ARM: Review - Zvezda 1/35 Soviet Tank Crew

Kit Review: Zvezda 1/35 scale Kit No. 3504; Soviet Tank Crew; 31 parts
in tan styrene; retail price about US$10.50
Advantages: early war Soviet figures work well for tanks such as BT
types, T-28/T-35 or early production T-34 and KV-1
Disadvantages: nothing major noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommedation: for all early war Soviet =93tankisti=94 fans
Zvezda has now been around for quite some time and has outlasted most
of the other Russian model companies (or at least been able to keep
its own molds). They now produce more than 100 1/35 scale kits - both
their own and from molds provided via arrangements with Italeri - and
have matured into an excellent company.
This set of figures is one of their older ones which was released
shortly after they signed their cooperation agreements with Italeri
and shows the influence of Western model engineering. Four figures are
offered on one single sprue and are based on standard figure
conventions =96 most consist of six basic parts (head, torso, arms and
legs) with the helmets separate.
The kit offers four prewar/early war figures =96 a tank commander with
signal flags, a loader, a driver-mechanic and a senior officer giving
them their mission. The box art shows them arranged around a phantom
T-34 Model 1941, but from what I recall this set was originally
released to accompany their BT-5RT Model 1934 kit.
All four figures have a standard padded (three bar) Soviet tanker=92s
helmet consisting of a crown and two side pad pieces. The crown and
the =93hinge=94 section of the pads are provided as one part and the rest
of the ear pads are molded onto the head. Only the commander figure
has his unstrapped and spread out (apparently better to hear the word
from the =93politruk=94 on the ground). All crew members are wearing
coveralls and are shown in the painting directions (e.g. the box art)
as dark blue or dark grey.
The senior officer is shown with a leather coat and map case, and
comes as one piece with a separate front to the jacket. He is given a
rank bar indicating a major and the commander has the two square pips
of a lieutenant (=93battalion commander=94 and =93platoon commander=94 to t=
he
Soviets but they quickly went back to the old names once the war
began).
The set assembles pretty well and not a great deal of putty is needed
to get a smooth fit to the arms and legs. While they can be made to
fit reasonably well into the BT-5 kit fitting them into an ICM (now
Alanger) T-28 can be a bit of a chore as I found out when I did that
about two years ago.
Overall while a bit dated it is a good and useful set for populating
early war tanks.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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