This is the second outing for the Soviet T-35 from Hobby Boss
and the big surprise here is just how much of the model is different this time around. 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.
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 again, I believe. Inside the box you should find;
15 green sprues
3 clear sprues
1 clear part
3 photo etched frets
A length of wire
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An advertising flyer
A catalogue for Easy Model!
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 show 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. This aspect is the same in both releases of the T-35 thus far.
The T-35 model is a little unusual in that the upper and lower hull are glued together prior to anything being added to it. There is no drilling on this verion of the T-35, but 2 small locating holes do need to be filled. The worst part about the last model was the removal of a raised armoured piece in front of the drivers position, this time it thankfully does not need surgery. 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 when no interior is present, I like this approach as it could really save the modeller a lot of effort by helping to prevent warping.
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 and this time around they have supplied a clear cover as an option should you wish to use it. 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 or at least be considered before progressing. It is interesting that the track guards look to be identical to the previous version of the T-35, but these are a part of another sprue. 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 other changes I noticed here is a new exhaust more akin to the KV tank series except for being round rather than a flat trumpet shape. The rear fan cover, regardless of which option you opt for, can be opened on the model; due to this vehicles unreliability score perhaps a mechanic hitting it with a hammer? The side skirts have been altered with the two rear portions having been removed.
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 Hobby Boss
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 round turrets from the earlier T-35 have been replaced with round conical turrets. The hatches can be displayed open or closed as long as you are careful with the glue. The machine guns are supplied with separate magazines and as such have a reasonable to good level of detail; you will need to consider drilling the muzzle to improve detail though. If installed carefully the machine guns can be moved around in the housing after assembly.
The secondary turrets are also now conical in shape with the 37mm guns replaced by 45mm guns. The 45mm guns have been slide moulded and the muzzles are open to a good depth. The barrels having been moulded as a single piece is a good thing with just some light moulding seams to deal with. The machine guns are again well detailed except for the need to drill the muzzle again. The ability to elevate and depress the barrels is built in should that be desired. The hatches have again been provided separately and can be shown open or closed if glue is applied carefully.
The main turret is mounted on a raised pedestal which is identical to the previous release; detail in this area is quite good having nicely replicated rivet detail. The main turret is now also conical in shape with separate hatches. The commanders hatch can be displayed open or closed, the loaders hatch needs you to decide if you want it open or closed as it is cemented in place. The radio mast mounted around the turret has been very well done and makes for an interesting feature. The 76.2mm main gun has again been slide moulded with good detail present and is again able to be depressed or elevated. The two lights mounted above the main gun are pleasing; I should add that a photo etched disc has been provided for insertion in each of the lights, something I missed on the earlier release. the machine gun has the same attributes as the others covered so far, I really like the mount where the MG attaches to the turret as it is one of those pleasing shapes. The roof mounted MG has good detail and a nice photo etch sighting system.
There is only one finishing option with this model and it's green. the decals consist of 6 white triangles to be used on the turrets of the T-35, this reminds me of why the Americans did away with the white star as an aiming point for the enemy. In fairness to HobbyBoss
most of the T-35's went to just one unit and so you cannot really expect lots of finishing options.
This is a T-35 that is easily identified as different from the previous release, if for no other reason than the differently shaped turrets. It should be mentioned that the 61 T-35 tanks built were all slightly different and as such there is no such thing as an accurate model, so when building one of this check your reference very carefully. HobbyBoss
has done another very good job on this tank and it is my opinion that the differences are such that it is worth having both versions offered so far.
Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank Workable Track links
Soviet T-35 Heavy Tank (Early)