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The (almost) Missing Link

Soviet Medium Tank T-44

OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. 72097

The T-44 was developped during the Second World War to replace the T-34, but despite its better characteristics, it was felt that producing a new vehicle would disrupt the output of the earlier tank and subsequently only a couple of thousand were produced between 1944 and 1947, before mass production of the T-44-based but superior T-54/T-55 was launched. No T-44 fought during the Second World War.

The T-44 has been kitted before in 1/72, namely in injected plastic by PST/Zebrano, but is not an easy kit to find, and this new release by OKB Grigorov will certainly be welcomed by many small scale modellers. Detail and quality-wise, the OKB Grigorov release certainly has the edge, but yes, it is (mostly) in resin, and as such a bit pricey. But it is available.

99 medium grey resin and no less than 135 photo-etched parts make up this kit, the level of detailing is, as usual with OKB Grigorov, very high, while the casting is faultless, with just a bit of flash here and there. The pouring gates are generally conveniently placed, but care will still be needed to clean this up on some smaller parts and in particular on the very fine and delicate-looking idlers and drive sprockets.

The turret is basically a two-part affair, top and bottom, hollow parts that could welcome some extra scratchbuilt details; two separate hatches, gun mantlet and gun barrel being the other main resin parts of this structure. The hull is also cast in two main parts, top and bottom, both parts featuring some really nice detailing, with separate resin fenders to be added. A separate hatch is included for the driver’s position.

The road wheels are very nicely done, and are to be attached to the hull via separate suspension arms, allowing some flexibility in terms of final pose, though the usual OKB Grigorov resin tracks, offered in long sections, will require bending around idlers and drive sprockets and depending on the pose, road wheels. This will probably be the trickiest part of the build, along with the placement of a large number of small photo-etched parts. Additional individual track links are present, but are meant to be attached on top of the fenders. A few extra of those would, I think, have come in handy to put around the wheels to somewhat ease construction. As such, the kit is not meant for newcomers in the hobby, but reserved to those with a bit of experience in dealing with resin kits.

An instruction sheet is included. It does not really cover all the build, but mostly deals with the adding of the smaller resin and PE parts. No decals are included, not much of an issue here.

Review by Domi Jadoul; pictures by OKB Grigorov and Domi Jadoul.

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