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Zvezda 1/35 scale T-70B Soviet light tank plastic model kit review

Powered by good molding and engineering, this model tank is a smooth build
Kit:3631 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$46.99
Zvezda (Sample courtesy of mfr.)
Good parts fit
No interior other than the gun breeches
Injection-molded plastic (gray, clear); 208 parts; decals
Developed in 1942, the T-70 light tank carried a 45mm cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun. Powered by a pair of automotive engines, the tank was relatively quiet, not much louder than a truck.

Zvezda’s T-70B comprises four trees of gray plastic parts, including link-and-length tracks and clear parts for headlights and periscopes. Painting diagrams show four options, but the decals include a matrix of numbers to create any turret number. The six-page instruction sheet includes 17 steps with build options called out. I built Marking Version 4, a tank from the northern front of the Kursk bulge in July 1943, so I watched for small differences.

Assembly starts with the turret, including the cannon and machine gun. The commander’s hatch can be posed open with optional hinges, but I left it closed because there is no interior detail other than the breeches of the guns. Everything fit well and required little cleanup. I left the rolled tarp off the turret rear for painting.

The hull fit together as well as the turret thanks to the sharp moldings; other than sanding off the attachment points, the parts needed little cleanup. Step 10 is a bit vague about the angle of the idler arms (Part D19), so I checked it against steps 12 and 13, using a magnifier to ensure the positioning.

Even though I followed the instructions to the letter, the link-and-length tracks proved the most challenging part of the build. I glued on all the wheels except for the idlers, which were pressed into place, and used them as a jig to assemble the tracks taking care not to glue them to the wheels. Then I took the tracks off like a necklace and painted them. After painting the tank, I attached the track runs at the same time I glued on the idlers. This process worked well.

The driver’s hatch on the glacis can be posed open with handles and hinge details, but I left it closed because there is nothing to see inside. The only part that broke was the towing cable (Part B31).

I painted the T-70 with out-of-production Testors Model Master Forest Green and used Burnt Metal for the tracks. The decals performed beautifully, with no silvering, over a layer of clear gloss.

Zvezda’s light tank was an easy build, thanks to good molding and engineering, and it makes a nice addition to my Russian armor. Anyone who’s built a couple of kits should have few problems with this one — just take your time with the tracks!
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