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T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank

MiniArt 1/35 T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2017 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Scale 1/35
Kit Number 37007 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing, full interior Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $68.99

First Look

T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit
T-54-3 m1951 Soviet Medium Tank Kit

When Soviet planners began production of the T-54 in the 1940s, it was the next step in tank development where the short-lived T-44 had been overcome by parallel improvements with the T-34/85. Designed around a 100mm main gun, the initial production T-54-1 configuration offered a newer chassis design paired with a turret left-over from the T-34/85 and T-44 series. When production problems were encountered with the T-54-1, the design was revised with some improvements in the hull and a new turret that resembled the dome-style used by the Josef Stalin tanks. This configuration entered production in 1951 as the T-54-2 and continued through 1951 when a revised turret without the rear 'shot traps' was introduced along with an improved telescopic gunner's sight and became the T-54-3.

Here is MiniArt's latest release, the T-54-3 m1951 which illustrates nicely how the early T-54 series transformed the Soviet battle tanks from the higher profile combat vehicles to the low-profile combatants that would be seen on battlefields around the world. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on 60 parts trees plus two tree of clear parts (duplicate trees not shown) and two frets of photo-etched parts. According to the manufacturer, there are 1050 parts to build up this kit. This release is the 'interior' kit that features some stunning details inside and out. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed V-54 12-cylinder diesel engine
  • Detailed engine compartment surrounding the V-54
  • 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 driver's station
  • Detailed ammo stowage in the hull
  • Detailed ammo stowage in turret
  • Detailed stowage and pioneering tools on hull exterior
  • Detailed external fuel drums and mounts on hull rear
  • Detailed 'pillow' fuel tanks on fenders complete with plumbing
  • Detailed coaxial machine gun, mount, and ammo can
  • Detailed D-10T main gun and turret interior
  • Option to load D-10T with round and positionable breech block
  • Detailed gunner's station and sight
  • Detailed DShK machine gun on commander's hatch ring mount
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Clear periscopes provided

The decals/color profiles are included for the following subjects:

  • T-54-3, 815, 2nd Guards Mech Div, Soviet Army, Budapest, Oct 1956
  • T-54-3, 536, 2nd Guards Mech Div, Soviet Army, Budapest, Oct 1956
  • T-54-3, 324, 2nd Guards Mech Div, Soviet Army, Budapest, Oct 1956
  • T-54-3, 154, 1st Armored Div, NVA GDR, 1961
  • T-54-3, 329, 23rd Guards Taman Motorized Rifle Div, Soviet Army, 1960s
  • T-54-3, 322, 23rd Guards Taman Motorized Rifle Div, Soviet Army, 1962, winter scheme
  • T-54-3, 405, Iraqi Army, 1963

The first three subjects are from the Soviet invasion of Hungary during the Hungarian uprising of October, 1956 where the Soviets arrived to restore order. Paint instructions calling out Mig, Humbrol, Mr. Color, Testors, and Vallejo paint equivalents.

This is a nice looking kit and I've seen a variety of techniques used to show off the interior details at various IPMS contests. The results are stunning.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!

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