by: Darren Baker [ ]
Tanks and armoured vehicles that were produced at the end of World War One through to the start of World War Two are getting a lot of attention at the moment. With a number of companies providing kits of vehicles that were the forerunners of the Tiger and T34 tanks that are so well known. HobbyBoss has now released a model into his realm covering the Soviet T-28, a tank based on the British Independent tank with its multiple turrets. The T-28 did see combat against the Finnish, and during World War Two, but it was rarely seen after the end of 1941. This model being titled as an early version would indicate a tank prior to the armour being upgraded and so before the start of World War Two.
The model is packaged in the usual HobbyBoss way, a partitioned cardboard tray and cardboard lid with an image of the T-28 taking part in a May Day parade, I believe. Inside the box you should find;
13 tan sprues
4 MG turrets
A main turret
4 brown sprues
2 clear sprues
2 photo etched frets
A length of multi-strand copper cable
1 decal sheet
An instruction booklet
A glossy painting and decal placement guide
A promotional flyer
A quick note on the packaging tells me that this product should handle all but the roughest treatment the postal services can throw at it, I say that because the packaging is very robust and the various parts are for the most part in individually sealed bags. The contents also fill the box very well and so restricting movement of the sprues and parts within the box. A look over the mouldings shows no sign of moulding issues such as flash and ejector pin marks that will seen on the finished model. There are some flow/cooling lines present, but they do not appear to have caused any issues.
The suspension and wheel units of this vehicle have been quite well replicated and should result in a pleasing finish. The suspension unfortunately is not position able or moveable and so you are stuck with displaying the model on a flat surface. With that said when all of the parts are in place it should look very pleasing. The number of wheels present will cause some to swear as there are 24 road wheels, 8 return rollers, an idler wheel and the drive wheel down each side of the vehicle. There are a large number of fine pins in the centre of the idler wheel and I have noticed that some of these are out of alignment, but none are broken. The full assembly of this area is I feel the most involved area of the model with a surprisingly large number of parts coming together. The detail here will have the ability to be very interesting and weathering could make it the most interesting for a viewer of the finished model.
The tracks supplied with the model are individual track links, and there are a lot of them. Detail on them looks good and the model will look better for their use. It should also be pointed out that the tracks are sided, but HobbyBoss has not supplied a link count for the tracks that I could see.
The upper and lower hull is joined together before anything is attached to them. A test fit of the two parts resulted in a very good fit with a minimum of pressure being needed to close it up fully. The various panels that make up the hull look to be well replicated and matches as far as I can see the real vehicle. The moulded detail present is also nicely replicated and will add some interest to the finished model.
Areas such as the engine hatch have been moulded separately and so for the more adventurous modeller has the option of adding engine detail without the need for surgery. The rear fan for the armoured radiator housing is also present despite the fact that this detail would normally be hidden. The mesh for the air intakes have been replicated with photo etched parts, which is good to see. All told the detail present is in my opinion very good. The only thing I am not keen on is the copper cable supplied for the hawsers as it is not very malleable.
The three turrets on this tank have good external detail, but very little internal detail. The internal detail is limited to the Machine guns, which are fully replicated to the point of the drum magazines being supplied separately, unfortunately the machine guns have not been slide moulded and so you will need to drill out the muzzle to improve the finished look. The hatches are all separate and so the option of showing them open or closed is a decision for the modeller, however as I said earlier there is no provided internal detail. There are two options to choose from as regards the machine gun turrets, the difference between the two I cannot see. Moving onto the main gun; this s supplied as a single moulding which is the next best thing to a turned metal barrel. Externally the detail matches the reference I was able to find online, but again HobbyBoss has opted not to provide any breach detail. The frame around the main turret has been supplied as a single moulding, a decision I am glad that HobbyBoss has taken as this could be a pain as a multi-part offering. The star embossed on the roof of the main turret is well replicated, but I am wondering if it is a little too proud of the surface as I have been unable to find reference which clearly shows this feature.
HobbyBoss has provided two finishing options; one is what I feel is a May Day parade vehicle with a red stripe around the turret, this red stripe is the only decal provided and I feel it would be better to mask and paint this detail. The second option is an all green tank with no markings present at all. I do feel that HobbyBoss could have done better in this area by providing details for a vehicle that took part in the Finnish War or perhaps even offering finishing details for one of the vehicles captured and operated by the Finns.
This is a very nice model of a tank built between the World Wars, and which should be of interest to many if for no other reason than the multiple turrets present. Detail overall is very good, with the suspension being particularly well replicated. The photo etch parts supplied have been well thought out, only supplying parts that will look better for it. The finishing options could have been better, but then again it is possible that HobbyBoss has other versions lined up for future release.