Mirror Models Ltd. 1/35 T-20 Artillery Tractor - Late Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2014||Manufacturer||Mirror Models Ltd.|
|Subject||T-20 Artillery Tractor - Late||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35201||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Beautiful detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$49.95|
The Soviets developed several dedicated artillery prime movers including the T-20 Komsomolets before the Great Patriotic War. Whether its small size or stature earned its nickname of a male Young Communist League member (Komsomolets), the T-20 provided enclosed protection for a crew of two (driver and commander) plus exposed seating for six additional crewmembers. Powered by a 50 horsepower GAZ-M engine, the T-20 was usually assigned to move the 120mm heavy mortar or 45mm anti-tank gun. During the early days of the war, the T-20 was also employed as a tankette using its ball-mounted DT 7.62mm machine gun.
Mirror Models Ltd. is a model company based in Ireland and like most other model companies these days, has their kits produced in China. We've received some feedback from earlier Mirror Model first-looks and the one distinction that should be made is that these kits are indeed for experienced modelers as they don't assemble like a Tamiya kit, more like an early Trumpeter kit, but like those early Trumpeter kits, the models go together nicely using good modeling skills. With each release, the instructions and design gets better and this release is no exception.
This kit is the second release of the T-20, we looked at the early version here.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Full engine
- Full interior
- Engine covers can be built open or closed
- Bench seats can be rotated into any position
- Can be built as a Model 1938 late or as a model 1940
- Parts options for Finnish variant
- All visors can be built open or closed
- Hatches can be built open or closed
- Super detailed suspension
- Individual track links
The instructions are better than previous releases and consist of eight pages of drawings with a few photographs to walk you through the assembly process. The one element missing is a diagram showing the layout of the parts trees so you can more easily identigy which of the trees your next part(s) will be found. You can find a PDF version of these instructions on their website..
Aside from the instructions, this kit should be an AMS modeler's dream as all of the basics are here inside and out. The real question is what sort of story do you want to tell with this model? You can build a factory-fresh example or a war weary vehicle or something in-between. The model would look great by itself but it would also make a great centerpiece for a diorama or vignette. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!