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T-30 Light Tank (1941)

Start 1/35 T-30 Light Tank (1941) Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review March 2008 Manufacturer Start
Subject T-30 Light Tank (1941) Scale 1/35
Kit Number 0030 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat light Soviet WWII tank Cons No clear lenses provided for headlights. No crew figures. No marking or painting instructions.
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $16.95 to $18.00

First Look

T-30 Kit
T-30 Kit
T-30 Kit
T-30 Kit

The Soviet Factory No. 37 was assigned the task of designing amphibious and non-amphibious scout tanks in 1938. They produced the T-30A and T-30B prototypes. The former was to be manufactured as the T-40 amphibious tank starting in 1940. It also led to the T-40S (sukhoputniy, "dry-land" version), a heavier tank prototype which was considered too complex to manufacture. The T-30B prototype, sharing the T-40's chassis but simpler in construction and with heavier armor, was accepted as the T-60 scout tank, and began production in July 1941, just after the German invasion.

Although at first intended to carry a 12.7 mm machine gun like the T-40 the armament was later upgraded to the 20 mm TNSh cannon, a tank version of the ShVak, on the advisement of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, V.A. Malyshev. This weapon had the same armor-piercing capability as the German 37 mm due to its high muzzle velocity (15 mm of perpendicular armor at 500 m range). Attempts were made in 1942 to arm the T-60 with the 37mm ZIS-19 cannon but were abandoned due to the Soviet Union’s shortage of 37mm ammunition

Start is a model company based in Moscow, Russia. The kit comes in a very sturdy tray and lid type box. The box art shows a T-30 in an angled view from the front. It is posed against a light yellow background. It is in overall Soviet armor green with no markings evident. Side panels of the box show a profile line drawing next to the vehicle’s specifications in English on one panel and Russian on the other. The ends of the box give further specifications in the same two languages.

Inside the box is a large unsealed cello bag that holds four olive drab trees of parts and the decal sheet. The instructions complete the kit’s contents. A couple parts have broken off one tree due to friction with other trees.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that is printed on both sides and folded over to fit the box.

On the face side is a black and white repeat of the boxart. This is followed by the history of the T-30, a listing of the names of the kit parts and Start’s address and fax number in Moscow.

The reverse side of the instructions has the parts tree drawings in the upper left corner of it with several very busy exploded drawings below them. These will have to be carefully studied, so as to not make a mistake and are one of the weak points of the kit. They are rather confusing.

The largest olive drab tree of parts, letter A, fits tightly, in all directions, to the 4 walls of the kit tray. It holds: the hull bottom tub, the hull top and link and length type tread parts (36 parts).

Long and narrow olive drab letter B tree holds: road wheels, the turret bottom, the 7.62mm machine-gun, a shovel, a storage bin, drive sprockets, return rollers, a horn, a propeller (which is excess) etc. (28 parts) Some flash appears on one of the drive sprockets.

Long and narrow olive drab letter C tree holds: more road wheels, the turret top and hatch door, rudders (no used on this kit), final transfer covers, headlights, tow hooks, short exhaust pipe etc. (33 parts).

Small olive drab letter D tree holds the 20mm cannon, a mantle piece and a letter L shaped panel (3 parts)

This kit shares parts with Start’s kit of the T-40, which is amphibious. That’s why there is a propeller and rudders on trees in this kit that are not used to build the T-30 version. The L shaped panel on letter D tree is to blank off the recess in the back of the hull tub part, where the rudders and propeller would go on the T-40 kit by Start. Tree letter A is a common tree to that and this kit.

There are also no clear parts to put into the headlights. The headlights are molded as empty cups, that NEED lenses. Bad move Start!

The decal sheet completes the kit’s contents. It carries a turret slogan and striping, squares with the number 2 in the center, circles with the number 1 in the center and the number 60, all in white. Unfortunately, we are not shown anywhere in the kit where these marks are used. Another bad move Start!

No colors are called out either. However, most Soviet WWII were overall dark green anyways. So, no mystery there.

There are no crew figures provided.