Saturday, May 11, 2013

Minairons Miniatures: T-26 Tank Plastic Boxed Set!

Hi, I just finished the review of the nice plastic 20mm T-26 A & B Light Tank boxed set of the Spanish company Minairons Miniatures and was again pleased by the quality and fast to build qualities of this boxed set. For those unaware of who Minairons Miniatures is here's a small sunmary of their goals and future ranges: 

We are new company aimed at producing fast-assembly, hard-plastic, quality miniatures for wargaming and collecting. After a number of months of planning and hard work, we are now close to proudly watching how the new firm is born and becomes fully operational --this event is scheduled for mid-October 2012. Minairons miniatures' ranges will usually have a close relationship with the military history of the nations of the Iberian Peninsula --logically with a special accent on Catalonia, where the brand is born. In this manner, our starting range will consist of a selection of Spanish Civil War fighting vehicles, mainly those with a wider use in other Inter-war conflicts, or even early WWII. These are to be released in 1:72nd and 1:100th scales first --leaving an eventual 28mm range for a little later, depending on demand and budget volumes.


History of the T-26

The T-26 entered active service for the Red Army (RKKA) in 1932; it was used in many conflicts of 1930s as well as during World War II. The T-26 light tank first saw action in the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union provided Republican Spain with a total of 281 T-26 mod. 1933 tanks starting in October 1936. T-26s were used in almost all military operations of the Spanish Civil War in 1936–1939 against Nationalists and demonstrated there a superiority over the German Panzer I light tanks and Italian CV-33 tankettes armed only with machine guns. 

This tank also participated in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 and in the Winter War of December 1939-March 1940. The T-26 (mod. 1938/39, especially) could withstand German tanks (except the Panzer III and Panzer IV) participating in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The majority of the Red Army's T-26s were lost in the first months of the German-Soviet War, mainly to enemy artillery and air strikes. Many tanks broke down for technical reasons and lack of spare parts.

Nevertheless, the remaining T-26s participated in combats with the Germans and their allies during the Battle of Moscow in winter 1941/1942, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of the Caucasus in 1942–1943. Some tank units of the Leningrad Front used their T-26 tanks until 1944. The defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria in August 1945 was the last military operation in which Soviet T-26s were used. (Source Wikipedia)


The content

Let's take a look at the actual plastic boxed set! The plastic boxed sets comes in an extremely well-designed and created cartonboard box with on the front of the box, some painted examples of the T-26's while the back of the box shows you an easy manual for assembling these magnificent models in both of the supplied variants. The boxed set contains two hard plastic sprues which each contain enough parts to make one T-26 with the possibility of adding the alternative build of the twin-turreted "A" version or the "B" version with the 45mm gun turret. The boxed set also contains a decal sheet with national markings for several Soviet, Finnish, Turkish and Spanish (both Republican and Nationalist) vehicles.


The assembly

As said previously these kits are really made to be build fast and so they do. Both tanks were constructed in less than an hour and that includes tracking a lost part in the carpet. This fast assembly is possible due to the small amount of parts (around 10 for the twin-turret version and about 7 for the 45mm gun version) and useful easy manual on the back of the boxed set. The tans can also be constructed with a commander out of the hatch or with a closed hatch. I must admit, the details on the tank commander aren't great but still a nice touch.


Scale comparison

I have also included a scale comparison of the model with some vehicles from other manufacturers and of course the other 1/72 releases from Minairons Miniatures. From the left to the right we see: the T-26 of Minairons Miniatures, the Blitz from Airfix, th Panzer I from Minairons Miniatures of which you can find a detailled review here and the Armourfast Hanomag. As you can see he fits in well with the other vehicles and will be a good addition to your model collection or current army.


The Conclusion

I'm glad Minairons Miniatures decides to choose tanks used in the early stages of the war and the interbellum period as these sets are scarce and when available not suited for wargaming and expensive. These T-26 are nice and cheap, and they need to be as they were one of the main Russian battle tanks used during the German-Russian invasion of Poland and the eventual invasion of the Soviet Union. These tanks are good value for money and easy to build. These tanks can now be bought for €13.95 directly from the kind lads over at Minairons Miniatures. Mka sure to check out their upcoming 28mm release, Hispano Suiza MC-36 armoured truck.



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