The Winter War proved that the T-26 was obsolete and its design was totally outclassed. Finnish anti-tank guns easily penetrated T-26’s thin anti-bullet armour, and its cross-country ability in the rough terrain, covered with deep snow, was mediocre because of low-powered engine. It was decided to withdraw the outdated T-26 from production in 1940 and replace it with a completely new model, the T-50 light tank. The 1/35 scale Hobby Boss kit is well moulded with crisp detail and despite its shortcomings during the Winter War, makes an interesting addition to any armour collection.
The old twin-turreted T-26 tanks were also used during the Winter War, mainly in OTBs of rifle divisions. These tanks did not participate in active combat operations but were suitable for protecting communication lines and used in signal service. Nevertheless, some T-26 mod. 1931 tanks were used in combat on the Karelian Isthmus. For instance, the 377th OTB of the 97th Rifle Division arrived at the front on 28 January 1940 with 31 T-26s (including 11 twin-turreted) and 6 KhT-26 flame-throwing tanks.
The track-links on this kit are proving a challenge as each link is a separate part which makes the process time consuming. I am in the process of constructing the links and I anticipate that it will take at least two days to complete.
Below are some pictures of the project so far.
Once the tracks have been fitted, the kit will be sealed with Johnson’s Future floor polish before the decals are applied. The T-26 will be finished with Bison Decals 35208, option A; T-26A – m/1931 twin turret decals. Finnish swastikas are provided for both sides of the turrets and the rear of both turrets. Bison decals provides no less than 10 decal options, which at £4.99 represents very good value for money.
Once the track linkages have been completed and the decals applied the result should be very satisfactory.
This kit comes highly recommended.