T-100 tank had a raised superstructure to accommodate a main turret housing a 76.2mm L-11 main gun and could traverse through 360 degrees, while a secondary turret with a 45mm Model 1938 gun was mounted forward of the main turret. Due to this arrangement, the forward turret had some restrictions on its ability to fully traverse because of the raised superstructure. Mounting the turrets in such a configuration required lengthening the tank chassis to accommodate such a design.
All up the T-100 measured 8.38 metres (27 ft 6 ins) in length, was 3.4 metres (11 ft 2 ins) wide and had an overall height of 3.42 metres (11 ft 3 ins) in height. This size brought the tank in at 58 tons in weight. Powering the tank was a water cooled 600 kW (850 hp) V12 petrol engine, that gave a top road speed of 36 km/h (22 mph) and a range of 200 km (120 miles). Cross country travel reduced this range to 120 km (75 miles).
The T-100 team produced two prototypes with only one SMK example being built. After trials and evaluation both designs were rejected in favour of the superior KV series tank, which was based upon the SMK design. Both T-100 and SMK tanks were combined into a ‘heavy tank battalion’ and deployed to the Finnish war, where one of the T-100 tanks was disabled and despite attempted recovery by T-28 tanks had to be abandoned until sometime later.
The second T-100 tank was later converted into a heavy assault gun tank mounting a 130mm naval gun and this was redesignated SU-100Y, it was used against Finnish bunkers and later in defence of Moscow.
Trumpeter have been very busy in recent years bringing out a vast array of 1/35 armour kits, they have virtually covered every Soviet WW2 armour kit of note now. In recent times they have added the Soviet SMK Heavy Tank (Kit #09584) and the SU-100Y (Kit #09589). This recent addition (December 2021) of the T-100 has seen all of the major Soviet heavy tanks of the pre-WW2 era covered.
All parts for this kit are moulded in a light grey plastic, with Trumpeter moulding the separate track links in a tan colour. I find this a bit annoying as while the tracks would appear ‘rusty’ if left unpainted, they would be better served being moulded in a dark grey, or black colour to save on a great deal of effort painting the links. 490 parts make up the kit with 108 separate links for each track. The parts are packed in separate plastic bags, with compartments in the box for each package of parts. Although the parts are very crisp and clean looking there was evidence of mould seam lines and injector pins on the example I procured.
A small photo etch fret of parts are included for gluing to the turrets, this tank’s turrets were cast in separate pieces and then held together with steel plates and bolts.
A booklet of instructions is included with easy to follow diagrams to describe the construction sequence; commencing with the lower hull, adding the suspension arms and dampers. The suspension arms, while quite well moulded, have moulding pins present and have faint mould seams visible so a bit of clean up would be required.
The suspension arms also appear to be a tight fit into their locating sockets, but there are no slots to allow all the arms to assemble at the same height so care would be needed in this step. A note here the two front suspension arms (one either side) are half the length of the other fourteen arms and these shorter arms are included on a different sprue.
Next construction focuses on the road wheels and return rollers. There are actually two different road wheel types in this kit, the first three road wheels on either side have a series of holes around the rim, the remaining five wheels on either side are solid rims without these holes. Care should be taken in following the instruction steps carefully. All up there are sixteen road wheels to assemble, ten return rollers (five per side) and the usual idler wheels and drive sprockets.
Assembly of the tracks is next, take note of the direction in which the track links are placed on each side. Getting the upper lengths of tracks in place may be tricky as the lower hull has mudguards moulded two thirds of the way along each side and once the return rollers are in place, there is not a great deal of room.
Once lower hull is completed assembly then moves on to the upper hull. As there is no internal detail in this kit, the various hatches are just inscribed detail with some minor pieces to add to them, they are moulded in the closed down position.
External detail consists of spare track links, shovels, exhaust pipes and headlight, driver’s vision hatch and radio antenna base.
The assembly sequence then moves on to the main turret, with its 76.2mm gun a commander’s cupola and turret with a 7.62 mm MG and the PE frets to glue onto the turret sides and rear.
The second (lower) turret then completes the model. These turrets have a hatch that can be posed in the open position, however again, there is no internal detail.
Finally the model can be painted, Trumpeter included a colour chart showing one tank in an overall ‘Russian Green’ scheme, with colour paint notes for Mr. Hobby, Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colours. I usually paint my Soviet WW2 tanks with Tamiya XF-58 (Olive Green) adding Tamiya XF-4 (Yellow Green) in a 60-30 mix, if you add more XF-4 you can achieve a summer faded shade of the green. Tracks are XF-84 (Dark Iron) and any rubber parts are done in XF-85 (Rubber Black).
No decals are included in this kit with one clear part for the headlight lense.
This latest addition to Trumpeter’s WW2 Soviet tanks would build into an impressive multi turret tank and will add interest displayed next to the T-28, T-35 and SMK tanks. Although lacking in any internal detail, the quality of moulding and finish of this kit is quite high except for some mould seams and injector pins present on some parts and compares accurately to photos of the actual tank.
Zaloga. S and Sarson. P. (1996). KV-1 & 2 Heavy Tanks 1939-1945 Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-496-2.
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