Modelcard T-60

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by charliec, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Model: Modelcard Nr. 81 T-60 Light Tank
    Publisher: Modelcard
    Availability: Re-released by Modelik in late 2004
    Scale: 1:25
    Format: A4 booklet
    Designer: Pawel Jaszczak

    Model History: This model was originally released in 1996 and has been re-released in late 2004. The review copy was a 1996 release I picked up on eBay.

    The T-60 was a lineal descendent of the T-40 tank. It was designed to be built cheaply and quickly in automotive plants. It had the third highest Soviet tank production numbers in WW2 (behind the T-34 and T-70). The T-60 was reasonably successful as a reconnaisance/light infantry support tank but was incapable of surviving against heavier Wehrmacht tanks. Russian texts compare the T-60 to the Pz Kpfw II and Lynx and generally note the T-60 was more manouverable than the Wehrmacht tanks.

    The A4 booklet contains:
    1 page of vehicle history and instructions (in Polish)
    2 1/2 pages of construction diagrams including a 3-view. The diagrams are rather simplistic so it looks as though the main challenge with this kit will be making sense out of the diagrams.
    1 page of 80 gsm frames.
    4 pages of parts on cardstock.

    This kit is fairly typical of AFV kits of the period - the design is hand-drawn and quite plain. Print quality is pretty awful - at least as bad as the Modelcard KV-2 (reviewed in this forum). About the only improvement over the KV-2 model is that the part colour is uniform between pages - hardly surprising since it looks as if the parts pages have been printed on a single A2 page then folded to 4 A4 pages. The overall monochrome green colour isn't even or dense but doesn't have blemishes. There is no weathering or unit identification of the model.

    The frame is a typical box construction. It looks as if the frame might actually match the external skin (unlike other Modelcard kits) The turret frame is a considerable structure - it contains 10 parts of 1mm card for a component which is about 60mm across and 20mm high.

    The box frame appears to more rigid and stable compared to the eggcrate frames on the Bug models. This model uses solid rolled cylinders of paper around wire cores to provide strength for the attachment points of the suspension components - it looks like a reasonable solution to the attachment point problem. The swing arms are quite credibly modelled - this is probably the only Soviet light tank model I've seen with reasonable swing arms. However the designer then fails to offset the swing arms on the sides of the model. To me it defies explanation that something obvious in AFV models such as the offset in the roadwheels and swing arms could be missed by designers. This is not a subtle difference - in a 1/25 T-70 the offset is about 6.5mm. The modelled roadwheel design is very simplistic - and inaccurate. The tracks are a 2 band design - however the instructions suggest cutting out the drive slots and also 2 holes in the outer part of the track. I think this is effective design since it attempts to express the form of the original track without requiring something like a lace curtain to be constructed.

    The turret is a simple sloped octagonal structure - only the external parts of the 20mm cannon and machine gun are modelled although the elevation gear looks as if it will work well. The T-60 was unusual in that the armament could be elevated to quite high angles. I've seen it suggested that the T-60 was designed with an anti-aircraft secondary role although it rarely was used in this role.

    The rest of the hull is straightforwardly modelled and looks as if it will fit together easily.

    Overall the T-60 model is a fairly simple model and shouldn't present problems to a modeller with limited experience.

    Instructions: C+ (limited diagrams)
    Paper quality: B
    Level of detail: C (no interior - limited external detail)
    Printing quality: D
    Artwork: C (no weathering)
    Value for money: I've seen this kit for about 6 Euros - probably overpriced.
    Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate

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