by: Peter Ganchev [ ]
The T-60 was developed from the T-40 amphibious tank in August of 1941. The relative simplicity of the new tank allowed it to be produced in quantity at a time when the Red Army recorded massive losses in manpower and materiel, especially since the more-complex T-34 and KV tanks proved a challenge for most of the factories in the USSR.
About 5,900 T-60s were produced from September 1941 to February 1943 in three factories. T-60s participated in all operations from the defense of Moscow onwards, including the battle of Kursk and the fighting against Japan’s Kwantung Army in 1945. It became the basis for the development of the T-70 and the “Winged tank” concept.
Previous kits of the T-60 in 1/72 include the AER Moldova and the Airmodels offerings of unknown vintage, both now OOP. The new kit modelers expected would also have to be of higher quality, be more user-friendly and more accurately represent the T-60. OKB Grigorov ‘s model of the T-60 is their third venture of into the category of “complete AFV kits.” While not perfect, it represents a welcome development for fans of this AFV.
The kit comes in a small sturdy box, with its contents packed in bubble wrap. Parts are distributed in zip-lock bags, and include:
23 resin castings
2 frets of etched metal with a total of 32 parts.
Decals are not supplied.
This kit represents the later production T-60 with 35mm frontal armor, and the new pattern interchangeable road wheels and idlers.
Looking at the turret, you can see that all the ports, hinges, and bolt heads are represented. The oval recess at the front accepts the armament platform with a 20mm cannon and a coaxial 7,62mm machinegun, allowing the modeler to select the angle of elevation.
The hull is just as detailed as the turret, and the prominent guard to the left of the turret is cast as a part of it (one less detail to superglue). Hinges, hatches, etc. are clearly-molded, and there's even a support for the light to the left of the driver’s position.
No sink marks or air bubbles are evident on the resin components. Pour pugs are thin, so removing the parts only requires a sharp blade and a little pressure. Remove the drive wheels carefully to avoid breaking off their teeth. Flash is very thin and can be cleaned-up with a gentle pass using a new No. 11 blade.
The etched parts are distributed on two frets. Most of the details reside on the thinner 0.1mm brass one (top) – fenders, brackets, meshes, etc. The fenders feature very thin edges, so take care when bending them. It might be a good idea to heat the front and back ends of the fenders to ease their shaping. The instructions don’t make it totally clear, but the two rectangular meshes (part 6) have to be bent down the middle of the long sides in order to fit the raised cooling intake to the right of the turret.
Tracks and towing hooks are etched on a 0.3mm copper sheet – this helps represent better their thickness on the model.
Instructions & painting guide
The instructions are printed on an A4 sheet folded to fit in the box. A parts plan dominates the front page, with construction divided into 4 steps on pages 2 and 3. No paint schemes are provided.
The kit would definitely benefit from better construction diagrams – currently images of the original are essential for placing small parts where they belong.
OKB Grigorov has produced a good kit of an important machine, and it should build into a good scale replica of the T-60. The relatively small number of parts and their logical breakdown should pose no barriers to modelers with experience in multimedia kits.