The Soviet T-35 is the big brother of the T-28 Medium Tank and designed on the same principles as the British Independent multi turreted tank. Designed between the two World Wars, the T-35 heavy tank had a short production run of only 61 units. The T-35 weighed in at 45 tonnes and proved to be unreliable in use. The T-35’s still in service at the time Germany invaded Russia were so unreliable that it is believed most of the vehicles were destroyed by their crews when they broke down, usually due to transmission failures. It is good to see HobbyBoss
release the T-35 and the T-28 at the same time, as they make impressive looking models and in the case of the T-35 a very large model.
The model is packaged in the usual HobbyBoss
way, a partitioned cardboard tray and cardboard lid and with an image of the T-35 taking part in a May Day parade, I believe, the same way they have depicted their T-28 model. Inside the box you should find;
13 green sprues
2 brown sprues
2 smaller turrets
3 clear sprues
A length of copper multi-core cable
3 photo etched frets
1 decal sheet
A painting and decal placement sheet
An instruction booklet
A quick look at 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.
The suspension on the T-35 is a fairly complex system and HobbyBoss
has done a reasonable job of replicating it. The sprung portion of the suspension could have been better replicated via the use of springs on stems and so made workable. That said most of the suspension parts are hidden from view on the finished model behind the armour skirt. HobbyBoss
has done a good job of the detail on the side wall of the tank, again despite most of this detail being hidden behind the skirt.
The T-35 model shares an unusual thing with the HobbyBoss
T-28 release, the upper and lower hull are glued together prior to anything being added to it. There is some drilling, filling and cutting required to the hull and I take this as evidence of future releases of the T-35, especially as this release is marked as ‘early’. One concern I have is that the upper is quite a floppy moulding and due to its length some warping could occur to this part of the model. I test fitted the upper and lower hull together and was pleased with the result, but I don’t know if this would be the same case after being in your stash for a number of years. HobbyBoss
has placed braces inside the lower hull moulding to prevent distortion to the moulding, this is something I am seeing more and more often and when no interior is present I like this approach.
Upper Hull Detail
The engine hatch and crew access hatch are all supplied separately and so it is up to the modeller to decide how they want these hatches to be displayed. If you do decide to depict the hatches in an open position you will need to fill the openings with a figure or add some scratch built interior detail as none is supplied with the model. HobbyBoss
has supplied a quite nice cooling fan for the armoured radiator housing, but unless you leave the armoured radiator off of the model this detail will not be seen. One concern I have with the construction steps of this area is that the track guards are fitted prior to the tracks; having built a number of the Trumpeter KV tanks, I cannot help but think that the tracks should be added prior to the track guards. On the plus side the intakes have photo etched detail parts used and this is to mind is a logical use for photo etch.
The tracks supplied with the model are link and length. The detail on the tracks is quite good in my opinion, but being link and length I believe you can understand my concerns about adding the track guards before the tracks themselves. For those that are interested HobbyBoss
has released a set of workable tracks for this model; a link to a review of the tracks can be found at the end of this review.
Machine Gun Turrets
The machine gun turrets supplied with this model are the same as those provided with the T-28 tank model, the checks I have done indicates this to be correct. The DT machine guns are well detailed and even include separate ammunition drums; however the machine guns have not been slide moulded and so the barrels will need to be drilled to improve the look of the finished item. HobbyBoss
has moulded the access hatch doors separately and so can be left open, but again due to a lack of detail you will need to fill the open hatch with a figure or do some scratch work, at the very least some drum magazines for the DT machine guns.
The secondary turrets are supplied with the earlier 45mm guns I believe, rather than the 37mm fitted at the start of production; I admit I could be wrong as finding reference for this vehicle is limited and online sites often disagree. HobbyBoss
has again provided the access hatches separately and so it is up to the modeller how you wish to display them.
The main turret on the T-35 is very similar to the T-28 main turret and they even share the same gun. The 76.2mm main gun is nicely detailed externally and has been supplied as a single moulding, no breach detail has been supplied, which is a shame. The frame around the turret has been supplied as a single moulding which will make applying it to the model easier than if it was made of several parts. The access hatch has again been supplied as a separate moulding, but the interior detail is limited to the back end of the DT machine gun.
has supplied two finishing options, but has failed to provide any details on what these vehicles represent. The decals are limited to a couple of red stars and either red stripes or yellow and white stripes.
This is a very large model when complete and this large size reinforces its connection to the Independent tank. Detail is good overall, with the number of turrets being particularly eye catching for anyone viewing the model. The suspension has been well thought out with a good level of detail; it is almost a shame to cover up this detail up with the side skirts.
Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank Workable Track links
Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank 1938/1939