|NOTES:||New tooling recent release|
The Soviets had always been keen on multi-turretted tanks in the 1930’s as was evidenced by the T-28 and T-35 designs. The theory being these tanks with multi turrets could engage several targets simultaneously. The T-35 was a large tank with five turrets and while looking good on official parades; the design was plagued by reliability problems in engines and transmissions.
The SMK was designed by a team led by Joseph Kotin at the Kirovski Works in Leningrad and was in response to a request for a design to defeat enemy anti-tank guns. The initial design was said to have contained a number of turrets and subsequent meetings reduced this number to two turrets. Improvements were also made to the suspension system.
The SMK design was also competing against a similar idea from another design team under N. Barykov at the Kirov Factory, the T-100, which looks quite similar in appearance. Only one example of the SMK was produced for evaluation and trials, with two examples of the rival T-100 completed.
The SMK had two turrets with a 76.2mm gun in the upper turret and a 45mm gun in the forward (lower) turret. Weight of the SMK was 55 ton; with a length of 8.75 metres (28ft 8 in) and a width of 3.36 metres (11 ft 0 ins) its height was 3.35 metres (11 ft 0 ins). A crew of 7 manned this tank and 3 x 7.62mm DT machine guns provided secondary armament.
Despite its outwardly impressive size and features the tank proved unwieldy and the idea was cancelled, with a one-turret version (the KV-1) being developed instead. Both the solitary SMK and the 2 x T-100 prototypes were formed into a heavy tank battalion and employed in the Finnish war, where the SMK was disabled by an anti-tank landmine and was not recovered until some time after.
Hong Kong based company TAKOM have released this kit just recently (the box says in 2017) and this kit is quite impressive. The box is large and sturdy and contains 9 sprues of a grey plastic, together with a separate one piece upper hull, 1 PE fret, 1 x clear sprue a decal sheet and a length of twine that is provided for the heavy tow cables.
The individual sprues include 3 for the individual track links (110 links per side) and there is no evidence of flash with all mouldings being very clean and crisply done.
A very impressive instruction booklet details each step of the construction sequence, commencing with adding various parts on the upper hull. The construction sequence then moves onto the road wheels and return roller system plus the drive wheels. Sixteen road wheels and eight return roller sets are constructed.
The individual track links are then the next order of construction, with 110 links per side. After adding the track guards and various tools and towing devices, construction then centres upon the twin turrets and their armament. At this stage the tank is complete. Like many examples of armour kits, the various hatches can be posed in either ‘open’ or ‘closed down’ mode. However, there is no internal detail and no figures are provided with this kit.
All drawings are very clear and simple to follow, there are no written instructions, and every step is illustrated. These line drawings are in black and white. The booklet concludes with four colour painting options, one an all-green tank, the next with a misty white overspray, the third is a brown and green scheme and final option is a four-tone scheme.
Decal options are the standard red Soviet star with patriotic slogans for only one option.
TAKOM have excelled in bringing a very interesting kit subject to the market, the finish of this kit is extremely well done with good presentation from box art through to parts and instruction booklet. Despite the fact only one example of this tank was completed, it actually did serve on a battlefront.
Having released this kit, I hope we can look forward to TAKOM following up and releasing the SMK’s competitor, the T-100 tank, a further option for that release would be the conversion to a large howitzer that the second prototype underwent to see it employed in the defence of Moscow as the SU-100Y.
Instruction Booklet for TAKOM SMK tank
Purchased by me from Metro Hobbies, Box Hill, Victoria,
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Purchased by me from Metro Hobbies, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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