T-35: Zvezda or Hobby Boss?

Joined: June 10th, 2003, 12:40 am

September 15th, 2018, 12:51 am #1

Hi all
Simple question: which of them is more accurate?
I want to build an early version, not the one with the conic turret.
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Joined: September 21st, 2013, 3:44 pm

September 16th, 2018, 10:44 am #2

Hello Patricio,

since no one more knowledgeable has answered I'll give you my opinion.

I was in the market for a T-35 kit recently and did a lot searching on the net for reviews. None of the reviews talked about dimensional accuracy so I can't comment on which kit is best in that respect. They may both be very good or bad, I don't know. I have the Zvezda kit and as a kit it looks very good. Nicely moulded and the detailing is sharp. The main turret has a partial interior. The 45 mm gun barrels are multi part and might be better replaced by turned items but otherwise I have no complaints.
Photos of the sprues from the Hobby Boss kit look equally nice and I can't see a big difference in quality between the two manufacturers.

The details of the T-35 changed quite a bit over the production run. Early tanks had large single hatches on the main turret which were replaced by twin hatches on later vehicles. The driver's visor and hatch changed over time. Later tanks had a different exhaust configuration. The number of legs on the turret aerial increased from 6 to 8. Some tanks had hinged trapezoidal hatches on the side skirts to access the suspension. The last tanks had square access hatches. The later tanks had side skirts that stopped short of the drive sprocket to stop mud build up. Of course there was the change from cylindrical to conical turrets. The last tanks had sloped sides to the main turret base. There were also changes to the tool stowage.

The good news is that Hobby Boss seem to have caught most of the variations and the models are generally correct for the period stated on the box.
The final production version should probably have disc idlers but that looks like a not too difficult fix.

I chose to model a particular vehicle, 0200-0 as was lost at the battle for Verba. This tank was extensively photographed so we know what features it exhibited. The Zvezda kit was almost perfect for 0200-0. Cylindrical turret with two hatches, late exhaust, late drivers visor, early driver's hatch and the correct configuration of the side skirts. I believe the tool layout is also correct. The only problem is that the kits lacks the amplified faces for the machine guns which will need to be corrected.

Which kit should you buy? If you are looking for a mid-production T-35 with cylindrical turrets then I might recommend the Zvezda kit. It has the partial turret interior AND was significantly less expensive. I'm very happy with mine. If you have a particular vehicle in mind and it exhibits features different to the Zvezda kit then your best choice will be the Hobby Boss kits. One of their boxings will probably fit the bill. As I said earlier, they look to have done their homework and have captured the period specific changes correctly.

I will be buying conical turret version later this year and am quite confident that the Hobby Boss kit will be a good purchase. I just wish it was a cheap as the Zvezda kit.

In summary, I think the T-35s from both Zvezda and Hobby Boss are good quality kits that appear to be accurate, well moulded and nicely detailed.
I don't think you can go wrong buying either company's kits.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Robert
Last edited by Robert Madden on September 16th, 2018, 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: June 10th, 2003, 12:40 am

September 16th, 2018, 1:58 pm #3

Hi Robert
Many thanks for this excellent review!
I will go for the Zvezda kit, I think. Less expensive and it's early enough to fit in my timeframe.
Thanks again for your time
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

September 16th, 2018, 4:46 pm #4

I have both the Zvezda kit and one of the Hobby Boss kits.  If you want what I call a "regular" T-35  - one of the square turreted ones with the radio antenna, I would suggest Zvezda.  Not that the Hobby Boss kits are bad. I think both are very good. But, the HB kits have a ton of useless and overly complicated photo-etch, much of which goes on the suspension. You have to use it but it wont be that visible and will add tremendously to the build time.  If you want one of the other T-35 variants like one of the late tanks with the conical turrets, then you have to go with Hobby Boss.  Those kits are pretty well thought out too but the kits are almost specific to a single tank since there were just a couple of those and they differed from each other.    
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: June 10th, 2003, 12:40 am

September 16th, 2018, 5:02 pm #5

Thanks David, your advices reinforced my intention to buy the Zvezda's kit.
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Joined: April 10th, 2008, 5:50 pm

September 17th, 2018, 4:23 pm #6

FWIW, the HB kit does build up nicely.
Mark
back up models 617.JPG
Mark Ford
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