Toga 1/35 T20 Komsomolyets Artillery Tractor Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||December 2006||Manufacturer||Toga|
|Subject||T20 Komsomolyets Artillery Tractor||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||01||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
In the late 1930’s, several attempts were made by the Russians to develop light artillery tractors for anti-tank guns, heavy mortars, and light field artillery.
The first designs were based on the light T-38MI and T-40 amphibious tanks. These vehicles were unarmored and because the decision was made, to equip the Soviet army with a semi-armored tractor, the T-20 Komsomolyets was developed. The production of the new tractor started in 1937 in the new STZ factory Zavod No. 37. The Komsomolyets had a closed armored cab for the driver and MG gunner and was fitted with at DT 7.62 MM machine-gun in a ball mount in the hull front. Six infantrymen could be transported on the rear back-to-back seats. They only had protection against the elements by a large tarpaulin, which was carried by the frame-antenna of the Komsomolyets. From the standard production model in 1937 of the Komsomolyets there were 2 types in service: a artillery tractor with the rear seats and a transporter for ammunition and supplies with rear cargo boxes instead of the seats.
Some 4,400 vehicles were built during WWII. Late production types differed in details from the earlier models. Also, on unprotected types of the Komsomolyets (the “Pioneer” type) was built is small numbers. The Komsomolyets was used as a basis vehicle for the SU-57 S.P. gun (sometimes called the ZIS-30) as well as a S.P. 45 mm anti-tank gun vehicle. The Komsomolyets was also used by the German Wehrmacht, as they were captured, as the “Leichter Gepanzerfer Artillerie – Schlepper 630 (r).
The kit comes in tray and lid type box. The box art shows a Komsomolyet with the machine gunner standing in his entry hatch. There are 3 infantrymen riding on the rear seats and it is pulling a Soviet 7.62cm Zis-3 gun. However, this box art is miss-leading. You only get the vehicle in the box.
Inside the box are 3 light gray trees of parts and the instruction sheet. There are no decals provided. The trees are all inside a very blousy, cloudy cello bag, which comes unsealed. All this is jam packed into every corner of the small box.
The instruction sheet consists of a single sheet that is slightly longer than letter head size. On the face side is a black and white photo of an actual Komsomolyets sitting out in the snow. It has the numerals 452 on the bow plate and the word "HARJOITUSVAUKU" on the side ("Training Vehicle" in Finnish). As mentioned, there are no decals in the kit. These two marks should have been provided on a decal at least.
This photo is followed by the history of the vehicle in German and English. At the bottom of the page it says that TOGA kits (from Moldovia) are distributed by Tom Modellbau in Germany.
The reverse side of the instruction sheet has very busy exploded drawings. This are difficult to follow and although part numbers are called out there are no part numbers molded on the parts trees, nor are there any parts tree drawings provided that are numbered. You have to study the drawings very carefully, then search the parts trees for what you think those parts are in some cases.
The first large parts tree holds all the parts for the vehicles chassis, passenger seats and fenders. There is some flash in the very center of this tree and the hull bottom piece has TOGA’s logo molded proud on the exterior of it. This will have to be sanded off. (22 parts)
The second large parts tree holds: drive sprockets, road wheels, return rollers, idler wheels, bogies, leaf springs, final transfer covers, bow machine-gun parts etc. (69 parts). A lot of these parts are very tiny. Care will have to be used when removing them from the tree, so as not to damage them.
The third, and last, medium sized tree holds the link and length type tracks. These tracks are rather small. They look more like what would go on a 1/72nd scale tank kit. Care will really have to be taken assembling the individual links that go around curves for sure.
Recommended to Soviet armor modelers, if you can find the kit.