Monday 21 October 2013

Empress Miniatures Soviet T-26

The Soviet T-26 light tank was based on the British Vickers 6 Ton, the most influential and manufactured in quantity inter-war tank after the Renault FT-17. Just about everyone used it except, ah, the British. It proved itself in the Spanish Civil War where it hugely outperformed German and Italian tanks.

This version is a 28mm model by Empress Miniatures. It is all metal, unusual in the days of resin and plastic of various types. The model reminded me of the bad old days in that regard: heavy and the paint easily rubs off. Actually I sprayed on too much Citadel varnish on a wet day to harden the paint and got whiting at the edges for my trouble. Easily fixed with a highlight brush later but annoying.

The model itself is well sculpted and manufactured to a high standard. It is very easy to put together. One of the tracks was a bit twisted but unnoticeably when assembled. A nice kit of a common AFV that fought on multiple fronts from S America to China and from the late 1930s to 1945.

It is interesting to compare the T26, which was intended as an infantry support tank, to the Soviet BT-5, intended as an exploitation 'fast tank'. This resin example is from Die Waffenkammer, an American brand that is difficult to find in the UK. It is also rated as 28mm.

28 mm is a size rather than a scale but we can compare the models directly by the turret. The T-26 and BT-5 both used a Russian designed turret incorporating a Russian dual purpose 45mm gun.

Actually the turrets are pretty much identical size on each model.

The metal one (on the left) has a slightly askew gun but I have decided to live with it rather than try to bend brittle metal. :)


  1. Very nicely done there John and I must get one of these for my VBCW

    1. It's a good choice for VBCW because the Vickers was the base for so many variants. Any 30s war would have some fighting on at least one of the sides.

  2. Something about the BT series of tanks that i really like. can`t wait to see someone make an easy build t-26 in 1/72

    1. The BT tank eventually morphed into the famous T34, T55, etc. The forerunner of an illustrious line.