Soviet SMK Heavy Tank Description and Kit Review

In 1937 the Soviets issued a specification to replace the T-35 five turreted heavy tank then in service with the Red Army.  The specification called for an armor thickness of 60 mm, and multiple turrets were in vogue with Soviet tank designers at the time.  The first drafts of the SMK design were equipped with three turrets, but this was reduced to two when it was calculated that a three turret design could not be sufficiently armored.

The SMK was armed with 76.2 mm L-11 and 45 mm M1932 guns in superimposed turrets, along with two 7.62 mm and one 12.7 mm machine guns.  Armor was 60 mm on the front, turrets, and sides, 55 mm on the upper surfaces.  A 850 hp gasoline engine could drive the SMK at a maximum speed of 22 mph (35 kph).  Overall weight was 60 tons, crew was seven.

The specification also produced two competing designs, the T-100 which was similar in layout having two superimposed turrets, and the more conventional KV-1 with a single turret.  The SMK prototype and two examples each of the T-100 and KV-1 designs were formed into a heavy company of the 91st Tank Battalion for combat trials.  The battalion saw action against the Finns near Summa on 17 – 19 December 1939.  During the operation one of the KV-1 prototypes was evacuated after a Finnish round disabled its gun and the SMK prototype ran over a mine and was immobilized.  Because of its size it eventually had to be abandoned.  The Finns made attempts to tow the SMK from the area but also lacked anything heavy enough to move the 60 ton vehicle.  When the Soviets secured the area in March 1940 they were finally able to recover the SMK, using six T-28 tanks.  The SMK was transported back to the Soviet Union by rail, stripped of useable equipment and eventually scrapped.  The KV-1 entered production as the Red Army’s new heavy tank.

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The general layout of the SMK is seen in this view.  The 76 mm gun is in the upper turret, the 45 mm in the lower.
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The extra turret required a long chassis, 8.75 meters or almost 29 feet.  Weight was 55,000 kg or 60 tons.  Eventually it was realized that the additional turret was rarely beneficial and the added weight could be better used on a single-turret tank with heavier armor.
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Internal layout of the SMK was conventional, save for the second turret.  Ammunition capacity was generous with 150 rounds for the 76.2 mm and 300 rounds or 45 mm.  Almost 4,000 rounds were carried for the machine guns.
SMK_04
Here the immobilized SMK is being inspected by the Finns.  Recovery and field repair of disabled tanks is a problem, when the tank is unusually heavy it can become especially difficult.  Minor mechanical issues, easily fixed in a depot, often result in the loss of the tank if it cannot be successfully recovered.
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In 1/72 scale the SMK is available in resin form from Ostmodels in Tasmania.  The kit comes packaged in a recloseable plastic bag.  Smaller parts are contained in a second bag.  The kit was packed well in a sturdy cardboard box and bubble wrap, and survived the trip to the USA with no apparent damage.  A list of Osmodels kits in 1/72 and 1/76 scale can be seen at the Henk of Holland website here:  https://henk.fox3000.com/Ostmodels.htm
Kits can be ordered by contacting Mr. Anker J. Fuglsang by email at kerank@ozemail.com.au.
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This data sheet is provided, but no instructions.  I do not see this as an obstacle for experienced modelers, the type is generally similar to the KV-1 and conforms to expectations for what should go where.
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Here are the parts laid out with an exacto knife for scale.  The main hull casting is 120 mm long or almost 5 inches.  This will be a big one!  Some parts clean up will be required but that is not difficult nor unexpected.  I am looking forward to building this one, expect a construction report soon!