Since tanks were still relative newcomers during the Great War there was much interest in how they would perform during the Spanish Civil War. Germany and Italy supplied tanks for the Nationalists, so Stalin supplied them to the Republicans, and the vast majority (numbering well over 250) were the subject of this set, the T-26.
The T-26 was reckoned the best light tank of the 1930s, and was the standard infantry tank of the Soviets at the time. Being slow and lightly armoured but well armed, it was used for infantry support, although in the event poor tactics in the civil war reduced its impact. However it is still considered the best tank of the war, and from the first 50 that were landed in September 1936 it saw service in many theatres, with some still being maintained in 1938 after Soviet aid was cut. Originally intended to be crewed by Spaniards instructed by Soviets, in fact the Soviets also often went into battle when some crisis demanded. Its superiority over German and Italian armour was such that the Nationalists paid a bounty of 500 pesetas for each one captured in working order, and such machines were pressed into their service too.
As perhaps the most important tank of the war it is natural for BUM to include this model in their range. The model, which is a model 33, is supplied by UM and we found it to be a pretty complicated kit with over 100 parts. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your point of view, but it seems well designed and to our non-expert eye entirely accurate.
The figures that accompany it are supplied by LW/Evolution, and form part of their Russian Tank Crew set already reviewed. The figures are Russian rather than Spanish, which as we have said is OK, although they are very warmly wrapped up, which sets some limits on their use in this conflict. Three of the figures are standing as if inside the turret, but unfortunately this kit does not allow for the turret hatches to be open!
This is another important AFV for the Spanish Civil War brought together by BUM from good sources. However we would have much rather seen specific Spanish crew figures instead of the Soviets.