First one of the Year. Polish 7TP 1/35 scale IGB.
Well how ’bout that? I finished a model. As it says, first finished this year. I have many going, but getting them done, is another story. I have always liked the looks and color scheme of this puppy. The 7TP was Poland’s heavy hitter, a big fish in a sea of tiny tankettes. Based on the Vickers 6-ton design, which became the T-26 of the Soviets and built in huge numbers, the 7TP (Seven Ton Polish) was a slightly upgraded Polish-built machine with a bit heavier armor and suspension, and an effective Bofors 37mm main armament. Unfortunately, only about 120 were built, and that was NOT going to stop any Blitzkreig. They put their share of hurting on the Panzer 2’s and 1’s, but their glory days were short.
IBG is a fairly new outfit from, you got it, Poland. Their other labor of love, a 1/32 scale PZL-P11c fighter, is on my going on list. The 7TP is a rather nice kit, with a full interior. I spent more and got the limited edition with a set of crew figures and an aluminum barrel. Assembly was straightforward, fit being just fine. Unfortunately, the interior I decided to paint up is only visible through the turret hole when removed, and the rear engine hatch doors, which I secured with white glue, and can remove later if I want. So I took a set pf pics of it for future reminiscing. A small photo-etch fret is given, for some engine vents and small parts like hatch handles, which I replaced with wire, as the PE is just flat. As for the aluminum barrel-it seems the Bofors gun had a fancy muzzle brake with many small holes in it. The barrel maker tried to represent these absolutely TINY holes by using a very soft sort of resin (rubber?) which disintegrated when I tried to attach it. Shame, as it did look good briefly.I cut of the plastic barrel’s muzzle brake and went with that. The tracks are link-and-legnth, easy to cut off the sprue and fit nicely. I left them in upper and lower runs for painting and attachment later. Turns out they could have used a little more beef on the cleats, but look OK. I wonder if Fruil T-26 tracks would have worked.
For the camo job-I started with the base coat, I had Mr. Color Middlestone, which looked similar to Polish stone, after adding a bit of white. Meanwhile I got my hands on the Hataka Polish armor set (Orange brand, solvent based.) The Polish afv green and brown went down nice. These Polish tanks had cool camo patterns, taking on a geometric kind of pattern, squares and trapezoids. In fact the whole tank is trapezoidal, to me it always looked like it was charging forward. Anyway I used these Hataka’s right out of the bottle (Cool), freehanding the patterns with my newest go-to Iwata Neo with an 0.2 needle.
Now I wanted to use oil paints and enamel washes, after watching tons of U-Tube videos from the cool kids on how to really weather these armor models. So I gave it the proper semi-gloss acrylic topcoat, using Tamiya XF-86 thinned with Mr. Color self leveling thinner. Hey it works! I ended up using some AK enamel washes and oils in some areas for contrast. I stopped short of some of the U Tube gurus, whose tanks sometimes look like they have been sitting in a junkyard for years. I figgered my 7TP would not have got that old and chipped up, only seeing one Month of combat. Did put some mud on it though, all tanks get muddy, eh?
So here she is, zipping down some backroad trying to escape to Rumania. Turned out to be a bad move. I t was a fun build, maybe I’ll snag the twin-turret version, supposed to be in the pipeline. OR should I finish some of these many others already started? Yeah I think so.
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.