Probably the best overall tank of World War II was the T-34. Rugged, durable, and dependable, it started with teething problems, as all systems do. Transmission failures were well noted in the early days of the war. However, the bugs were worked out and one of the outstanding features of the T-34 was itís 500hp diesel power plant, the V2. These engines, in the V-2 Form, were in the BT-7M, all T-34 series and variants, the KV-1 series, and the IS-2/3 series. It is a very utilitarian design that has lasted, modified and upgraded, to this day, with the V-84MS in the T-90 being a direct descendant of the V2. With that in mind, letís take a look at the Maquette offering.
Whatís in the box?
In the box, which has a detail rich training manual drawing of a V2 engine on the cover, is one sprue with all the parts, and a page of instructions. The kit pieces are soft on detail, there are some sink
holes in very conspicuous places, and the amount of flash present seems to vary from kit to kit (I bought 6 kits and flash varied from extremely light to fairly heavy). The light grey plastic is easy to cut, clean, putty, and sand.
It is a engine suitable for the BT-7M, T-34 series and variants, KV-1, and IS-2/3 series. I was not able to find dimensional specifications on the V2 in my references or on the Internet. However, based on photos of recovered and restored engines, as well as from the box cover art and the 1/16 Trumpeter T-34 engine compartment pieces, Maquette has gotten the overall look, shape, and size of the V2 quite well. Kit dimensions are:
- Engine Valve Cover Length: 33.9mm
- Engine Width: 25.5mm
- Engine Height (with engine support
- stands): 31.5mm
- Engine Flywheel/Cooling Fan Diameter: 21mm
- Transmission Width: 35.7mm
- Engine, Fan, and Transmission Length: 67.5mm
While the kit is generally accurate, it is missing many small details. Items like hoses and wires are expected to be missing, but some bolt heads on the transmission are absent as well as either a alternator or pump. There is much room for improvement and consulting resources will show where detail can be added. Detailing on the oil pump (between the engine valve covers) is rudimentary and noticeable in almost any situation it would be used in. There is no piping from the end of the manifold exhausts to the exhaust pipes, nor any of the ducting from the air intakes.
The flywheel/cooling fan has decent gear detail, but lacks the proper look of the ďductingĒ that makes up the cooling fan blades. This would probably be fairly hard (and expensive) to do in injection plastic, but it is something to note if you want to detail the piece and could be accomplished by filing down the plastic.
Finally, to use this kit you will have to construct your own firewall in your model to separate it from the fighting compartment. If you do not, any light that gets in will ruin the effect of the engine compartment.
Building the kit
With only 3 steps, it was pretty simple. I went through and found all sinkholes and filled them and removed all knockout marks that needed to be dealt with.
Steps 1 and 2
Build the two piston housings. I left the exhaust manifolds off until after painting. Fit was good with a normal seam. Detail is a bit soft on the bolt heads, but acceptable.
Build everything else. Really. I put the two main engine block halves together, added the end piece (part 14), cleaned the seam, and then added the piston housings and the centerline fuel distributor. I then added parts 15 and 16 and let the assembly dry. Once dry I added the engine supports below and oil pump (part 17) above.
Everything was painted black (except the exhaust manifolds that were painted rust), then I did some spot painting with off-black and other metallic, and then dry brushed various shades of silver/aluminum. After it had dried, I glued on the exhaust manifolds and applied a wash and again, once dry, I gave it a covering of flat coat. Pastel and pigment powders finished up the engine.
The flywheel/cooling fan was cleaned up and painted dark green, dry brushed, and sealed. The transmission was assembled and I added details needed for its use in my SU-100 build. Once details were added and glues were dry, I used the same painting regime as on the engine, only the main transmission block was painted off-white and the final drives were painted rust.
I added fuel lines to the engine block and painted them first an off-white, then yellow. All three pieces were then put together and the final result looks convincing in my eyes.
This is a nice, inexpensive kit to help give added detail and interest to a tank or maintenance shop/crew. It can be as basic or as detailed as you want, and still look good. While it does have detail issues, it is basically sound and is a good base to add detail to. Total build time was about 2 hours because of the added detailing, otherwise I would have probably only taken a hour or so total. It is an easy enough kit to build and does not seem to require any modification to be accurate but just needs added details. My need is to only show details through some open hatches, so I only added detail where needed (in my eyes).
Look for my build-log of DMLís SU-100 where I add this engine.