by: Darren Baker [ ]
Hobby Boss has released a number of T-35 models with various subtle differences, and who can blame them for that. This offering being classed as a late production is I suspect the last in the line for at least a while, after all I cannot think where else they can go with it due to less than 100 tanks being produced. This particular offering is a little confusing for me as it has a number of features I know of for the T-35, but I cannot find any evidence to support one in this configuration.
The following text is the introduction supplied by Hobby Boss;
The T-35 was a Soviet multi-turreted heavy tank of the interwar period and early Second World War that saw limited production and service with the Red Army. It was the only five-turreted heavy tank in the world to reach production but proved to be slow and mechanically unreliable. Most of the T-35 tanks still operational at the time of Operation Barbarossa were lost due to mechanical failure rather than enemy action. Outwardly it was large but internally the spaces were cramped with the fighting compartments separated from each other. Some of the turrets obscured the entrance hatches.
Hobby Boss are one of a few companies that goes to some lengths to make sure their product reaches you in the same condition it left the factory. Supplied in a substantial cardboard tray and separate cardboard lid along with sheet foam packing to protect delicate parts, I consider Hobby Boss highly for their approach. Inside the box you will find the contents sealed inside several plastic bags that break down as follows;
14 green sprues
2 clear lenses
3 photo etched frets
Length of copper twist wire
A colour painting guide
An inspection of the contents of these box will not surprise most who have purchased one of the previous T-35 offerings from Hobby Boss, for those that have not read on.
The mouldings would seem to suggest that the moulds for the T-35 are holding up very well, there is nothing of note as regards moulding defects. As you would expect of injection moulded plastic kits there are ejector pin marks and seam lines to deal with, but these are few and far between.
The suspension for this model is a good place to start. Hobby Boss has done a very good job of replicating the suspension units of this tank. The springs are solid but once everything is together they are all but hidden from view. The wheels are fairly featureless, but from what reference I have they do appear to be accurate. The tracks in this offering are link and length offerings, as the suspension on this model is set I would suggest that this track type is the best compromise as regards detail and ease of use; most of the time I prefer individual track links, but with a model of this size I think it would be soul destroying to tackle that many individual links. A word of advice attach the tracks to the model before adding the upper track guards, I promise your sanity will thank you.
The lower hull in this model has been very well tackled by Hobby Boss; its long length and high sides make it prone to distortions, but Hobby Boss has prevented this issue occurring by moulding five vertical ribs spaced evenly down the length of the hull on each side. I also know that once you secure the upper hull to it you get a very stable and strong hull to build too. The detail on the upper hull and general look reminds me of the KV tanks, especially at the front just longer. One of the things I like is that Hobby Boss has provided clear lenses for the front lights. The housings for the lights have the ability to tip forward; this will protect the lenses and allow for running without lights. The rear engine deck intakes are also high points of this model I feel.
The turrets are what get the attention on models of this type due to the number of them present. The four smaller turrets are all conical in shape and that is a signifier of late production vehicles, it apparently provided thicker armour. The two smallest turrets are equipped with machine guns only, all of the machine guns provided with this model are detailed from stock to muzzle and are supplied with separate drum magazines. The barrels of the secondary armament have been slide moulded something of which I like to see as only turned barrels are better. The barrel does appear visually to be a good match for the real thing. The main gun looks good from the outside, but like the secondary armament has nothing on the inside, that is a pity as all of the hatches can be displayed open but careful figure choice will be needed to hide the empty interior.
This offering from Hobby Boss is a nice kit and it has a lot of nice details, but I cannot help thinking that if you have built any of the other offerings would you want another? The details are different from the first offering in terms of turret shape and armament, I even liked the aerial assembly around the turret as it added eye catching detail. This offering however I cannot find any photographic evidence for, I have found variations but no match. There is also something that is common to Hobby Boss that I do not like and that is the copper wire provided for the tow cable, it is nasty and much better options are available.