- Published on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 14:23 Robin Jenkins
1/35 BT-7 Photo-Etch for the Tamiya kit
Catalogue number 36141
Available from Eduard or other good online retailers for around $26.95
The BT series of Soviet cavalry tanks were produced between 1932 and 1941. Initially designed as "convertible" tanks with the famous Christie suspension, this meant they could have their tracks removed and could run on roads on their wheels at much higher speeds (although this practice was abandoned in use after a while because of the scarcity of good enough roads to run on!). They sacrificed armour to give high speed and be relatively well armed for the time. Although they fought in a number of wars up to and including WW2 (the Spanish Civil War, the Polish campaign and the Winter War in Finland), their greatest legacy was the lessons learned from them, both in construction and usage, that then went into the development of the mass produced T-34 series of medium tanks, Russia's major tank of WW2.
The last major model of the BT series was the BT-7 (below), which differed mainly in the fact it had a welded hull rather than the use of rivets in its construction. There were standard tank, command vehicle, flamethrower and artillery support versions.
Last year Tamiya released a highly acclaimed 1/35 kit of an early version of the BT-7, the model 1935 (above). This had the new welded hull but kept the riveted turret from its predecessor, the BT-5.
Now Eduard have released an etched set to complement this Tamiya kit (below).
This is major release, with 2 large frets and a small film sheet of instruments. Everywhere seems to be catered for on the kit; from the inside of the driver's compartment and the turret to the hatches, lights, fuel caps, tools, stowage, lockers and hull rear plate, there are parts to enhance the already good kit. I particularly was impressed by the stowage lockers and the fuel caps, both are beautifully produced items. Thankfully, the number of pieces to be "rolled" is kept to a minimum, which to me is always the sign of a good etched fret.
Finally, I test fitted a few pieces to a Tamiya kit and, I'm pleased to say, the sizing and fit was extremely good.
So what do we think?
I would have to say that, as a complete etched set, this is Eduard's best armour release for quite some time.
Our thanks to Eduard for the review sample. To purchase and other Eduard products, click THIS link.