MiniArt 1/35 T-44M Soviet Medium Tank Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2016||Manufacturer||MiniArt|
|Subject||T-44M Soviet Medium Tank||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||37002||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Beautiful detailing, full interior||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$58.99|
In recent years, various model companies have been releasing kits of World War II era tanks (T-34, KV series, etc) as well as tanks of the cold war to present (T-55, T-62, T-64, T-72, and up through the latest Armata designs). Last year, MiniArt released the T-44 medium tank which started the process of developing the next main battle tank. The T-44 featured a new hull, engine, and drive train that started taking the shape of more modern Russian tank design while the turret was still essentially the T-34/85 design.
Here is MiniArt's latest release, the T-44M which still retains the T-34/85-type turret but the hull evolved into the foundation for the the next main battle tank - the T-54/55 series. Like the earlier T-44 release, this kit features a full interior (engine compartment and crew compartment) and all of the updated details that hint at a possible T-54 in our future.
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on 65 parts trees plus two trees of clear parts (duplicate trees not shown) and one fret of photo-etched parts. According to the manufacturer, there are 791 plastic parts and 62 photo-etched parts in this box. There is some serious mass to the box when you pick it up.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed V-44 12-cylinder diesel engine
- Detailed engine compartment surrounding the V-44
- Positionable engine access hatches and vent louvers
- Torsion bar suspension detail on the hull interior
- Detailed crew compartment in the hull w/ammo storage
- Detailed stowage and pioneering tools on hull exterior
- Detailed main gun and turret interior
- Positionable crew hatches
- Clear periscopes provided
Painting instructions are provided using MIG paint colors which are fine for those that use MIG paints. MiniArt used to provide painting instructions for many different paint brands and it would be nice to see MiniArt return to that solution for those modelers that do not have or do not use MIG paints.
The decals/color profiles included in the kit are for:
- T-44M, 418, unknown unit, Soviet Army, 1960s-70s
- T-44M, 655, 193 Training Tank Regt/24 Training Tank Div, Soviet Army, 1974-76
- T-44M, 641, unknown unit, Soviet Army, 1960s-70s
- T-44M, 554, Training Tank Regt, Leningrad Military District, 1970s
This is a nice looking kit and is not over-engineered. Those 853 parts build up a full interior and engine compartment in addition to the exterior and track. We've seen kits from other manufacturers build up similar-sized vehicles with more parts and no interiors at all. I also salute the snap-together one-piece track links so you won't be spending a week building up track.
My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!