The Soviets obtained the British Carden-Loyd A4E11 amphibious tankette in 1931 in a attempt to make their own version of a swimming scout tank. Their first attempt, the T-37, was unacceptable. However, it lead directly to the T-38 which floated better, featured a ship propeller and a turret that moved from the right to the left. The T-38 was intended to be a scout tank for infantry battalions, armored brigades and airborne use. Several were air-landed in the 1936 maneuvers, the Soviet Union's first major armored field exercise. Its battlefield performance was lacking since machine guns would go right through it. Yet, its failure lead directly to the T-40, and then T-60 designs which had more armor and gave up trying to swim.
So lets get on to the fun stuff, Battlefront's Early War T-38 (SBX27) scout tank.
|Stats from easyarmy.com|
|5 Vehicles per box gets you right in!|
|The models are pretty clean with the only flash being on the turret hatches and a small amount on the tracks|
|The assembly was quick with only the tracks and hatches to glue together.|
|I glued the turrets down since vehicle machine guns do not need to really ever move.|
|Crew members were provided for every vehicle but I only used one to be company commander|
|The fenders are very thin and I did break one by dropping it|
|When you first open the box its kind of hard to get over how boxy these things are. I mean these things look funny!|
|No decals are provided in the box.|
|Other than a few numbers I have seen very few pictures of markings on these vehicles.|
The Upside: For one, 5 vehicles in the box for $35 USD is a great value for a tank platoon. Especially when your looking for that last cheap unit to round out your army and get your platoon count higher. At 90 points per for 5 armored vehicles with a machine gun its hard to pass up on that deal.
The Downside: Although its called a scout tank, the T-38 is not a Reconnaissance platoon. This is a drawback to the Soviet army but this keeps the points low. This not a knock on the T-38, its just a fact that Battlefront gave no Recon units to the Early War Russians.
I think every Early War Soviet player needs the T-38 in his tool kit, its just too economical over the other choices in real dollars and also in game play.
Models provided by Battlefront Miniatures