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T-44 Medium Tank

MiniArt 1/35 T-44 Medium Tank Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject T-44 Medium Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35193 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $48.95

First Look

T-44 Medium Tank Kit
T-44 Medium Tank Kit
T-44 Medium Tank Kit
T-44 Medium Tank Kit
T-44 Medium Tank Kit

During the Great Patriotic War, Soviet planners started development of a new medium tank to replace the T-34 in service. This new tank would feature better armor protection and introduce the 85mm gun with better performance than the 76mm gun arming the T-34. By the time the T-44 was being readied for trials, the T-34 had already been up-gunned with the 85mm cannon and despite some of the other improvements featured in the T-44, emphasis was put on sustaining the high rate of production of the T-34/85.

The T-44 continued through trials including testing of a 122mm main gun but problems plagued the prototypes. These were finally resolved and the 85mm armed T-44A entered production with 2000 examples being produced but did not see combat. As the design was further improved, evaluations began of the 100mm gun and while tests were conducted as the T-44B. While new capabilities were incorporated into the design, the T-44B was cancelled and these capabilities were rolled over into the T-54.

MiniArt has developed the first injection-molded kit of the T-44 medium tank in 1/35 scale. Other than a handful of conversions and a resin kit of this tank, there hasn't been a plastic option until now. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and consists of 768 parts plus 94 photo-etched parts. The kit represents the T-44A which features the removal of the front driver's flap carried over from the T-34 and moves the diver rearward with an overhead hatch. This kit has the following features and options:

  • Nicely detailed V-44 12-cylinder diesel engine
  • Detailed engine compartment surrounding the V-44
  • Positionable engine access hatches and vent louvers
  • Torsion bar suspension detail on the hull interior
  • Detailed crew compartment in the hull w/ammo storage
  • Detailed stowage and pioneering tools on hull exterior
  • Detailed main gun and turret interior
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Clear periscopes provided

Painting instructions are provided using MIG paint colors which are fine for those that use MIG paints. MiniArt used to provide painting instructions for many different paint brands and it would be nice to see MiniArt return to that solution for those modelers that do not have or do not use MIG paints.

The decals/color profiles included in the kit are for:

  • T-44, C-50, unknown Soviet unit, summer 1945
  • T-44, 226, unknown Soviet unit, 1947-1955
  • T-44, 139, 8th Mechanized Army, Operation Whirlwind, Budapest, Hungary, Nov 1956
  • T-44, 385, 8th Mechanized Army, Operation Whirlwind, Budapest, Hungary, Nov 1956
  • T-44, 949, Belerusian Military District
  • T-44, 14, unknown Soviet unit, summer 1945
  • T-44, 29th Armored Division/5th Guards Mechanized Army, Belarus, 1946-47
  • T-44, captured, 38th Panzer Corps, Kurland, Jan 1946
  • T-44, captured, 101st Jaeger Division, Austria, summer 1946

This is a nice looking kit and is not over-engineered. Those 768 parts build up a full interior and engine compartment in addition to the exterior and track. We've seen kits from other manufacturers build up similar-sized vehicles with more parts with no interiors at all. I also salute the snap-together one-piece track links so you won't be spending a week building up track.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!

References:

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