Kit Reviews

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Dragon 1/35 scale T28 super heavy tank

By Michael Scharf
Published: July 1, 2013
T2802
Click the photo for a larger view
Kit:  6750
Scale:  1/35
Price:  $69.95
Pros:  Cast texture well-represented; metal barrel is a nice inclusion
Cons:  Very soft photoetched metal; missing or simplified details
Manufacturer:  Dragon, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322
Comments:
Injection-molded, 1,690 parts (70 photoetched metal, 8 DS track, 32 springs, 1 turned-metal barrel, 1 metal cable), decals
FSM-NP0313_14
T2801
T2803
T2804
T2805
T2806

The T28 super heavy tank was developed by the U.S. Army near the end of World War II. Built to destroy stout fortifications, the 95-ton vehicle carried a 105mm gun and a second suspension that could be removed and towed behind the tank. Only two prototypes were built before the project was canceled in 1947.


Although the instructions have only 12 steps, the kit has 1,690 parts (although many of them go unused). A metal gun barrel, photoetched metal, and wire cable are also included. Lights and vision blocks are provided in clear plastic. 


Filler was needed to fill gaps between the upper, lower, and rear hull. The fit of Part D12 to the hull is a little tight, but don’t force it — the model will crack around the opening. (Mine did; I glued the cracks together and sanded them smooth.)


If you do not like doing road wheels, this model is not for you: There are 64 of them, plus four sets of drive sprockets and idlers. The tires are molded as separate parts, making painting easier. If you decide to build the model with the second set of tracks in place, how much of the suspension you actually assemble is optional — very little is seen once the side tracks are mounted. I chose to model everything in place to help give the tracks their proper tension, but I did not spend a lot of time painting since little would be seen.


The tracks are DS vinyl with two lengths per suspension unit. Each guide tooth is glued to the track separately; they’re easily broken.


In Step 5, Part C27 should be B27. It’s easier to attach the side track units if you glue the clamps that are supposed to attach to the hull in Step 8 to their matching clamps on the side track units instead. This allows adjustment during final assembly.


Pictures in R. P. Hunnicutt’s book Firepower (Presidio, ISBN 978-0-89141-304-2) show details not in the kit. The muffler is missing prominent bolts, front tow hooks are absent, and there are various cable and equipment brackets omitted (although the latter are easily replaced with strip styrene). A trailer hitch not shown in the directions can be found on Sprue A. 


Two large stowage boxes on the right side are supplied as photoetched metal. I had to solder these together; the metal is thin and easily distorted. Brackets for the track-tensioning tool are shown as photoetched-metal parts, but I replaced them with styrene strip. However, the tool is not included.


Directions show the gun barrel being slid through the front of the mantlet, but it needs to slide through the opening from the rear of D12 and then have the one-piece muzzle brake added next. 


I followed the directions, then had to remove the muzzle brake to get the gun barrel to fit.


Both of the two prototype vehicles were olive drab. After a coat of Tamiya gray primer, I applied Tamiya khaki drab, then faded Tamiya olive drab onto the upper surfaces. I added Tamiya yellow green for highlights. My reference showed the T95.1 marking but not the USA or serial number; I skipped those decals.


All in all, Dragon’s kit represents what is shown in archival photos. I spent 39 hours on it, mostly for the complex suspension. If you can add the missing details, this model can really be a gem in your collection.


A version of this review appeared in the September 2013 FineScale Modeler.

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4 stars
BOB MCINTOSH from UNITED KINGDOM said:
Job now done and ready for the display stand. A few issues due to warping in the plastic. Loads of bits left over for the spairs box. It is good to have an unusual subject, well done Dragon, even with the kit fopars. Quite pleased with the final result.
BOB MCINTOSH from UNITED KINGDOM said:
Build progressing slowly. Read the kit plans then do a dry run before commiting adhesive. You can,t assemble the gun mantlet and fix the barrel as per plans. How have others got on?.
4 stars
BOB MCINTOSH from UNITED KINGDOM said:
Building this beast at the moment. The kit plans are a nightmaire and confusing. Dragon have done well to produce an interesting subject, the running gear could be made to work, the etch parts however will not work as they are fixed, Dragon have goofed in places. I am building mine with the sponsons attached to save a lot of work. As for the tracks "arrrrgh"
5 stars
BRIAN CHANNEL from ILLINOIS said:
very cool and unusual; great subject matter
4 stars
CHRISTOPHER AMI said:
Great commentary.... Just wondering if all those extra parts are for the suspension details that are not seen on the finished model?Seems a waste of material but as the historical accuracy is no doubt important I can see Meng putting the detail into this kit...with the accompanying frustration.
Thanks for the review, Mike.
12
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