Model: T-27 Publisher: Modelik 9/02 Scale: 1:25 Format: A4 booklet Designer: Junusz Oles The T-27 was a Russian version of the Carden-Lloyd Mk VI tankette. It's difficult after 70 odd years to understand the logic of the tiny armored vehicles produced in the 1920s and 30s - my attempt may draw more disagreement than elightenment but I think it's worth an attempt. At the end of WW1 it was realised that tanks could force a breakthrough in static (trench) warfare. The Australian General Monash showed how a combined arms (using armour) approach could break out of static trench warfare. The problem with this concept was that infantry suffered high casualities when trying to follow up from the initial armour breakthrough. Infantry could not move at the same speed as armoured vehicles and often the tank spearheads could become isolated.The tankette was, in concept, a vehicle to give infantry a protected vehicle to follow up a breakthrough at the same speed as armour and reduce casualities. A similar solution to this problem can be seen since WW2 in the plethora of armoured infantry vehicles such as the M113 and the Russian BMP vehicles. The tankettes of the 1930s were generally too small and lightly armoured and armed to be of much use in WW2. Except for the Italian L3s most were used as supply vehicles and artillery tractors. There were something like 3300 T-27s produced in 1930-33 in two versions - with a machine gun and a 37mm cannon as primary armament. This model is based (if I read the text correctly) on the T-27 preserved at Kubinka and represents the machine gun armed version. Two pages of A4 cardstock, 1 page of vehicle history and instructions(in Polish) and 1 page of construction diagrams make this one of the smallest model kits I've seen. There is no modelled interior or attempt at weathering, however, the print quality is excellent with fine lines and good colour registration. The cover page says that it is a "new edition" - this appears to be a correction for 4 small missing parts - these are supplied as an small insert with the parts as simple templates and a instruction to use the spare green rectangle to create your own missing parts - I guess it saves a reprint. The model frame is based on the usual 1mm frame - quite conventional but very small. The beam style suspension apears to be accurately modelled in comparison to the available drawings. The tracks are modelled as two bands - it would probably be beyond most modellers to have individual links because the tracks are so small. I think I'd cut out the drive slots in the centre of the track - the instructions suggest not doing this. The original tankette was constructed with flat sheets rivetted onto a frame as was typical of AFVs of this vintage. Because of the small size of the vehicle the rivet lines are very prominent. This is one model that cries out for modelling the rivets either by embossing the parts or applying rivets extrernally (see threads in the armoured model forums). I must confess an interest in this type of AFV - although the tankette concept ultimately proved to be flawed there were a number of interesting designs produced in the 1930s. The idea of an army in which no-one walked was not achieved until the last few decades - the tankette was the first step towards this ideal. For those who like AFV models of interesting subjects and don't require enormous time investment then the T-27 may be right for you. Instructions: B+ (good construction diagrams but limited in scope) Paper quality: A Level of detail: B+ Printing quality: A (fine lines and accurate colour registration) Artwork: B (weathering would be nice) Value for money: B Skill level: There are a number of small parts but a beginner could probably build this without difficulty.