Light Tank T-70M

Manufacturer: UM (Kit No. 306)

Overall, this is a very nice kit, but I was actually a little bit disappointed. It doesn't maintain the same high standard that UM set with their earlier BT-5. Although this is the best T-70 that I have seen in this scale (and the only one in plastic), I have a suspicion that the Al.By resin kit may be better than this one, based on the quality of the other Al.By kits I have seen.

The detail on this kit is not quite as sharp as on UM's BT-5, and they seemed to have skipped some. For example, the mesh for the engine deck screen in molded onto the plastic, instead of being provided on the etched brass fret. There isn't even any mesh provided at all for the air intake vent, brass, molded plastic, or otherwise.

The road wheels are pretty decent, but to be honest, I actually like the wheels (especially the sprockets) from the AER kit better than these. The coaxial machinegun is represented by just a small bump in the plastic. And the main complaint that I have is the quality of the moldings. Perhaps I simply got a bum kit, and others may have better luck, but it seems that almost every piece in this kit has a sinkmark on it. Some of the sinkholes are pretty deep. Most of them will be easy enough to fill with putty, but some will be difficult. If it wasn't for this obvious inferior quality molding, I would like this kit much better.

But before I turn you off from buying one, let me point out that it has a lot of good stuff as well. The tracks are really very well done. Etched tracks will be better of course, but these are about as good as they can get in plastic. All hatches are open (all two of them, that is), but there is no detail inside the hatches or the hull. The etched parts (what few there are) are also welcome, such as the lift rings, and fender braces. The return rollers are extremely detailed; I wish the other wheels would have been this good. The panel line detail on the hull, as well as the numerous rivets, are also very well done.

The decals are very thin and sharply printed, with four marking options, and a nice color marking guide is provided on the back of the box. The instructions are likewise very well done.

So in conclusion, even though I was disappointed by several aspects of this kit, I think it was mainly because I was spoiled by the extreme high quality of UM's first effort, the BT-5. As I mentioned above, this is the only T-70 available in plastic, and it could have been much, much worse.

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