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T-34 V-2 Engine & Transmission Set



S u m m a r y

Stock No. Kit No. 35024; T-34 V-2 Engine & Transmission Set
Contents and Media: 24 parts in light grey styrene
Price: RRP USD$6.98 (USD$5.96 from Squadron.com)
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Injection molded styrene kit, will fit in a multitude of models
Disadvantages: Will need a lot of TLC as parts are very basic
Recommendation: Recommended to all Soviet era modelers who want either an engine in a model or a centerpiece for a maintenance diorama


Maquette's 1/35 scale V-2 Engine Set is available online from Squadron.com

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


F i r s t   L o o k


If anyone looks at the IPMS/USA shows over the last few years, you would notice that some very interesting items have been entered and in one case won the Best of Show award. These are components of aircraft, cars, ships or armor, and they are becoming more and more popular. The winner a few years ago was Curtiss aircraft engines from the 1910s and 1920s in 1/48th scale and were absolutely gorgeous.

Armor modelers don't usually get into that, even though there are a growing number of models of engines out there which could have the same techniques applied to them. It would be interesting to see a set of famous tank engines of the world, such as the Rolls Royce Meteor, the US Liberty engine, the Ford GAA, the German Maybachs, and arguably the most famous one of all, the Soviet V-2 diesel.

In July 1931, the Soviets began work at the "Komintern" Khar'kov Steam Locomotive Factory to build a high-speed diesel suitable for use in tanks, and capable of producing 400 BHP. It was to be a water-cooled 4-stroke type with 12 cylinders in a V configuration. The first model of the new engine, derived from the AD-1 aviation diesel engine and dubbed BD-2 (for "bystrokhodniy disel'" or high-speed diesel) was ready for testing on 28 April 1933. But it suffered from frequent breakdowns, and engine lifespans in testing were no more than 10-15 hours. Constant changes and redesign were the word of the day.

In November 1933, a BD-2 was installed in place of the M-5 gasoline engine in a BT-5 light tank for testing. The "Father" of the engine, I. Ya. Trashutin, even went to the US to garner some knowledge on improving the engine. More development took place, and in mid-1937 the engine was finally ready for series production as the V-2 tank diesel engine, much more reliable and now producing 500 HP. But due to the "Chistka" great purge, it was not until January 1939 that the engine was finally ready for production. The Khar'kov factory was split into two sections at that time Khar'kov Steam Locomotive Factory No. 183 and Khar'kov Engine Factory No. 75, whose sole function was to make diesel engines.

The engine found its way into a number of tanks the BT-7M, T-34, T-34-85, KV-1, IS-2, and IS-3 in nearly identical configurations. The KV engines were "tweaked" to 600 HP, but this was too much for the technology of the times and they suffered frequent breakdowns. The later, more evolved ones in the IS could reliably produce 520 HP.

The V-2 served as the basis of most of the follow-ons of the late Soviet era and even today survives in highly modified form as the V-46 and V-84 series engines in T-72 and T-90 tanks. Counting all of the other variants produced, there are more than 300,000 armored vehicles that have been produced running a V-2 or one of its offspring.

Maquette is now offering their version of this famous engine. The kit includes the basic V-2 engine with all major components, and includes the flywheel, gearbox, final drives, and engine mounts.

I have not yet figured out the relationship among RPM, Mirage, and Maquette, but all three of them use the same molds and sprues in different packaging. This particular item came out a few years back as a special release item for the RPM/Mirage T-34-85 "Rudy" tank kit, and was the only sprue not included in the original kit. It is a drop-in for that model (the hull floor has the fittings for the mounts built in).

The model suffers from a few stray sink marks on it but they are easily dealt with. It is only the basic block, alas, and does not include any of the piping or wiring shown on the box top. Unlike the RPM version, it does at least include instructions for assembly. This art is from one of the service manuals and can be used to detail the little beast up quite nicely.

As it comes, it can be used in the T-34 or T-34-85 tank, the BT-7M (providing you rebuild the back of the hull to fit it and narrow the final drives a bit), and with some work on the transmission, the KV-1 and IS-2/IS-3. The flywheel combines a fan with the actual flywheel and main clutch plate, so some modelers may want to try and thin out the fan blades as well; they are quite thick and could prove hard to deal with in this area.

This way of marketing accessories makes sense to me. It provides an extra-cost accessory that drops into a model and at the same time doesn't impinge on modelers who will keep the engine bay closed up. Tamiya and AFV Club should consider this, as their marketing of some recent kits is a bit shallow in this area (to wit, the GMC CCKW: the truck is one kit for $39.95, the cargo load is another for an additional $12, and the machine gun and cab structure is an additional $9; the latter should have been part of the kit, not an option. The same with the M10 series kits from AFV Club).

Cookie Sewell AMPS

Review Copyright 2002 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 29 March, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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