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T-70M Light Tank w/Crew

MiniArt 1/35 T-70M Light Tank w/Crew Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject T-70M Light Tank w/Crew Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35194 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $39.99

First Look

T-70M Light Tank w/Crew Kit
T-70M Light Tank w/Crew Kit
T-70M Light Tank w/Crew Kit

Soviet planners selected the T-70 light tank design to replace the T-50 infantry tank and T-60 scout tank. This new design was intended to obtain armored capabilities out of the factories that were not equipped to produce the heavier T-34 medium tank or larger designs. The T-70 was crewed by two men: a driver and a tank commander / gunner / loader (same person). The T-70 was powered by a pair of GAZ-202 engines, one for each track, but the two engines were not interlinked/sychronized causing lots of problems. The design was soon updated with the two engines moved to the right side of the hull and interconnected while the driver and turret were shifted to the left side and this new version became the T-70M.

While the T-70M design was sound, operationally it was ineffective against any of German armor it encountered due to its light 45mm main gun and light armor. Even so, the T-70M remained in service through the end of the Great Patriotic War with over 8,000 examples produced.

MiniArt has reissued their 1/35 scale T-70M kit with the addition of five Soviet Army tanker figures (only two needed for the tank). The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus a bag of individual track links and a small fret of photo-etched parts. This kit represents the main production variant with the welded turret and has the following features and options in this kit:

  • Choice of early or late driver's hatch
  • Positionable driver's hatch
  • Single-piece track links that snap together (84 links per run)
  • Choice of early or late main gun mantlet
  • Complete main gun and coaxial machine gun detail inside turret
  • Choice of early or late commander's hatch
  • Positionable commander's hatch
  • Photo-etched grilles for rear engine vents and right side exhaust vents
  • Nice details and stowage boxes on hull

Painting instructions are provided using Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr.Color, and Life Color paints. The color profiles included in the kit are for:

  • T-70M (late), 212, Belarus, Feb 1944
  • T-70M (early), 2nd Tank Corps, Dec 1942, 'Tambov Kolkhoznik'
  • T-70M (late), 223, Dnepropetrovsk, Autum 1942
  • T-70M (early), 276, 1st Guards Mech Corps, Don region, Dec 1942
  • T-70M (early), unidentified, Spring 1943
  • T-70M (early), unidentified, Spring 1943
  • T-70M (late), 52, 3rd Tank Corps, Jul 1943, Battle of Kursk
  • T-70M (late), 345, Kharkov, Winter 1943
  • T-70M (late), 28th Guards Armored Bde/39th Army, Aug 1943, 'Vikhr'

This is one of MiniArt's easier kits to build and still has lots of detailing which will stand out with the right combination of painting and weathering. Should you choose to use the crew figures, you can pose these figures next to the tank or place the seated figure in the driver's compartment (you need to provide the seat) and one of the other figures standing in the turret to depict this vehicle in a vignette or diorama setting. In any case, the kit will be an easy build and provides a nice foundation for developing your weathering techniques.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!