MiniArt 1/35 T-54-1 mod.1947 Kit First Look
|Date of Review
In recent years, various model companies have been releasing kits of World War II era Soviet 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 and T-44M medium tanks which were supposed to be evolutions of the T-34 but ended up as footnotes in Soviet armor history. The next step in Soviet medium tank development was the T-54 series, but even this went through several iterations in design before production settled on the design we recognize as the T-54. The T-54-1 was the first production version of this new series which continued the hull changes developed with the T-44 and used a turret that was a lower-profile version of the flat-sided T-34/85 turret. As this tank entered production, problems were discovered which halted production of the tank and a return to the drawing board for the T-54-2.
Here is MiniArt's latest release, the T-54-1 which still features a lower profile T-34/85-type turret but with a hull that evolved from the T-44M. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on 56 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts (duplicate trees not shown) and one fret of photo-etched parts. According to the manufacturer, there are 970 parts in this project. There is some serious mass to the box when you pick it up. Note that this is the version of the T-54-1 kit without interior details. If you want this subject with a full interior, you're looking for kit 37003.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Positionable engine access hatches and vent louvers
- Torsion bar suspension detail on the hull interior
- Detailed stowage and pioneering tools on hull exterior
- Detailed machine gun modules on fenders
- Detailed D-10T main gun and turret interior
- Detailed DShK machine gun on commander's hatch ring mount
- Positionable crew hatches
- Clear periscopes provided
- Positionable driver's hatch cover
- Snap-together one-piece track links
The decals/color profiles included in the kit are for:
- T-54-1, 224, Soviet 50th Anniversary Parade
- T-54-1, 222, Soviet 50th Anniversary Parade
- T-54-1, tri-color camo designed for summer had it been issued to units
This is a nice looking kit and is not over-engineered. I also salute the snap-together one-piece track links so you won't be spending a week building up track.
MiniArt continues to turn out some interesting subjects with outstanding details. It is also nice to see that for each of these releases, they give you the choice of a kit with full interior or the standard empty hull found with most other armor kits at a lower price. Even the empty hull kits still retain nice details in the turrets so you can pose the turret hatches open.
My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!