Skoda T 50 Czechia Medium Tank 1:35 scale resin kit

1/35 scale, unpainted resin kit.

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The Skoda T 50 is a Czechia Medium Tank

A further development of the post-war concept for the Czechoslovakian general purpose tank. The project was developed by Škoda in 1947. In 1948, significant changes were introduced to the project. There were plans to mount a 100 mm gun. The project was discontinued after one full-size wooden prototype had been built.

Based on the preliminary works on the TVP concept from January 1948, in January 1949, the HQ of the army issued an official request for a tank project to Škoda and Praga. For Škoda, the project had designation T-50 (task 181 B), for ČKD (Praga), the designation was T-51 (task 181 A).

The original proposed weight of 35 tons was later increased to 40 tons. Upgunning was also needed and the caliber picked for the final version of the official demand was 100mm (the shell velocity was specified at 845 m/s, the vehicle was to carry 60 to 70 rounds). Further demands included sufficient protection while keeping excellent mobility on the battlefield, air-cooled diesel engine capable of operating under all climatic conditions. Maximum dimensions were set to 6,5m length, 3,2m width and 2,8m height, while clearance was to be 500mm. Armor thickness was set to 65mm frontal, 40mm sides and rear and everything else 20 to 30mm. The hull was to be welded.

Secondary armament was set to a 12,7mm AA machinegun (apparently Soviet DshkM) with 1000 rounds, a hull-mounted 7,62mm machinegun and a coaxial 7,62mm machinegun (both were supposed to be newly designed Czechoslovak machineguns with 3600 rounds for both).

According to the plan from 1949, the preliminary project was to be approved until 21.8.1949, by the end of 1950 the prototype assembly drawings were supposed to be ready and on 1.3.1950, the first prototype parts production deadline was set. The entire development was to be ready in June 1952.

The VTU oversight of the Škoda project was performed by Maj.Ing. Jan Hajšman and of the ČKD project by Cpt.Ing. Albín Třešňák. During the development, other preliminary projects based on TVP chassis were added, such as the TVP ARV, bridgelayer tank, flame tank and mineclearing TVP with dozer blade. The development of most of these project however was not even started.

On 27.1.1949 the preliminary project from Škoda and Praga were ordered. Škoda was to present a tank and cannon drawings and create a 1:1 wooden mockup until 30.9.1949 (ČKD had the same deadline). Apparently, Škoda met the deadline with its T-50 project and presented the entire project in September 1949, including wooden mock-up, but the vehicle was criticized by the attending military staff for tactical reasons: the soldiers complained that the tank is too tall and probably too heavy too. After five meetings held in Pilsen (Škoda) and Prague (MNO), the project was rejected. On 24.11., new proposal was presented and on 2.12.1949, 1:10 mockup of this new variant was created. This variant had a “pike nose”, much like the IS-3, but only a day later (3.12.1949), the soldiers rejected this feature.

1/35 scale, unpainted resin kit.