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AER 1/35 IT-28 Bridgelayer Tank Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2007 Manufacturer AER
Subject IT-28 Bridgelayer Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35081 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Interesting subject Cons Numerous fit problems and availability of tech data about obscure subject
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $36.95

First Look

T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit
T-28 Kit

The IT-28, engineering tank-bridgelayer, was designed in 1940 at the Kirov Factory in Leningrad. It’s main role was escorting tank columns during marches and battle and to support regular tanks crossing natural and artificial obstacles.

The IT-28 was developed on the base of the medium T-28 tank. The shape of the hull front pan was changed. Two DT (7.62mm) machine guns, in spherical units, were housed in the hull front. These formed all the weapons on the vehicle. The eight-faced control housing was mounted instead of the artillery turret. For the bridging operations the IT-28 was equipped with a special engineering installation.

The bridge was of frame metal construction. Two tracks were covered with wood boards and the bridge was able to take a load of 50 tons, and span a 12.5 meter ditch. The tank’s crew was able to install the bridge within three minutes and to jack it up in five minutes with no help from outside. Because of it’s wide tracks, the bridge was used for big tanks: the heavy T-35, KV’s and medium T-28’s and T-34’s.

During June 1940, on the proving ground of the tank institute, the IT-28 prototype passed detailed trials, which demonstrated extreme reliability of the tank and the bridge. Soon, an order for serial building of the IT-28 was placed to the Kirov Factory. Several IT-28’s were used during the first weeks of WWII in the Soviet Union in the Carpathian mountains and in the L’vov region. One tank was captured and later used by the Germans.

Tech and Tactical specs of the IT-28 bridgelayer:

  • Weight with bridge/without bridge in tons: 29/25
  • Crew: 6
  • Weight of the bridge in tons: 4
  • Dimensions of the bridge, mm:
    • Length 13,300
    • Width: 3,500
  • Dimensions of the tank with bridge/without bridge, mm:
    • Length: 13,300/7,440
    • Width: 3,500/2,860
    • Height: 2,860/2,800
  • Ground clearance, mm: 500
  • Armor, mm:
    • Hull front and rear: 30
    • Hull sides: 20
    • Hull top and bottom: 10
    • Control housing: 30 to 50
  • Speed, km/h / range, km:
    • on road: 30/150
    • off road: 14/120
  • Engine: 4-stroke, V-12 cylinder, water cooled, gasoline aircraft engine M-17L, developing 450 h.p
  • Armament: two x DT (7.62mm) machine-guns with 4,473 rounds

Inside the box are 25 trees of parts. 21 of the trees are molded in dark green and the remaining four are in light gray. Parts are packaged into four cello bags.

The first bag contains 10 bridge girder units, called out as letter S. These girders are a full 15” long, so the model will be a bit of a shelf-eater when done.

The second cello bag contains trees letters A, B, C , D & E.

Letter A tree holds the perforated bridge elevating arms and parts (18 parts).

Letter B tree holds: tools, the command box parts, the two DT machine-guns and their housings and some hatches (26 parts).

Letter C tree holds the planks for the bridge bed (54 parts).

Letter D tree holds support bars for the bridge (47 parts).

Letter E tree holds: a side armor plate, mufflers, grab handles etc. five of the parts are marked as excess or not needed to complete the kit. (25 parts).

The third cello bag contains trees H, G & K.

Letter H tree holds: a tow cable, hull side, various panels, transmission covers and storage bin parts. These last two items are marked on the parts tree drawing as being excess and not needed to complete the kit. (22 parts).

Letter G tree holds: side shield parts, tow rings and a variety of panels. six of these panels are marked as excess. (20 parts).

Letter K tree holds: the second hull side, ventilator doors, another tow cable, rear deck and it’s access door etc. (17 parts).

The fourth, and final cello bag contains the top and bottom of the hull and trees letter L & P.

There are two identical letter L trees. They hold the drive sprockets, running gear, idler wheels etc. (48 parts per tree).

There are four identical letter P trees. They hold the individual tread links. (72 links per tree).

The stapled instruction booklet is 8” x 12 1/4th” format and eight pages long.

Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the history of the IT-28 in four languages, including English.

Page two and three are the parts tree illustrations. These illustrations are minus the parts numbers. However, the part numbers are molded on the parts trees. At the bottom of both pages are explanations of international assembly symbols. Some parts are shaded out in blue as being excess to the kit. This is because these parts are common to ICM’s IT-28 bridgelayer kit and their T-28 turreted version kit and only used on the turreted one.

Pages four through six give a total of eight assembly steps. Colors of certain components are called out in each step.

Page seven has illustrations of four painting and marking options:

  1. The IT-28 during it’s trials in June, 1940
  2. An IT-28 of the Engineering Detachment of the 8th Mechanized Corps, Western Ukraine, summer 1941
  3. A captured IT-28 in service with the German Wehrmacht, Ukraine, autumn 1941

Page eight begins with some cautions (again in four languages). This is followed by a paint color listing of colors suggested for use to complete the kit. Testors and Humbrol paints are mentioned. The bottom of the page has instructions for applying the decals.

The small decal sheet completes the kit’s contents.

Parts in the kit look well detailed. No crew figures are provided.

I recommend this kit to Soviet armor enthusiasts. It sure is a welcome break from all the Tigers and Panthers flooding the market and a real eye-catcher when built up…for sure.

I would suggest this kit to modelers that have a few other armor kits under their belts already. It will not be a weekend project, with it’s 624 parts and complexity. Also, the parts in my kit were virtually dripping with mold release oil, so a good wash with detergent and warm water is in order if you want paint to stick later.