Miniart T-44 #35193 – the missing link of the T-series.
T-44 is a soviet tank, information for which is everything but abundant. Let’s start with the fact that it was designed and built at Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil, the same place were several decades later, T-90 Tagil and T-14 Armata were born. It was based on T-34M project, an enhanced version of Soviet’s “Hero Tank” with better armor protection and more ammo. The design was more or less secret, and even though the tank was ready and in production by 1944, it never saw action in WWII. It was produced in relatively small numbers – slightly above 1800, and due to its qualities remain in some /limited and not so popular/ service with the soviets until the 70s.
Besides some tech specs, there is not many information about it. That is due to the fact that it was somehow hidden in the Second World War, and shortly after T-54 and T-55 overshadowed its presence with their appearance and engineering decisions. The fact is, that T-44 is the link in between T-34 and T-54/55. It looks a lot like T-34, but in reality is very different. It is closer in design to T-54 and it served a purpose – to prove the new technology adapted into it. If you look at it closely, you will find T-44 lower hull to be very similar to T-54/55 tanks. There are the tanks and the fuel lines on the side, additional stowage boxes, front armor plates. Maybe for that reason – being the connection link – the tank was very secret during its existence. There are some sources that claim that the tank was used in Hungarian revolt against the communist regime, but the pictures that are available are disputed to be real. It is also speculated, that some units were dispatched in East Germany for quite some time, but it is also strongly disputed fact.
In general, T-44 is a rather obscure tank, than a movie star like T-34 or T-55. It is an odd looking vehicle, just because it incorporates the looks of those two into one tank. That is, on the other hand, what Miniart are best at doing: giving us models of vehicles not so popular, but longed from modelers. When they announced it in early 2016, it arouse a great deal of interest and shortly after, when they showed a sample of how it will look, MiniArt truly dropped the bomb with it.
What I noted with this kit is the fact that the sprues are a bit too many for my taste. However, this usually creates additional attraction when it comes down to a regular modeler /I don’t consider myself one/.
The tracks are cleverly thought, the wheels are perfectly molded. Wheel hubs are put as separate parts, which makes your life easy if you decide to do openings or a damage wheel. The active suspension is also nicely engineered, considering that it suppose to be a standing model in general. The way MiniArt design it made it seems like it is a one to be played with. Which is not the case of course.
The only let down that I see in the model is the lack of texture over the superstructure. Turret is perfectly textured, but not the hull. Also, I might add, that the moulding of the tarp which sits on the back of the turret should be without any visible mouldings, but it is not. There is a nasty seam there. Nothing that anyone cannot deal with, but it’s just annoying.
The interior is insane – crowded, full with goodies and parts that needs to be pre-assembled and pre-painted and then installed. Same goes for the engine. The engine itself is my favorite part here. Perfectly looking beast of a V12 diesel. It seems that there are additional parts for it, maybe Miniart made their mind of doing more variations with slightly modified engines inside. We will definitely see.
Gun barrel is one piece and it has some points where you need to clean it from the sprue attachments, but it overall look is superb. Great quality on pretty much everything. The abundance of ammo is always warm welcomed too, and here we have a lot of different ammo shells, molded nicely and onto separate sprues to minimize the damage over them and to maximize the ease of finding everything into that crowded box.
Idlers, as well as suspension rods, small sub-assemblies are also onto different sprue, and one might think that Miniart wasted more plastic on the sprues than onto the model parts themselves. Whatever the case was though, they did very very good job with it!
Summarize all here:
MiniArt T-44 kit number – 35193
- Total Parts – 768 /of which plastic – 659, photo-etched – 94, clear – 15/
- Workable torsion bars /active suspension/
- Workable tracks
- Engine included
- Full fighting compartment interior
- 10 color variants made with MIG including ‘what if’ options
Conclusion for me:
The mouldings, the texture and the abundant detail of that kit makes it a wonderful example of the T-series. Being rather rare vehicle, T-44 /and its upcoming variants/ was a right-on-time product from MiniArt, superseeding all other T-tanks on the market currently, beating them with higher lever of detail, engine and obviously – a great interior. As you can see in the pictures above, they did a great job with the texture, and overall they are improving their products with each new item. It is extremely hard to judge the accuracy of this secret tank, but the information provided is that MiniArt worked alongside with engineers Morozov Design Bureau and with the original T-44 documentation. That pretty much kills the will even in the most devoted rivet-counter out there, and promises us a very fine addition to the T-series in 35th scale.
According to my opinion, this is the best T-series tank released so far, and is a must-have kit. This T-44 has everything you might dream of – workable suspension, great looking tracks, engine, interior and most importantly – no need for aftermarket parts whatsoever. One of the few kits nowadays that have everything in it and it worth paying for.
Thanx to MiniArt for providing this wonderful T-44 tank for the review!
You can get this tank here: MiniArt T-44 #35193
For more detail review of the kit, check out the video in my YouTube Channel down below: