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Battlefront's T-26 Soviet Light Tank

T 26 Light Tank
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$5.95 USD

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Revision Log
29 March 2000page first published

11,498 hits since 29 Mar 2000
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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The Battlefront line of 15mm/1:100 scale WWII models and figures, manufactured in New Zealand by Crusader Distributors Limited, is starting to make its way into retail stores. The unusual packaging provides a "shadow box"-like container, within which can be seen the major parts of the vehicle - but the rest remains hidden...

So we decided to show what comes in the T 26 Light Tank pack.

T-26 pack

So what do you get in the box? After ripping it open - and there seems to be no way to open the package, short of destructively tearing it apart - you find that the bottom of the pack contains a ziploc bag with metal parts. The hull-and-turret viewed through the "window" is actually hot-glued to the package - separate with care!

the parts

This model consists of eight pieces:

  • main hull (resin)
  • turret (resin)
  • gun barrel (metal)
  • right and left tracks (metal)
  • hatches (metal)
  • tank commander (metal)

The turret comes hot-glued to the hull, but with gentle pressure the two parts can be separated so that the turret can be positioned freely.

The model comes with no instructions, so you'll need references (or this article) in order to know where the pieces go.

  • fit the gun barrel so that the "chin" piece faces the bottom
  • the toothed drive sprocket on the tracks goes to the front
  • an outline on the inside of the track units matches (more or less) the outline of the hull bottom
  • position the hatches so that the "knob" is opposite the hinges engraved on the turret
  • if you choose to have open hatches, they open to the front
  • our understanding is that the tank commander for a T-26 would be on the left side

Model can be assembled with both hatches closed and no crew figure, or with either hatch open. Snip the excess material from the crew figure before attaching him in the hatch recess.

tank commander

In the 1930's, a number of countries built armored vehicles after the design of the Vickers 6-ton tank, and the T-26 was the Soviet Union's version. The original model (1931) had twin turrets, the 1933 version incorporated a "modern"-style single turret, and the 1938 version was distinguished primarily by the sloping sides of its turret (to improve the armor protection). The T-26 was used in the Spanish Civil War and in the defense of the Soviet Union during WWII.

The Battlefront model is labeled simply as a "T 26" but must be the T-26 1933 model, as can be seen by the unsloped sides of the turret. However, the "box" on the engine deck is presumably the anti-molotov-cocktail screen, which would only be seen after experience from the Spanish Civil War - making this a late or refitted T-26 M1933.

front view left side view

The model matches the reference drawings available to us (for instance,, with some minor exceptions that might be variations within the M1933 series: detail differences in the layout of the rear engine deck, turret top deck, and upper superstructure. The turret is correctly offset to one side.

rear view right side view

As the photographs show, there may be fit problems if you assemble the parts straight out of the pack. The track "struts" on the left unit prevent the track piece from fitting flush with the hull (some file work should fix this); the right unit is also a little crooked, and might need some file work to the hull. The flaws are subtle, however, so some gamers will prefer to assemble the model as-is. The hatches need a few swipes of the file in order to fit in the hatch openings.

top view

Most resin models suffer from pitting or other casting problems. Our sample had a large pit in the back of the turret, and another small pit on top of the turret. There was also some excess material on the engine cover (easily removed). Both track pieces have noticeable seams along their top edge. The left track is wider in front than in back.

flaw in turret, and excess glue as packaged

Assembled model is 44mm long x 24mm wide x 22mm tall (not including tank commander).