Russian Voroshilovlets Tractor Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2010||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Russian Voroshilovlets Tractor||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||1573||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First styrene kit of this subject in this scale; very nice detailing throughout||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
The Voroshilovets Tractor evolved from less-than successful tanks developed by the Kharkov Locomotive Factory. The newly-formed tank design bureau started with the Renault FT-17 and developed the T-18, which was upgraded with a bigger engine as the T-12. Unfortunately, the T-12 was severely lacking in performance and maneuverability, so the design team reworked the T-12 into the T-24. Even the T-24 was deemed unusable, but the engine and suspension were adapted into a special-duty tow tractor that could move a 152mm towed howitzer. This design was successful and a larger heavy-duty tractor was developed for even larger divisional guns.
Powered by the V-2 diesel engine (the same powerplant as the BT-7M and T-34 tanks), the Voroshilovets tractor could move a gun, its crew, and its ammunition around the battlefield, even when most of the ground was mud.
Here is a pleasant surprise from the Trumpeter drawing boards - a VERY detailed utility tow tractor for the various Soviet artillery pieces that have been previously released. Other companies produce some nice vehicles and artillery pieces as well, but rarely do you see a plan where these kits might come together into a cohesive vignette or diorama. Even more impressive is the fact that this release is of a Soviet-made tow tractor and not one more of the numerous German subjects out there. Kudos go to Trumpeter for getting into new territory in kit subjects and doing so with such nice details!
This little gem consists of 383 parts and is presented on eight trees of tan styrene, ten trees of brown styrene track links, and one tree of clear parts.
The majority of the work will be with the lower hull, T-24 tank suspension and building up the two sets of track links. There are 70-71 links in each track run though you might want to have just a hint of track sag along the upper run between the return rollers.
The cab is a simple affair (as was the real tractor) with just the drivers control levers and pedals along with a simple dash board to make up the interior. The cab doors are both separately molded, so you can pose the cab open.
The engine hood is nicely detailed though there isn't anything under the hood as far as a kit engine, so unless you want to adapt an aftermarket T-34 engine to the job, it is best to leave this alone.
The rear cargo bed is nicely detailed as well and comes complete with bench seats for the artillery crew. The forward end of the cargo bed has a unique structure for stowage as well as a comfortable seat for the commander facing rearwards.
An optional cargo canvas top is also provided to keep out the elements while the crew is being moved around the battlefield in the midst of the Russian winter.
A small set of markings are provided to replicate either a generic Soviet Army tow vehicle or a Voroshilovets that was captured and pressed into German service.
As I said in the beginning, this is an outstanding effort by Trumpeter to provide the essential utility vehicles to go with their growing range of artillery pieces. Trumpeter's sister company, HobbyBoss, produced the M4 High Speed Tractors that provided the same artillery towing services for heavy US towed pieces as well, so these designers are definitely doing us modelers a great service with this nice kits.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!