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Zvezda T-28

Review of the 1/35 scale armor kit with plastic mesh for engine screens
First produced in 1932, more than 500 T-28s were built between 1932 and 1941 and they were used in the 1939 Winter War as well as the Soviet invasion of Poland. More than 400 were still in service when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, but the obsolete design, thin armor, and poor firepower hampered their performance and most were destroyed in the first two months of the war.

Molded in dark green plastic, Zvezda’s T-28, features delicate, nicely rendered detail.

The armor plate over the suspension can be left off if desired. All of the turret hatches are molded separately so they can be posed open or closed, although there is no interior detail except the machine guns and main gun breach. The tracks are injection-molded link-and-length with slight sag molded into the upper run. Clear lenses are provided for the headlights.

Decals are provided for four different T-28s: two in Soviet green, one in winter white wash, and one in three-color camouflage. A small painting and markings sheet is printed in color, but, unfortunately, it only provides a right side and front view of the three-color vehicle.

If you plan to build your T-28 with the suspension armor in place you can skip steps 2 and 3. I was impressed with the overall fit of all of the plates that make up the suspension covers. I only needed to add just a bit of filler on the seams of the front and rear plates.

The fit of all of the upper hull parts was also very good. I checked to make sure I could still add the road wheels after the suspension armor was in place so I could add the running gear after I painted the hull. I also left the fenders off until final assembly.

Templates help cut the supplied plastic mesh to fit the engine intake screens.

The instructions would have you build the two machine gun turrets in place to accommodate the small c-clip piece used to hold them in place. I built my turrets off the model, so I could clean up the rear seam and then added the clip through the hatch.

The multipiece main turret built easily without filler and just a little light sanding of the seams. Deviating from the instructions again, I added the rear machine gun port (E26) through the bottom after the turret was assembled. The one-piece tubular antenna fit well, but if you plan to use the red and white stripe markings, leave it off until you’ve added the decals.

The decals were added over a coat of clear gloss and they responded well to  Microscale decal solutions.

Next, I added the running gear and tracks. The tracks fit very well. The drive sprocket is keyed to its mount so it’s best to start there. With the tracks in place the fenders were added as well as the tools and stowage.

The rolled tarp is molded poorly so I left it off my kit, but I especially liked the injection-molded tow cables.

I spent about 21 hours building my T-28, about average for a basic kit build. The finished model matched perfectly to the dimensions in my ancient copy of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles by Ian Hogg and John Weeks.

While not for the beginner, any modeler with some experience should be able to handle this kit.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the November 2019 issue.


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