US T-3 Christie Medium Tank 1/16 scale

This is a 1/16 scale T-3 Christie tank by Commander Models. Now, this is a resin kit which is new to me. I’ve never dealt with resin tank kits before.

This kit isn’t cheap. It cost me 210 USD + 70 USD shipping. The main reason I purchased this kit is that Soviet BT series tanks are designed after T-3 Christie tank. Since there is no 1/16 scale BT tanks I can get a hold of, I’ve chosen this tank as a substitute.

What this means is that this tank will go to Jatkosota High School.

As I opened the box and inspected things, I found them very rough. I was glad that no parts have bent but these were really, really, rough. Also, the main parts were basically huge resin blocks. When glued to make the tank, they were pretty heavy. I didn’t have a precise scale but it was at least 3kg according to my weight scale.

Just a bit of history lesson about the tank, T-3 Christie was basically an American prototype designed to demonstrate the Christie suspension. The tank itself never saw any real actions. The tank was rejected by US but was adapted by Soviet union much later as BT series.

The differences between T-3 and BT are very minimal which is why I can safely grant this tank to Mika. This could also go to Pravda but there are other 1/16 scale Soviet tanks I have and could acquire.

The front was basically a fist-size resin block and there were lots of imperfections which is going to take some time to iron out. The thing felt pretty heavy in my hand as well.

Because I was concerned that the top will fall on its own weight, I decided to add support beams. This further increased the overall weight of the tank.

Meanwhile, look how thick the bottom panel is.

The reason I’ve kept on mentioning weight is due to wheel shafts being made of resin. Resin is not a strong material and the shafts are having a hard time supporting its own weight. They are in fact bending.

Now, if you look at the turret hatch, you will see that the turret is also basically a large block of resin. The original plan of placing Mika into the turret is in tatters. I tried to cut the resin out but it proved to be as tough as a rock.

Meanwhile, the box was missing several crucial components, so I had no choice but wait until parts would arrive…

2 weeks later …

Now that missing parts arrived, I could resume the build.

The tank itself has a very simple design. The only difficulty I had was assembling the tracks because of, well, resin.
I stated before that the parts were rough. It got worse when parts were smaller. Over half of tracks had faults. I had to basically salvage the tracks and make do with what I had managed to salvage.

The end result was a pair of tracks that are covered with super glue. I just had no other way. In my opinion, the tracks should have been made in something else other than resin. The wheel shafts should have also been made in something else.

For an example, another resin model company, SOL-Models, use metal for tracks, and I can clearly see why they’ve chosen to do that.

After being primed in black, it was airbrushed with gray. You can see the size difference between the two tanks. One’s a 1/16 scale. The other is 1/35 scale. Mika figure is a 1/16 scale one.

The volume difference between a 1/16 scale and a 1/35 scale is about 8 times.

This is after final touches and decal application.

Overall, it has turned out okay-ish. The wheels are not straight because its shafts are bending. The tracks are gluefestfiasco. The whole thing is also pretty heavy. I won’t be surprised that, one day, the wheel shafts simply snaps.

I can’t help feeling that I’ve wasted money here. But, regardless, Mika finally has a tank to go with. That’s something…

Until next time.

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