The complete set is labeled S35-007 WWII Soviet BT-7 (Mod. 1935) Value Package.  Bundled in this package are three individual detail sets for the BT-7:

·         E35-064 WWII Soviet BT-7 (Mod. 1935) Basic

·         E35-065 WWII Soviet BT-7 (Mod. 1935) Fender

·         EA35-039 WWII Soviet BT-7/T-26 Night Fighting Search Lights.

These details are specifically for the 1/35 Tamiya kit 35309, Russian Tank BT-7 Model 1935, which represents the original variant of the BT-7 with the original cylindrical shaped riveted turret and narrower tracks and road wheels than later variants.  There are 5 frets of photo etched brass, two resin search lights and a small sheet of printed film.  Each fret is protected by a thin plastic film on both sides.  The large and 3 medium size frets are secured with tape to black card stock.  The very small fret and printed plastic film are in a small zip lock bag, the resin casting with the two search lights in another.  There are 3 pages of instructions for the PE sets and a small quarter sheet for the resin lights.  As you can see in the photos below, page 2 of the instructions for set E35-063 is printed crooked on the page, not too big of a deal but preventable and it is a bit distracting.

Each of the 3 sets featured is discussed below.

E35-064 WWII Soviet BT-7 (Mod. 1935) Basic

Engine Deck – The engine access hatch, shroud and circular cover receive several upgrades.  The hatch, kit part B31, receives replacement PE hinges which require the removal of the molded on plastic detail.  The hinges are comprised of 2 halves with tabs that are rolled and shaped to accommodate a hinge pin made from 0.3mm ABS rod; the ABS rod is not included.  Two lengths of PE for the inner and outer shroud must be curved into a cylindrical shape and attached to kit part B31.  PE handles, parts B4, have tabs to be rolled around one side of the ring shaped handle which are then secured to the shroud cover, kit part B32.  Kit part B34 which mounts just behind the engine hatch will need to have the molded on bracket details removed.  PE brackets folded to shape form the securing brackets.  The horizontal engine intakes receive mesh PE grills, parts C1, C4 and C5 which are secured with butterfly nuts B14 on each side.

Rear Deck – A PE assembly replaces the single kit PE screen for the mesh exhaust and radiator exhaust.  The screen assembly is built up from the mesh screen C3 and frame parts B1+B11 and will provide a better 3D scale relief of the framing than the single layer screen in the kit.  This entire shroud cover assembly must be curved and mounted to kit part B21 which installs over the exhaust pipes which exit out to the rear.  It might be possible to use the kit provided jig to get the proper shaped curve for the cover.  Small tabs fold out from the frame which secures it to the rear deck.  Two PE handles fold to shape and attach to the grill frame.

PE stowage boxes replace kit part B33.  The box A3 is formed by folding the thin upper lip of each side, then folding the sides up to form the box shape.  The lids are formed from part A2 which represents both lids.  A thin lip folds down on the lids and is secured at the front by two clasps including hardware.  Two hinges mount to each lid half and are formed from parts A24 and A25 which have tabs that are rolled to form the hinge.  You must make hinge pins from 0.3mm ABS rod, not included. Optionally, you can choose to use the single piece PE hinge, part A11, which simple folds to a 90 degree angle.  The stowage boxes are secured to the rear deck by three PE brackets, two in front, one in the rear, folded to a right angle with bolt heads that fold down onto the bracket faces.

The suspension adjustment covers, kit parts B1 and B2, receive detail upgrades with a PE clasp, bracket and handle.  Just in front of the covers are two jacks, which receive PE securing brackets replacing the molded on kit detail.  A clasp attaches across the base secured by two butterfly nuts.

Tools – The shovels, kit part B35 need the molded on brackets removed and the shovel heads cut off to be replaced with PE shovel heads and a PE bracket with buttery fly nut that holds the shovel handles place.  The shovel heads must have some of the detail pressed out to form the proper 3D relief.  The base of the head has 2 tabs which are rolled to fit around the shovel handle shaft.  Two small brackets secure the head end of the shovels to the rear hull; small holes need to be drilled into the kit hull to accommodate the pins on the two brackets.

Front Hull – PE hinges and brackets replace the molded on kit details for the drivers hatches.  Each hinge half has tabs which must be rolled to accommodate the hinge pins made from 0.5mm ABS rod which you must supply.  The mounting brackets have the crude weld detail etched into the brass.  The upper drivers hatch receives a spring mount which attaches to the upper right of the drivers hatch.  You must make the spring yourself and no guidance is given as to suggested materials or dimensions so consult your references.  The front headlights each receive PE mounting brackets with a hole at one end to insert the pin from the plastic kit light and screw detail at mounting end which must be pressed out to form the proper 3D relief.  The 4 relatively flat 40 liter fuel tanks receive replacement fuel filler caps consisting of an outer securing ring and separate cap which require the removal of the molded on kit detail.  An optional “oil tundish” (basically a funnel) is formed by rolling PE part C8 into a cone shape and attaching the handle A26 which must be curved and folded to shape and can be attached to the filler opening of one of the fuel tanks.  Two PE handles attach on each side next to the turret ring.  The horn receives a replacement PE mounting bracket with bolt details which must be pressed out.  The simplistic tab mount the kit horn must be removed and the horn cradled in the folded PE mount.

Turret – The two square hatches on the turret top receive PE latch handles on the inside and hinge assembles on the outside. The latches are secured with 0.5mm ABS rod, not provided.  The hinges feature tabs which are rolled to form the hinges which are secured together by 0.3mm ABS rod pins, not provided.  The rear hatch gets a replacement handle, latch and securing pin with chain on the inside, replacing the molded on kit detail which must be removed.  The latches are secured using 0.5mm ABS rod.  PE hinges on the outside include the welded bead detail around the hinge mounts.  The hinges are formed by rolling tabs and securing them together using 0.5mm ABS rod.  The 0.3mm and 0.5mm ABS rod is not included.

E35-065 WWII Soviet BT-7 (Mod. 1935) Fender  

This set features replacement PE fender assemblies, providing excellent detail and closer to scale thickness.  The assemblies begin with long fender pieces, D22 and D23.  Brackets D5, D6 and D7 fold to right angles and form the brackets on the underside for securing them to the hull.  Long brackets D20 and D21 are folded to a right angle and also mount to the underside with the angle facing up to form a lip along the outer edge of the fender.  Two PE parts are folded to shape and pressed out screw detail are attached together to form the rear fenders.  A short angled length is folded to form the hull mount.  Small bolts part D1 attach on the underside.  Fender supports, 5 to each side, are formed from parts D8 which must be curved to shape and secured with brackets D16.  Front fenders, D13 and D19, require a fold which must allow the front edge to align properly with the curve in the fender which must align with the curve in the folded down outer lip.  Use the outer lip as a guide when curving the front which will also help you get the angle correct on the inner fender.  A curved piece inserts into the notch and should be mounted flush to the flat inner fender.  Screw details must be pressed out to form the proper relief and a bracket folded to shape mounts to the underside.  A flat triangular PE piece is mated with a similarly shaped frame with a fold to form the angled mount.  Three small nuts add detail to the underside.  The kit molded on fender mount details must be removed and the fender assemblies mounted in place on the hull sides 8mm from the top of the hull.

EA35-039 WWII Soviet BT-7/T-26 Night Fighting Search Lights

Two resin search lights are provided which mount to PE brackets folded at a right angle to mount them to both sides of the 45mm gun barrel base.  A thin clear plastic film mated to circular PE grates E1 inserts into the resin search lights.

Items needed – You will to supply both the 0.3mm and 0.5mm ABS rod to form the various hinge pins.  Folding tools will be helpful and good magnification and lighting are a must.

Conclusion

This is a great upgrade set with many detail enhancements for the advanced modeler.  The bundled PE and resin sets will help make your Tamiya BT-7 (Mod. 1935) look stunning and is highly recommended.

Review sample graciously provided by ET Model http://www.etmodeller.com

ET Model is based in Shanghai China and produces aftermarket photo etch and resin detail/upgrade sets.

Scott Espin – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com

Categories: MBI REVIEWS

Kenny Conklin

Kenny is one of the founders of Hobby Link International Inc. a publishing company of hobby related magazines and websites. Kenny has been building models since he is a boy and has continued the hobby to this day. He is also an editor of Model Builder International (MBI) and SciFiantasy magazines and websites. You can contact Kenny at hobbylinkinternational@gmail.com.

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