One of the most succesful early tank designs, the Soviet T-26 was developed from the British Vickers 6 Tonne tank, with more than 50 variants produced. This adaptability of the basic design makes it a natural addition to any scale model manufacturers catalog, and while Hobby Boss has stepped up to produce a beautiful little kit in several versions in 1:35th scale, the wide variety of users (Taiwan, Germany, The Soviet Union, Finland, Spain, and even Afghanistan, have all operated T-26’s in some form) with their local revisions and modifications of the real tank means that it is unlikely that some of the service versions will ever be produced in injection molded plastic, leaving some gaps in the T-26 lineup, but providing an excellent starting point for conversions.
Soviet intervention in the Spanish Civil War took many forms, one of those being the supplying of weapons and ammunition to the Communists involved in the fighting. While much attention has been paid to the German use of the Spanish Civil War as a testing ground for new weapons and tactics, Soviet involvement seems to have escaped widespread discussion in modern forums. The Soviets were quick to pour weapons and advisers into the conflict in an attempt to gain an foothold in Western Europe. The T-26 model 1937, with its DT anti-aircraft machine gun mount on the turret, would find its way into limited fighting in Spain, where its 45 mm main gun made it a formidable foe against the German supplied Panzer1’s machine guns. Ultimately almost 300 T-26’s fought in the Spanish Civil War, with some being captured by the Fascists and used against their original owners. The variety of possible markings, paint schemes, terrain and weather conditions in which these little tanks served make them an attractive subject matter for the scale modeler. In 2013 Hobby released product number 82496 – Soviet T-26 Light Infantry Tank Model 1935. The kit comes with markings for Spanish Civil War tanks on both the Fascist and republican sides. While there has been discussion about the accuracy of some of the finer points of the kit in some forums, it can be built right out of the box into a beautiful replica and provides a perfect canvas for some very attractive finishes. The sharp corners and flat surfaces also provide a great opportunity to try one’s hand at color modulation.
MacOne models of Spain has leveraged the finishing opportunities present in the stock kit by offering an exciting conversion kit that opens up the possibilities even further.
MAC35004 – T-26 Model 1937 Detail Kit (Kit detallado T26 Mod 1937 (HOBBY BOSS))
If you search the web for images of the T-26 in the Spanish Civil War (TIP: try searching for “GCE” when looking for images from the Spanish Civil War – “Guerra Civil de España”) you will see some fairly colorful tanks with multi-color camouflage and bright white, black, red, and yellow splashes of color. Many of these tanks feature the turret mounted DT machine gun and modified turret hatch.
The kit contains 58 pieces in cast resin and photo-etched brass, along with 2 instruction sheets.
The turret hatch and inside closure
Bulged rear machine gun hatch
DT machine gun and magazine
Photo-etched DT machine gun mount
Photo-etched general T-26 details
Updated idler wheels
The resin parts are well cast, with some flash that was easy to clean up with a sharp #11 blade and a sanding stick. Clear instructions are provided for the resin and photo-etched parts.
All of this is provided at the very reasonable price of about $30 US (exchange rate as of 14-06-2014).
The kit can be ordered directly from MacOne models.
I hope to get this into the build lineup soon…
Thanks for looking. Now go build something!