Soviet T-24 Medium Tank
In the late 20’s and early 30’s, the Soviets had had limited success with light T-18 series tanks which were quickly becoming obsolete by this time. The Russian Army felt a larger replacement was needed. That replacement prototype was built and designated the T-12. The T-12 appears to have been an unsuccessful prototype, but using some of the design principles eventually led to a new prototype designated the T-24. This was the first tank built in the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) in Kharkov, part of the Soviet Ukraine. In the coming years, the KhPZ factory would be well known for the production of the T-34 and T-54 series of Soviet tanks.
The original main armament of the T-24 was four ball-mount 7.62 mm DT Machine guns, since its main role was infantry support and no 45mm gun was ready. As soon as the new 45 mm tank gun was ready, the T-24 was up gunned with the 45 mm tank gun as the main armament.
The tank was plagued with transmission, engine, and fuel systems problems. In fact, during the initial trial the prototype’s engine caught fire. The initial trial was considered a success after working out the fuel system issue. There was a production run of about 25 vehicles (depending on what source is used as a reference). After additional trials, the T-24 was considered unreliable due to the engine and transmission, and was then relegated to training and parade duties. Although none of the T-24’s were ever officially in combat, there are a few photos of German soldiers in 1941 standing around (and on) a couple of T-24’s. One of these T-24 tanks was apparently up gunned with the 76 mm gun.
Although the T-24 was unacceptable, the suspension and drive train was eventually copied and used on the successful Komintern artillery tractor. The addition of a more powerful 131 HP engine made the design well suited as an artillery tractor. This is a kit released by Hobby Boss’s sister company Trumpeter.
I was very excited when Hobby Boss announced that they were releasing the Soviet T-24 Medium Tank in 1/35 scale. This vehicle although unsuccessful was a very important design for future Russian tanks.
Several years ago I bought a resin and metal version of this kit on EvilBay from a unknown Russian company, calling the tank a, “Средний двухбашенный танк T-24”, (Medium two Turret Tank T-24).
I vaguely remember seeing an article in Boresight about this kit. Feverishly searching through all my back issues (it’s good to have great references) I found the September 1996 issue with the article by Kenneth Zichal. The company’s name was Brigadier and the kit was apparently was available from Squadron. The article bibliography listed four reference books which I had, “ NEPBbIE COBETCKNE TAHK”, CB PH, by APMAA press, 1995, Russian Tanks 1900-1970 MILSOM Garland Books, New York, 1970 and Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of WWII, Zaloga & Grandsen, Arus & Arus Press, 1984. The “NEPBbIE COBETCKNE TAHK” or Small Soviet Tanks book has 1/35 scale drawings which I used to compare dimensions for the Hobby Boss model . In addition to the reference books I searched the web for additional information. I did not find a lot on the web, mostly the same photos, but I did find some other drawings and a cutaway drawing that revealed some interesting missing items.
If I compare the drawings that I have to the Hobby Boss model, I find a few rivets being missing around the side hull engine hatches, and the size of the engine hatch to be about 7 inches longer than it should be. Further investigation revealed the rear panel sections on the engine deck are totally different mainly because of this size difference in the engine hatch. Some of the rivets on the top side surfaces look more like bolts than rivets, and not on any of the drawings I found.
Three major missing items are a driver’s hatch on the right side of the hull, the rear drive sprocket housings, and an engine vent missing from the right rear side. The shape of this missing engine vent seems to vary between the photos and the drawings that I found on the internet. In the photos the vent is a half round and in the drawings the engine vent is a triangular shape. In the Hobby Boss right rear side part D11, there is a detail which is rounded that I think was originally placed there for this vent, but was either omitted or cut form the kit. The tracks also appear to be missing two indentations on the inside of the track shoe, the center track horn also appears to be too high and not wide enough, the tread pattern is questionable, and the tracks are about 2 inches too short. The rear fenders are 6 inches too long and not rounded at the outside edges. The rear drive sprocket appears to be incorrect as well from a photo I found on the internet, the sprocket supplied is not representative of the one used on the Komintern artillery tractor which the suspension is based on.
Hobby Boss included a brass vent screen for the rear engine vent, but I am not really sure that this was accurate. One of the sources has the vent as a series of holes and no screen. On the smaller machine gun turret, none of the drawings show any side or rear vision slits, and the turret was made of three separate plates not one rounded piece. There are also three unknown vertical brackets mounted on the lower on the sides of the turret.
The same is true for the larger turret, as none of the drawings show any side or rear vision slits, and the turret was made of two separate plates not one rounded piece. The trench skid has some obviously missing rivets inside and out and has bad sink marks. The bow machine gun housing is squared off on the kit and in the photos, but is semi-circular in the scale drawings.
There are some other areas with missing rivets and conflicting details, I am sure that a lot of missing details are due to the age of the vehicle, the small number of tanks built, and lack of photos and drawings. I would think that Hobby Boss might have done a little more homework and research before developing this kit.
With all that said, the kit consists of 323 plastic parts, 144 of which are track links, a PE sheet with access plates, a large screen for the rear of the vehicle, and lots and lots of PE rivets( 44 to be exact), A decal sheet is included that includes numbers and what I believe to be some kind of parade or training markings that I am unfamiliar with.
The instruction sheet is very well done with no options and there is a color drawing guide which depicts the tank in 4BO green and with parade or training markings. None of the reference material I found had any parade photos.
What is in the BOX?
Above - Representative instructions pages
Road wheel detail, I am not really sure tahtteh wheels are supposed to be spoked or solid with vanes.
Idler wheel and Sprocket detail
Nice molded open gun barrel.
Sink marks on the trench skid and missing bolts.
These two rivets need to be removed unless you do not want access to this access hatch.
Rear right side missing vent detail "V" also "M" appears to be an option for another muffler (not supplied).
Track detail with questionable track pattern.
Not really sure what the bump on the lower right any ideas?
An odd mix of rivets (1) and bolts (2) on the upper hull.
LOWER HULL left side note no drivers side hatch.
LOWER HULL Underside
Side view of larger turret.
Extra vison ports not in any drawings or photos and missing seam in the center of the turret as the larger turret was apparently in two pieces. The black line indicates a fine mold seam that is present on both sides of the turret.
Extra vison ports on both side and the rear the black line is a missing seam as the smaller turret was built in three pieces.
Even with the previously mentioned flaws the kit looks like it would a fun kit to build!
Recommended (Pending build review)
Thanks to MMD Squadron for the review sample
Reviewed by: Tom Kondziolka, AMPS Chicagoland