If you are not a fan of Soviet WWII armor in particular is unlikely that you would know about T-70 tank, or at least know a lot. It was used as a substitute for T-60 and T-50 for infantry support and reconnaissance work during the first part of the WWII. When that was happening, the light tank concept was already obsolete and T-70 did not see many real action, but rather support role. Nevertheless, searching through internet, you can easily find a lot captured vehicles /by the Nazis of course/ and used against the Russians in the Kursk battle. That most likely means that there were enough out there, but for reasons unknown, this particular armored vehicle does not have enough popularity.
During 2006, Miniart released their T-70 in 35th scale, which was a hit on the market back then. That was when the company was just stepping into the full kits arena, and they did a definite hit. Then the model was again re-released in 2008 /after 3 options in 2006/, and in 2010.
Now, with the introduction of their new material, Miniart are again releasing that vehicle, but this time, every option for a trouble while building it is avoided. The kit itself is not complex at all, and the only thing that might give you a slight delay are the tracks. They are very nice and cleverly thought off, but they are link by link lengths, so you will have to spend some time working on them.
There are many Photo-Etched parts, /44 to be exact/ and for many modelers out there this is good news. Pretty much, except for the gun barrel /eventually/ the kit is excellent! It features a crew, and having in mind its small size, that is very nice addition to the set, making it possible to be completed as a diorama and be enough as a stand alone item. In general the tank itself is the size of a tankette, rather than a full sized vehicle, but back in the day when it was first introduced that was the correct concept…
A lot of people argue about its accuracy, especially the turret. However, no one can be certain, except in the case when some detailed research is done on the spot near the real tank, and I doubt that anybody went there to check it out with a ruler. More than 8000 was built, so I am guessing, that at least a bunch of those are close enough to the sample that Miniart provides for scale modeling.
Summarizing the kit, it is really nice, simple enough, and at a good price. The new material provided by MiniArt is very promising, and with 423 parts 44 of which are PE, I believe this kit would sattissfy the needs of every modeler out there. In the video below you can see the unboxing and the review of the sprues with close-ups and detail explanation of what we can get. If you are not so interested though, here is a quick summarize of what we have:
MiniArt #35194 Special edition
T-70M Soviet Light Tank with Crew
423 Parts, 44 of which are photo-etch
9 painting options
2 tank variants
Pretty much enough as a stand alone kit, without the need of aftermarket and at a decent price! Highly recommended!
You can get the model here: T-70M Soviet Light Tank w/Crew
Thanx to MiniArt for supplying me with a sample for the review!!