Bug T-70 Light Tank

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by charliec, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Model: T-70 Light Tank
    Publisher: Bug for Ever
    Download Site(s): www.b-cards.narod.ru, www.icegroup.ru
    Scale: 1:24
    Format: PDF file
    Designer: Bug

    The T-70 was a logical redesign of the T-60 light tank to provide more fire power, heavier armour and more engine power. The Russian light tank series were designed to be produced in non-specialist automotive factories and used "off the shelf" truck engines (2 of them in the T-70) and welded flat plate armour rather than the specialised engines, transmissions and castings of the heavier tanks. The T-70 has been called the "best" light tank of WW2 by the Russians - something over 8000 of them were built in 1942-43. The T-70 chassis was used as the base for the Su-76 SPG which went on to be used for many years after WW2.

    The 10-page PDF file contains:
    1 page of vehicle history in Russian or perhaps Ukranian - I can't read either.
    1 page of frames and wire part patterns
    4 pages of parts
    3 pages of instructions in Russian/Ukranian with some really effective construction diagrams
    1 page with a 2-view and a couple of period photos of the T-70 - one of which is of Wehrmacht captured T-70s.

    The parts pages are based on bitmaps rather than vector so there is some sign of jagginess on some of the curves but it's quite tolerable. The circle centres aren't marked which is a bit irritating given the number (50) of circular parts to cut out for the roadwheels. The colour is a uniform dark green with no unit markings - but that was the usual appearance for these tanks. There isn't any weathering on the model.

    The hull is constructed around a 1mm frame - unlike the usual "Polish box" the longitudinal parts of the frame are about 1cm from the model sides so it's more like a tiny egg-crate frame - more about this later. By implication there is, of course, no interior modelling. Overall the hull looks reasonably accurate although I think this model would really benefit by replacing the wire mesh patterns on the card with tulle or similar to emulate wire mesh.

    The turret design seems to be rather complicated for what is a simple sloped octagonal box. The 45mm gun barrel appears to be reasonably well modelled but the mantlet should be replaced by a laminated structure to capture its thickness and shape. The cover for the recoil cylinder doesn't seem quite right to me - the early T-70s had no reinforced edges on the turret and the end of the recoil assembly protruded from the front of the mantlet. The later ones had a simpler mantlet something like a Panther's. The Bug model is, I think, of a later T-70 with turret reinforcing. There is no attempt to model the gun elevation mechanism.

    The T-70 suspension used torsion bars - the modelled design of the torsion bar swing arms is simply wrong. The Russians used a forging to link the torsion bar with the roadwheels and this had a noticeable crank outwards to align the roadwheels with the track centre. About this stage of a build of this model the deficiencies of the hull frame design become apparent - the hull sides will not be stiff enough to withstand the twisting load of the swing arms so the model will settle gracelessly onto the table. I can't claim to have a solution for this but it's probably the reason we haven't seen more builds of this model.

    The tracks are modelled both as two bands with individual and tiny individual guide plates. The design doesn't call for cutting out the drive slots in the track so teeth are left off the drive wheels - this can be easily remedied though.

    There is, to my knowledge, one other T-70 model around - by Polish publisher WIG. I've picked up one of these on eBay so I'll review it when it turns up. I believe Maly Modelarz had a T-70 from about 1979 - never seen that one.

    The Bug T-70 looks very promising but fails to deliver because of structural problems with the model. I think if these could be resolved then this model would be a nice addition to a collection. It isn't a difficult model to build and the part fit, although not perfect, is quite acceptable.

    Instructions: A (well executed diagrams)
    Paper quality: n/a
    Level of detail: A (if you don't want an interior) B otheriwse
    Printing quality: n/a
    Artwork: B (no weathering)
    Value for money: Can't beat free - pity it's flawed
    Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate
  2. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I've added images to the Bug T-70 review.