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  1. T-34 World Of Tanks (03510) 1/72 Carrera Revell The T-34 was Stalin's mainstay medium tank that was produced in incredible volume by sometimes crude and expedient methods, to be thrown into the fray against the numerically inferior German tanks on the Eastern Front. The designers combined a number of important advances in design such as sloped frontal armour, wide tracks to spread the load, and the ability to cope with the harsh Russian winters without freezing to a halt, which was a problem that affected the Germans badly after the initial successes in the summer of Operation Barbarossa. The part count and cost of the tank was continuously reduced during production, with plants turning out up to 1,300 per month at the height of WWII. The initial welded turret was replaced by a cast turret with more room, and later the 76mm gun was replaced by a more powerful 85mm main gun in the T-34/85 with an enlarged turret, giving even the Tiger pause for thought. World Of Tanks is a popular online Game developed by Belarusian company Wargaming, featuring 20th century era combat vehicles. It is built upon a freemium business model where the game is free-to-play, but participants also have the option of paying a fee for use of "premium" features. The focus is on player vs. player gameplay with each player controlling an armored vehicle, from the time of Pre-World War 2, to the Cold War-era. This is mainly online with PCs, but is now available on other platforms as well. The Kit Here Revell have re-boxed the Zvesda kit from 2010. This is a "war gaming" kit and as such there is not a massive parts count, but there is a fair amount of parts and detail for the scale. It is advertised as "Click together" There is one main sprue of parts (which Revell has cut in half to fit in the box), a main lower hull; and two track sprues. The tracks are not rubber, but seem to be a more flexible plastic, in link & length format. Revell have obviously released this kit in conjunction with World Of Tanks. Inside each kit there is also a set of Special Bonus & Starter Pack codes for the game. To start construction small external parts, tool boxes and the bow machine gun are added to the upper hull. We then move to the turret with the gun and mantlet being joined then added to the upper part of the turret. The turret ring is attached to the upper hull then the rest of the turret clicked in place. Two top hatches are then added. Ten pairs of road wheels are then made up and added to the lower hull. At the front and rear the inner halves of the driver sprockets and idler wheels are added. The tracks can then be attached followed by the outer parts of the drive sprockets and idler wheels. The upper and lower hulls can now be joined with additional track links and tow cables being added Decals/Stickers Unlike some of the other kits there is both a sheet of decals and one of stickers. As well as national markings for the tank there are a wide range of markings which I suspect are available in the Game to mark your tank. Conclusion This seems to be a good looking small kit, and although a "snap together" kit it should build up into a good looking model. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  2. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Dragon T-34/85. Painted with Mr.Hobby acrylics, photographed by Wolfgang Rabel. I added OKB Grigorov resin tracks and wheels and Golikov Project resin turret. Towing cable from Eureka. Decals from Kagero. Weathered with artist oils and real mud, mixed with white glue and pigments. Thanks for your interest. Roman
  3. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Revell T-34/85. I replaced the kit's turret with a resin item from Goligov Project, representing an early production batch from spring 1944. The kit's spider wheels were swapped with OKB Grigorov resin wheels. The fenders, grills and various small pieces are photo-etch parts from PART. The towing cable is from Karaya. Painting & markings according to a color profile in Kagero's "The Eastern Front". This vehicle has a slightly different arrangement of external fuel tanks and stowage boxes, which I corrected referring to Kagero's book. Painted with Mr.Hobby arylics, weathered with artist oils, pastel chalks and graphite pen. All photographs by Wolfgang Rabel. Thank you for your interest. Best greetings from Vienna! Roman
  4. T-34/85 Mod 1945 Plant 112 (37091) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-34 was Stalin's mainstay medium tank that was produced in incredible volume by sometimes crude and expedient methods, to be thrown into the fray against the numerically inferior German tanks on the Eastern Front. The engineers combined a number of important advances in design such as sloped frontal armour, wide tracks to spread the load, and the ability to cope with the harsh Russian winters without freezing to a halt, which was a problem that affected the Germans badly after the initial successes in the summer of Operation Barbarossa. The part count and cost of the tank was continuously reduced during production, with plants turning out up to 1,300 per month at the height of WWII. The initial welded turret was replaced by a cast turret with more room, and later the 76mm gun was replaced by a more powerful 85mm main gun in the T-34/85 with the enlarged turret, giving even the Tiger pause for thought. The T-34/85 served until after WWII in Soviet service, but once it became obsolete, they were exported aggressively to Soviet friendly nations, who could always find uses for them, sometimes for a long period of service, interestingly they were supplied to Austrian units in the divided country after WWII and following reunification in 1955 the Austrian Army would use an interesting mix of western and Soviet equipment types/ The Kit This is another boxing of MiniArt’s new T-34 line, and is not an interior kit, but the box is still loaded with sprues of all shapes and sizes, including four crew figures to fill the hatches. In total there are 62 sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a good-sized Photo-Etch (PE) brass fret, a small decal sheet and instruction booklet with colour profiles inside each of the front and back covers. Many of the sprues will be seen in various other boxings of the T-34, notably the Czech production that we reviewed here, which is the reason for their use of smaller sprues that make their kits so eminently modular. It makes the process easier and cheaper for them, and makes the likelihood of receiving many different options to choose from much more promising for us, which with the rate we’re still receiving them for review seems to be the case. As always with MiniArt, the design, detail and crispness of moulding is excellent, and the inclusion of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in the box is one less thing you need to fork out for. Unsurprisingly, construction begins with the lower hull. The floor is decked out with four tubular fittings for the suspension on each side and a lower escape hatch, then the engine firewall near the rear that performs the task of upper hull support in this boxing. The lower hull walls are next, with their Christie-style suspension springs contained in channels up the inside surface. The upper hull begins with the ball-mount and DT Machine gun for the bow, without a stock for the gunner’s (dis)comfort. The gun is left to swivel inside the port, so be sparing with the glue when you complete this assembly. The glacis plate accepts the gun from inside after fitting of the armoured protection, and has an armoured external cover to protect the majority of the barrel from incoming rounds. The driver’s hatch is hinged at the top, and the armoured cover is applied to the top edge of the aperture, and a length of tracks are installed underneath. The upper hull top and sides are moulded as one, and the sides have a substantial number of holes drilled out before they are applied to the hull, with a few nubs cut from the exterior on the way, then the glacis plate it fitted to the front and glued to the lower hull. A pair of PE parts are glued to the hull sides next to the turret ring, with two stiffener plates in PE where the front fenders will be late. At the rear the engine bay is still exposed, which is next to be addressed by adding a frame around the rear bulkhead then attaching this large rear panel with exhausts and filling the circular inspection hatch in the centre, with a pair of armoured exhaust covers for the exhausts. The engine deck is covered with vents and louvers that are added with a central inspection hatch, then fixed over the engine bay. Additional armoured covers with PE grilles are fitted over the basic louvers, then the suspension swing-arms and stub axles are installed under the sponsons, with final drive housing and idler wheel axles at front and rear. At this stage the driver’s hatch is also built with twin clear periscopes, hatch closures and external armoured cowls for the ‘scopes and hinges. Mudguards are assembled with PE strips for the front fenders, with wading deflector passing over the track links on the glacis, and at the rear two auxiliiary fuel tanks and their mounting straps are built up and added. Small parts and various pioneer tools and stowage boxes are made up and fitted onto the sloped sides of the hull, along with racks for extra track parts. Additional fuel tank support frames are fitted on the rear sides, and interlinked towing cables just forward of them. A trio of smooth-surfaced cylindrical fuel tanks are installed on the sides later by using curved brackets and five-piece tanks with PE and styrene shackles holding them in place, the cables taking up the space where the fourth tank would be. The headlight is a detailed assembly made up from PE and styrene parts, with an angled cage folded around a jig to obtain the correct shape. Ten pairs of wheels are built with two drive sprockets and idler wheels to complete the rolling part of the tracks. At the same time the main towing cables are made from styrene towing eyes, but you will need to supply two lengths of 100mm braided cord or wire, so make sure you have some on hand when you begin. Now for the tracks. The T-34’s wide tracks were simple and easy to produce, as well as great at spreading the tank’s weight and helping prevent freezing of the drivetrain in cold weather, of which Russia has more than its fair share, but their ruggedness also applied to desert conditions. There are two different track parts, one flat, the other with a guide horn in the centre, and both have exquisite casting details that includes the ID numbers on both parts and indeed both faces. They have four sprue gates on each link, attached on the curved hinge-points, making them easy to cut back flush and then sand smooth with a sanding stick, to ease assembly and gluing. I made up a short length as a test, and was finished in a few minutes with a little liquid glue thanks to their close tolerances that keep them together while you glue. Each side needs 72 links, which equates to 36 of each part, and once you get into a rhythm it won’t take too long to complete the task, wrapping the still flexible links around the curved sections and holding them in place with tape and other clamps, wedges etc. to obtain the correct sag on the top run once the glue has cured. The detail is so good it’s almost a shame to weather them once painted. Despite this not being an interior kit, the gun breech is made up from a substantial number of parts with another machine gun mounted coaxially in the mantlet, before it is set to one side while the turret floor is completed. The floor part first has a lip inserted within the ring, then the inner mantlet support is prepared with the main gun’s mount, which is glued to the turret floor and has the breech slid in from behind and is joined by the coax DT with its mount. The turret upper starts as an almost complete shell with three sides moulded into it, which has inserts for the interior skin and the roof, which has a large cupola with clear vision blocks and binoculars built into the bi-fold hatch, plus a simpler hatch for the gunner, both of which are shown fitted closed. The roof also has two more periscopes under armoured shrouds, and two vents, which are covered by armoured mushroom covers. Lifting-eyes, antennae (depending on decal option) and grab-handles are dotted around the turret sides, then the gun tube, which is a single part is inserted into the inner mantlet and covered by the outer, has a hollow muzzle for extra detail. A top mantlet cover is made up and attached on the sides of the bustle, plus a self-made canvas tarp can be fitted to the rear with PE straps, or you can depict the straps hanging loose if you choose. The turret is finally dropped into place in the hull to complete the build, with no bayonet lugs to hold it in place, so take care if you decide to inspect the underside one day. Markings The decal sheet isn’t huge because this is a tank, but the sheet is printed by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. From the box you can build one of the following: 4th Guards Tank Corps, Red Army, Moscow Autumn 1945 Chinese People's Liberation Army, Early 1050 Ceremonial Colours, Soviet Army, Ukraine November 1949 Czechoslovak People's Army Late 1940s Romanian People's Army 1950s Austrian Armed Forces, Early 1960; Conclusion The T-34 had a long and useful service life with many operators, with the boxing depicting a wide variety of vehicles. This kit omits most of the interior in the interior boxings, and yet keeps all the external detail plus gun breech, so if interiors aren’t your thing it's an appealing alternative. You can still have some of the hatches open. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. T-34 Makeshift Wheels & T-34/85 Solid Wheels (for Tamiya) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby T-34 Makeshift Track Wheel (From Panther) (8061) Necessity is the mother of invention as they say, and there is probably no more place this comes into its own than on the battlefield. No doubt on battlefields all over tank crews have fixed their mounts with whatever they could find. Some enterprising Russian Tank crew or maintenance depot saw they could replace T-34 road wheels with those scavenged from a wrecked panther. This set arrives in CMK’s usual yellow-themed clamshell box, and contains the two main wheels on a single casting block with a centre locating part, the outer cap being from the kit. The parts are well cast and will add a certian detail to you 1/48 T-34 that will have other modellers asking questions no doubt. Recommended if you want something a little different on your T-34. T-34/85 Solid Track Wheels Conversion (8060) The excellent Tamiya 1/48 T-34/85 comes with full spider type wheels. This set from CMK replaces these with the late Type Dished Wheels. These we seen on some late war vehicles, but more typically on post war vehicles. This set arrives in CMK’s usual yellow-themed clamshell box, and contains 10 sets of two main wheels on a single casting block with a centre locating part, the outer cap being from the kit. The parts are well cast and will add a certain detail to your 1/48 T-34. Recommended if you want a late war or post war T-34 Review samples courtesy of
  6. Hi all May I present the latest off the bench and into the cabinet- Tamyia's 1/48 T-34/76. Built oob but apart from some small details like the headlight wires, antennae and some battle damage to the turret. Typical Tamiya fit, only wish there was a bit of sag in the tracks! I finished the tank quite a while ago now but the scene took a while to finish. I chose to try and replicate a scene from one of the bridgeheads on the Dnieper crossing in 1943 after the Battle of Kursk. A bit of history- In a risky move, Vatutin chose to reinforce a bridgehead held by a rifle division by sending in the 5th Guards Tank Corps to cross the Dneiper in the marshy area around Litezh (I added a raft and a discarded maxim to hint of the rifle divisions previous crossing). Many T-34s were lost in the bogs but some managed to forced their way through by keeping their speed up. My intention was to leave the sides of the resin free to see through the marsh a bit, but it was in such a mess after I removed the walls that I then boxed it all off with balsa. The marsh vegetation was a mix of home made and shop bought. All in all pretty happy with it.
  7. One fine evening I opened a box with all sorts of "garbage" from different models of T-34. And I had a somewhat crazy and interesting idea. Make a "Frankenstein's monster" out of this " garbage" lower part of the case-Maquette/MSD The top of the case - old Zvezda Front and rear armor plates, Dragon turret. Balance beam - Dragon. Support Rollers-Maquette/MSD Hub caps - old Zvezda Host and Sloth-Dragon Miniarm Hooks Trunks - Zedval Cable-made by yourself Changed all bolts, used the remnants of the PE from dragon. Box- Maquette/MSD Trucks- Maquette/MSD Identification signs and inscriptions - a homemade paint mask And here we are) The prototype is a T-34 with the inscription "Lazo" from the 145th separate tank Brigade. The car is either an early release of the STZ or a repair one. Coloring - Akan 4BO Oil-Mig and Co. Enjoy your viewing, thank you for your attention.
  8. Good day, colleagues. In parallel with the previous work from the leftovers, I took out one model, which my father began to do for a long time. Starring-Dragon 6418. The hatch under the German commander's cupolla is from another Dragon box, the combat tower itself is from the Zvezda Pz.III Support rollers - from Su-100 Zvezda with replacement of bolts. Machine Guns - Zedval All the garbage on the wing from different manufacturers, MB figures and a combined "solyanka"(one in commander's cupolla) Welded seams, the texture of the casting on the tower, replacement of bolts, fitting the model in accordance with the photo of the prototype(although the photos, as always, shine with quality) The prototype is extremely interesting. I will give a description from Y.Pasholok. "The 1st Leningrad Tank Red Banner Order of Suvorov Brigade (previously called the 123rd Tank Brigade). In the summer of the 44th, the tanks of this brigade had numbers ranging from 100-199. One of the most interesting tanks under the number "154". This tank was released in the spring-summer of ' 41. It has a German commander's cupolla installed on it turret , later tracks, and some other details not peculiar to it." Thank you all for your attention, enjoy your viewing
  9. For the schoolboy born in Poland 12 years after the VE day the terms "tank" and "T-34" were synonymous. Mind that today the 1990-91 Gulf War seems just few years ago - five, maybe eight, but surely not 30. In my country in the 1960s the T-34 was omnipresent - dozens of them were standing on the pedestals commemorating the Nazi defeat. The 3-volume novel Czterej pancerni i pies (Four tankmen and a dog) by col. Janusz Przymanowski, set in 1944-45, follows the adventures of a tank crew and their T-34 tank in the 1st Polish Army. The book (compulsory reading at school) and 21-episode TV series have achieved and retain a cult series status in Poland. Thus - although many pictures of the T-55s and PT-76s were present in the newspapers and TV - the T-34 was THE tank everybody knew. Frankly speaking I have planned the 2021 to be my "Russian AFV year", but the T-34 STGB temptation proved too strong. Therefore I decided to build the UM #329 kit this year. There are 196 styrene parts on 5 sprues, 22 rubber items and a small fret of 3 photoetched details in the box. The prototype was the most numerous tank of the WW2 – according to the Russian sources some 35.300 (plus 30.600 of the later T-34-85s) were built. Powered by the 500 HP Kharkiv (nee Hispano Suiza) V12 diesel engine the early variant armed with the 76mm gun weighed roughly 28 tons. According to the tanks-encyclopedia.com this 1941-built T-34/76 nicknamed Dzerzhinets (after the Iron Felix) belonged to the unknown unit operating on the Central front (Orel/Kursk area) in April 1943. It sports the rare camouflage scheme of the standard 4BO Protective Green overall with several large spots of the 7K Yellow Ochre added in the field. The paints are (as always) Humbrol enamels: 226 for the 1941-43 period 4BO and 83 for the 7K - painted with brushes. Afterwards the Vallejo acrylic matt varnish was brush-applied overall. The model was made OOB except for drilling the cannon muzzle and exhaust stubs and adding the antenna wire. The decals are from the Trumpeter #07231 KV-1 tank kit. The pictures are made by LG smartphone. You can also find some more pictures here : Comments welcome Cheers Michael
  10. T-34/85 w/D-5T Gun Plant #112 Spring 1944 (35293) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-34 was Stalin's mainstay medium tank that was produced in incredible volume by sometimes crude and expedient methods, to be thrown into the fray against the numerically inferior German tanks on the Eastern Front. The designers combined a number of important advances in design such as sloped frontal armour, wide tracks to spread the load, and the ability to cope with the harsh Russian winters without freezing to a halt, which was a problem that affected the Germans badly after the initial successes in the summer of Operation Barbarossa. The part count and cost of the tank was continuously reduced during production, with plants turning out up to 1,300 per month at the height of WWII. The initial welded turret was replaced by a cast turret with more room, and later the 76mm gun was replaced by a more powerful 85mm main gun in the T-34/85 with an enlarged turret, giving even the Tiger pause for thought. The T-34/85 with the D-5T 85mm gun was made for a short period at Krasnoye Sormova plant #112 on the Volga River as type 1943 until March 1944, when the type 1944 replaced it with a simplified gun. The D-5T had its origins as an Anti-Aircraft gun, much like the German 88mm flak 37, and was initially rejected for up-gunning the T-34 until the larger 3-man cast turret came along, giving the engineers sufficient space to mount the gun successfully, putting the T-34 on par with the German armour, although after March the ZiS-S-53 was used for the ’44 type as well as some other changes. The Kit This is another boxing of MiniArt’s new T-34 line, and as well as being of an earlier type with the larger gun and turret, it is not an interior kit, but the box is still loaded with sprues of all shapes and sizes. In total there are sixty-five sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a good-sized Photo-Etch (PE) brass fret, a small decal sheet and instruction booklet with colour profiles inside each of the front and back covers. Many of the sprues will be seen in various other boxings of the T-34, notably the Czech production that we reviewed here, which is the reason for their use of smaller sprues that make their kits so eminently modular. It makes the process easier and cheaper for them, and makes the likelihood of receiving many different options to choose from much more promising for us, which with the rate we’re receiving them for review seems to be the case. As always with MiniArt, the design, detail and crispness of moulding is excellent, and the inclusion of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in the box is one less thing you need to fork out for. Unsurprisingly, construction begins with the lower hull. The floor is decked out with four tubular fittings for the suspension on each side and a lower escape hatch, then the engine firewall near the rear. The lower hull walls are next, with their Christie-style suspension springs contained in channels up the inside wall. The upper hull begins with the ball-mount and DT Machine gun for the bow, without a stock for the gunner’s (dis)comfort. The gun is left to swivel inside the port, so be sparing with the glue when you complete this assembly. The glacis plate accepts the gun from inside after fitting of the armoured protection, and has an armoured external cover to protect the majority of the barrel from incoming rounds. The upper hull top and sides are moulded as one, and the sides have a number of holes drilled out before they are applied to the hull, with a few nubs cut from the exterior on the way, then the glacis plate it fitted to the front and glued to the lower hull. At the rear the engine bay is still exposed, which is next to be addressed by adding a frame around the rear bulkhead then attaching this large rear panel that has a circular inspection panel fixed in the centre, with a pair of armoured exhaust covers to the sides and short exhaust stubs filling the centres. The engine deck is covered with vents and louvers that are added with a central inspection hatch, then fixed over the engine bay. Additional armoured covers with PE grilles are fitted over the basic louvers, then the suspension swing-arms and stub axles are installed under the sponsons, and the mudguards with PE detail parts are glued into place at the front, with more simplified flaps to the rear. Small parts and various pioneer tools and stowage boxes are made up and fitted onto the sloped sides of the hull, with racks of winter track grousers attached to the flat portions of the side and fuel tank supports behind them. At this stage the driver’s hatch is also built with twin clear periscopes, hatch closures and external armoured cowls for the ‘scopes and hinges. A trio of smooth-surfaced cylindrical fuel tanks are installed on the sides by using curved brackets and five-piece tanks with PE and styrene shackles holding them in place, and a canvas of your own making in the spare space where the fourth tank would be. Ten pairs of wheels with separate hub caps are built with two drive sprockets and idler wheels to complete the rolling part of the tracks. At the same time the main towing cables are made from styrene towing eyes, but you will need to supply three lengths of 94mm braided cord or wire, so make sure you have some on hand when you begin. Now for the tracks. The T-34’s wide tracks were simple and easy to produce, as well as great at spreading the tank’s weight and helping prevent freezing of the drivetrain in cold weather, of which Russia has more than its fair share. There are two different track parts, one flat, the other with a guide horn in the centre, and both have exquisite casting details that includes the ID numbers on both parts and indeed both faces. They have four sprue gates on each link, attached on the curved hinge-points, making them easy to cut back flush and then sand smooth with a sanding stick, to ease assembly and gluing. I made up a short length as a test, and was finished in a few minutes with a little liquid glue thanks to their close tolerances that keep them together while you glue. Each side needs 72 links, which equates to 36 of each part, and once you get into a rhythm, it won’t take too long to complete the task, wrapping the still flexible links around the curved sections and holding them in place with tape and other clamps etc. to obtain the correct sag on the top run once the glue has cured. The detail is so good it’s almost a shame to weather them once painted. The turret starts as an almost complete shell with three sides and roof moulded into it, which has inserts for the interior skin. The roof has a large cupola with clear vision blocks and binoculars built into the bi-fold hatch, plus a simpler hatch for the gunner, both of which are shown fitted closed. The roof also has two more periscopes under armoured shrouds, and two vents on the rear, which are covered by a linked armoured mushroom cover. Despite this not being an interior kit, the gun breech is made up from a substantial number of parts with another 7.62mm DT machine gun mounted coaxially in the mantlet, before it is set to one side while the turret floor is completed. The floor part first has a lip inserted within the ring, then the inner mantlet support is prepared with the main gun’s mount, which is glued to the turret floor and has the breech slid in from behind and is joined by the coax DT with its mount. The gun tube, which is a single part is inserted through the outer mantlet, and has a hollow muzzle for extra detail. An aerial, some grab handles and lugs are dotted around the turret, and extra track links are made up and slid into the rails on the sides of the bustle, then the turret is dropped into place in the hull to complete the build. Markings There are four decal options in the box and they’re all green, as you’d expect from a wartime example made in the spring of '44. From the box you can build one of the following: Unidentified unit, Red Army, 4th Ukrainian Front, Summer 1944 7th Guards Novogorod Tank Brigade, Red Army, Karelian Front, 1944 Unidentified Unit, Red Army, late 1944 3rd Guards Tank Army, Germany, Spring 1945 The decal sheet isn’t huge because this is a tank, but the sheet is printed by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The markings and decals have been developed with assistance from Samer Kassis Archive, a prolific photographer of Soviet armour. Conclusion The T-34 played a huge part in the Soviet response to Operation Barbarossa, albeit after a substantial delay caused by Stalin’s apparent indecision. It was a stalwart of their defence then offense, sweeping the Germans aside thanks to its sloped armour and weight of numbers. This kit omits most of the interior, and yet keeps all the exteral goodies, so if interiors aren’t your thing it's a shoe-in. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. At the iHobbyExpo 2013 in the US, Minicraft displayed the box art from a future 1/48th new tool Beechcraft T-34A/B Mentor kit - ref. 11671. Release is expected in 2014. Sources: http://www.cybermodeler.com/special/ihe13.shtml https://minicraftmodels.com/products/11671-1-48-beechcraft-t-34-mentor V.P.
  12. Battle of Berlin (April 1945) (DS3506) 1:35 ICM The battle for Berlin was a bloody one between the advancing Russian Armies and the defending Germans fighting street by street, and sometime room by room. The main tanks for the advancing Russian was the T-34 while the Germans just made do with what ever they had left, these could include the odd King Tiger. While on a one to one basis the T-34 was out classed, the Russian had many more of them then the Germans had King Tigers, and the T-34 was a far more reliable Tank, Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B King Tiger With Henschel Turret There has been a proliferation of Tigers and King Tigers of late, and this is ICM's take on this behemoth of WWII. This was a new tooling back in 2016. The successor to the much vaunted Tiger heavy tank instilled more terror in the Allied forces due to initial encounters lending an almost invincible air to the design. It was soon found that although it packed a formidable punch, and could absorb a lot of punishment, it was in fact a flawed design from an engineering point of view. Stressing the transmission even further than the Tiger I, they suffered terrible attrition due to breakdowns, leading to many examples being captured or scuttled by their crew if these breakdowns occurred under fire. When it worked, it was very difficult to kill, and could seriously outrange almost everything on the battlefield, but as with the Tiger I before it, the Allies worked out a strategy to take them out by cooperative attacks between multiple Allied tanks. As well as the reliability issues that were never fully addressed due to the state of the war, the complexity of the design was such that they were never available in sufficient quantities to make a difference, and even when they were, Hitler's obsession with micro-managing every aspect of the war led to some poor placement of resources. Many King Tigers were captured by the Allies and taken back for analysis, with a few remaining intact long enough to find their way into museums, such as the one at Bovington. The Jagdtiger was a development of the King Tiger, using the chassis to mount an even more powerful gun in a casemate, but again very few of these saw action too late in the war. Now for the hull. There isn't a traditional "tub" for the hull, and you start by building up the sponsons, final drive housing and the torsion bars for the suspension. The hull floor is a sled to which the lowest parts are added before being partially covered by the torsion bars that extend across the hull floor. The addition of the sponsons finishes off the lower tub The King Tiger was designed with overlapping pairs of road wheels, learning from the mistakes of the Tiger I which had interleaved wheels to spread the vehicle's weight, which could result in taking off up to 14 wheels if an inner one needed repair or maintenance. The all-up weight increased substantially between the two vehicles, so there are a LOT of pairs of wheels on a Königstiger, with nine axles each side, plus the idler and drive sprockets, all of which are assembled from two parts each and fitted to their respective swing-arms. These are capped off with hubs, and later in the build the tracks are wrapped around them. The upper hull is supplied as a traditional main part with a hole in the rear for the engine bay, turret aperture and the lift-out front section that encompasses the hull crew hatches. The radiator vents are moulded-in, giving no opportunity to display a radiator bay without surgery to the hull, which is a minor negative IMHO. Periscopes are slotted into the front of the hull, hatches are added to the front insert, mushroom vents to the engine insert, and the Kugelblende armoured blister surrounding the bow machinegun is backed with a box to receive the gun stub in preparation for installation, with a small forest of lifting lugs littering the engine deck and lift-out hatches. Armoured covers are fitted to the periscopes and the vents on the engine deck, which leaves it ready for adding to the lower hull in advance of adding all the various smaller parts such as track and pioneer tools, mudguards, armoured exhausts, towing cables,& shackles. The turret secures with a bayonet fitting, and an aerial is glued into a socket on the engine deck, completing the build phase. Markings There are four decal options included in the box, with enough variation in finish from white distemper through Dunkelgelb to two Ambush schemes, that will please most folks without resorting to aftermarket decals. From the box you can build one of the following (which strangely enough none are from Berlin?) Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, Tank black 300 Feldhernhalle Winter distemper over Dunklegelb , Hungary 1945 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, Dunklegelb overall ,Pz.Abt. 503 Danzig March 1945 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, Tank blue 332 Pz.Abt. 501 3 tone camo Ardennes Dec 1944 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, Tank Red 008 Pz.Abt. 501, 3 tone camo Ardennes Dec 1944 This is an AFV, so the decal sheet is modest in size, with only a few markings on the sheet. The registration is perfect the sample, as is the colour density and sharpness, T-34 Here ICM have re-boxed their 2015 new tool T-34. It arrives in their usual box with the extra flap over the lower tray. Inside are six sprues and two hull halves in green styrene, tracks and towing cables in flexible black styrene, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour and has profiles at the rear for painting and markings. From the description above, you'll note that these are rubber-band tracks, which suits some and not others, and if you're a fan of metal or individual link styrene tracks, you've probably got your favourite brands already. The detail is nice with a little room for improving the detail with some etched grilles etc., but for most of us the detail is pretty good out of the box, and even though this is an exterior only kit, you get an almost complete breech if you want to pose the turret hatches open, plus a driver's position. For a change the build begins with the upper hull, detailing it with bow machine gun installation with a movable ball, the armoured vents and filling in the other cut-outs on the engine deck, plus the driver's large hatch at the front, which is best left closed unless you're planning on scratching a full interior to back up the seats! The rear bulkhead, armoured exhaust spats and the pipes themselves are all added at the back, and it is then put to the side while the lower hull is prepared with some holes that need drilling, the suspension boxes gluing in behind the hull sides, and the fender extensions added at the rear. After saying there's no interior, there is a pair of control levers and two comfy seats to fit inside the lower hull, but unless you're crowding the area with some beefy figures, there's still a big gap behind them that might be seen. The axles with their swing-arms are all fitted to the hull after the two halves are joined, with two attachment points, the final-drive housing is built up at the rear, and the idler axle slots into the front in preparation for the road wheels, which are supplied individually to make into pairs before they are glued onto the axles. The same happens to the idler and drive sprockets on both sides, then some light detail is applied to the hull in the shape of towing shackles, tie-down bars, and the tracks are joined, then installed. The tracks are in two parts each, which link together seamlessly, but don't react to liquid cement at all, so use super glue (CA), although the instructions are mute on the subject. Aligning the joins at the centre of the track run should hide any visible seams, especially if you're going to paint and weather them with some mud and grit. There is a simple round plug with a built in hatch to replace turret. The hull is then finished off with additional fuel tanks and tarp rolls, plus two tow cables. Markings Again with the T-34 there are no Berlin specific markings. You get 4 options, the colour is any you want as long as it Russian green 1. Tank 242 7th Guards Tank Corps, Germany 1945 2. Tank 201 7th Guards Mechanised Corps, Germany Spring 1945 3. Tank 315 4th Guards Tank Army, Germany Spring 1945 4 Tank 5, unknown Unit, Germany 1945 Conclusion It is good to see ICM bringing us a double boxing like this. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Somewhere in the Soviet Union... This started as a build of an old Tamiya T-34 kit to test the hairspray technique. The model was left for two years before I found the inspiration to complete it again a couple of months ago. Figures are Miniart.
  14. AVM Scale Models (link) has just released a retooling of its 1/72nd Beechcraft T-34 Mentor resin kit - ref. Source: https://www.facebook.com/AVM.ScaleModels/posts/2435770459779789 V.P.
  15. M. Fan Cheng Ping (樊成彬) - usually publishing infos about Freedom Model Kits and KASL Hobby in the Taiwanese forums - has published pictures of a 1/48th Beechcraft T-34C Turbo Mentor resin test/design model. From various messages, it appear it'll be a injected plastic kit from Freedom Model Kits (FMK). Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilitaryModelingSRG/permalink/1879366678945880/ Something to replace the OOP Czech Model kit. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/151929-czech-model-4809-t-34c-turbo-mentor To be followed V.P.
  16. I have always thought the three T-34 precursors (A-20, armed with 45mm cannon, 4 main wheels in the tracks instead of 5, and BT-7 tracks, A-32, armed with short barrel L-10 76mm cannon, 400mm thick tracks, and 5 wheels for each side tracks, and A-34, which had 550mm wide tracks, a longer L-11 76mm gun, and 5 wheeled tracks. The A-34's only difference to the T-34 Model 1940 was that it had a huge headlight on top of the barrel, and 37mm frontal armour plating instead of 45mm). I have decided to replicate the A-32. The first step was finding the 1/100 T-34 model 1940 in my "stash". (Which is really only 15 kits - I'm only 15 myself, but I'm sure some people on here will envy the tiny stash of mine ) After I found out I had already started it, and had attempted to remove the paint with sandpaper at some point, unsuccessfully, I finally came to terms that the model will have a slightly thicker coat of paint than I would like. The second thing I added were some neodymium magnets to the hull of the tank and inside the turret, so I can move the turret instead of gluing it in place. The third thing I did was take some sprue cutters and cut the L-11 gun to the size of a L-10. I eyeballed this. The A-32 also had these little pieces of metal in the middle of the turret that poked out. I'm guess this was where they welded the two sides of the turret and added a small piece of metal on the welded edges to strengthen the bond. This was not on any of the T-34's, they were all single piece turrets if I recall correctly. To make these, I took a piece of cardboard and cut the corrugation off and then cut each one to about 3mm in width, and superglued it to the appropriate place. The A-32 also had two periscope instead of one as the T-34 had, the second periscope was in the rear of the turret, the first in the front. I simply cut a piece of wire and glued it in place with pliers. The A-32 had one large headlight above a coaxial machine gun. Since the zvezda kit does not model the machine gun, I took a dremel and drilled a hole and stuck a small thin piece of stretched sprue to replicate a MG. For the headlight, I found a searchlight that was from a 1/350 scale resin subchaser, it was the perfect size and looked like the A-32's headlight. The tracks on the A-32 were 400mm thick instead of 550mm as on the T-34, but I found Zvezda's kit tracks were too thin anyways, so no change was done there. Anyways this is my progress to create a diverse tiny scale 1/100 Soviet arsenal. Enjoy so far! RJ
  17. Another project that languished for a bit. I mostly enjoyed the build, although the ICM T-34 had some fit issues, and the tracks don't want to take paint, which peels off easily. As a result, I was unable to weather the wheels and tracks as much as I wanted to.
  18. Dear fellow Britmodellers, this is an aircraft modeller's attempt on "Heavy Metal" - Dragon's 1/72 T-34/85 Mod.1944. Built from the box with the addition of metal towing cable from the spares box. Earlier Dragon kits did include this, as well as photo-etch pieces, but their new (orange) boxings contain plastic parts only. It still builds into a very nice model kit, probably the best in 72 scale. I still need to improve my skills on tank painting and weathering, but I hope you like the outcome. Painted with Gunze acrylics (Olive Drab H80), photographed by Wolfgang Rabel. With kind regards from Vienna.
  19. After the 1/48th kit (link) Freedom Model Kits (FMK) is working on a 1/32nd Beechcraft T-34C Turbo Mentor kit - ref.12003 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/Freedommodelkits/posts/1492074717539711 https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilitaryModelingSRG/permalink/1931772517038629/ V.P.
  20. Hi all, This is my first armour model in years, certainly since joining BM and it's the old Matchbox T-34. I have built this as part of the ongoing Matchbox GB and mine is not the only bit of armour being done for it, though some more would be nice. I know it's not a super accurate kit but was built as a bit of nostalgia and fun and I really enjoyed building it, and it will not be my last armour model either. Anyway here are some pictures; And for those of you who are interested here is a link to the build. Thanks for looking in. Craig.
  21. Couldn't resist the lure of this GB any longer! I used to build lots of Matchbox armour (and aircraft) kits in my youth and I used to like how easily they went together and the fact that they were good subjects and seemed accurate too, at least they did at the time! This is the only Matchbox kit I have in the stash so it didn't take long to choose what to build! Anyway, time for the usual box and sprue shots. I always liked the dramatic pictures on the Matchbox boxes and used to draw my own (terrible) versions of them as a kid. The wonderfully coloured plastic. I can assure you that the blue is every bit as hard on the eye in real life as it is in the picture! Tracks look like they will be fun too. And the instructions and massive decal sheet. I will build it mostly OOTB but will leave off the anti-aircraft machine gun on the turret as I don't think they were carried on this model of T-34, I believe it's meant to be a 1942 model. i will look for an interesting scheme for it, either a winter scheme or a green and brown one, I am open to suggestions. Won't be starting for a couple of days as I have a Dornier Do-17 to complete first for the Radial Engines Rock GB. Thanks for looking in. Craig.
  22. Soviet T-34-76 with Tank Riders ICM 1:35 History The T-34 was and remains a legend. It is not only the most produced tank of the WWII-era, with 84,000 built (compared to the 48,966 Shermans of all versions) but also one of the longest-serving tanks ever built. Many are still stored in depots in Asia and Africa, and some served actively during the 90’s (such as during the 1991-99 Yugoslavian war). They formed the backbone of countless armoured forces around the globe from the fifties to the eighties. The basic design was drawn for the first time in 1938 with the A-32, in turn partially derived from the BT-7M, a late evolution of the US-born Christie tank. The first version of the T-34/76 came as a nasty surprise for the overconfident German troops in the fall of 1941, when it was first committed en masse. Not only were they able to cope with the mud and snow with their large tracks, but they came with a perfect combination of thick and highly sloped armour, efficient gun, good speed, autonomy and, above all, extreme sturdiness, reliability, ease of manufacturing and maintenance. While the T-34 did have a number of deficiencies, the T-34’s influence on the future designs and the concept of the main battle tank is unquestionable. The Model The model arrives in a strong box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the tank and riders on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are five sprues and two hull parts of green styrene and, four lengths of tracks, there is also a sprue of light brown styrene, for the tank riders, and a smallish decal sheet. On initial inspection the parts are really well moulded, clean, with no sign of flash. There are a number of moulding pips, some of which are on quite fragile looking parts, so care should be taken when removing. The sprue gates attaching some items like are also quite heavy and I can see these parts breaking if not careful. The build begins with the fitting of the engine cover onto the rear decking, and the bow machine gun, armoured tear drop, mantle and ball. The two intake covers are then assembled and also fitted to the rear deck. The two piece bow mounted machine gun is then assembled and slide into the ball of the mounting, being glued such that it is still moveable, whilst there are four plates that are fitted to the underside of the rear decking. The drivers hatch is made up form four parts before being glued into position. Back aft, the rear bulkhead is attached, followed by the radiator cover. Inside the lower hull section the eight suspension boxes are fitted, four per side as are the two driver’s control sticks, whilst the rear mudguards are fitted to the rear. On the outside the driver gearbox covers are fitted, as are the five axles on their torsion beam suspension arms and the idler axles. The drivers are machine gunners seats, each made from six parts are glued in their appropriate positions and the two hull halves joined together. Each of the idler wheels, drive sprockets and road wheels are made from two parts before being fitted to their respective axles. The four towing hooks are then attached, two at the front and two aft. The upper hull is then fitted out with grab handles, stowage beams and a couple of smaller hooks. Each of the two halves of rubber track lengths are joined together and slide of the wheels. While there isn’t really any interior, ICM have allowed for the fact that some modellers like to have the hatches open, to that effect there is some semblance of interior parts. The main gun breech is made up form twelve parts, and although relatively simple, does look quite effective. On the outside of the turret the mantlet and fixed section of the mantlet cover are fitted, the breech assembly is then glued to the mantlet from the inside and the lower turret, including the turret ring is glued into place. The moving section of the mantlet cover is then attached, along with the machine gun muzzle. The three piece mantlet extension and two piece main gun is then fitted, along with the five piece cupola, gunners hatch, grab handles, ventilator dome, viewing block and top armour plate for the mantlet. There are more stowage bars, periscope sights, lifting eyes and viewing blocks fitted to the turret before the whole assembly is fitted to the upper hull. Final assembly includes the four, four piece fuel drums, each with two cradles, spare track links, stowage boxes and aerial base. There is a four piece folded tarpaulin, (in place of one of the fuel drums), another stowage box, two more track links headlight, horn, two towing cables and a large saw attached before the model can be declares complete. Normally this is where the build stops, but with this kit you also get four tank riders, as they were used to protect the tanks, particularly with the Germans introducing the Panzerfaust and also ease their journey from one place to the other. This set of four figures depicts the riders as alert and ready for danger, hunkering down slightly with their eyes front (at least in the boxtop shot), and weapons at the ready. They are dressed in the familiar quilted uniform seem during this period, with the typical fur hat with ear-flaps tied over the top and a depiction of the red star on the front. Three are armed with the PPSh-41, while the remainder has the smaller PPS with curved magazine, which was a cheap alternative to the more expensive and robust PPSh, and typically used in vehicles as a personal defence weapon. Each soldier is provided with a crude day sack, equipment and magazine pouches and a drinking bottle, but none carry a sidearm in case of weapons malfunction. The figures are all broken down as torso, two separate legs and arms, separate heads and hats, and all the pouches. Even the PPSh-41s have separate drum magazines for ease of moulding. Sculpting on the figures is excellent, with different faces on each head, and subtle differences between the figures, such as medals adorning the chests of three of the figures. Construction is so simple that it is ignored, relying on the painting guide having all the information you need such as part numbers, and that a picture speaks a thousand words. Colours are called out in red letters in boxes, which corresponds to a table on the flip side, giving names for the colours as well as Revell and Tamiya paint codes. Decals The decal sheet provides six options for tanks that each served in 1944. All of the tanks are in all over green, two with slogans on the turret, the rest with just numbers and/or badges. The choices are:- A T-34, 24th Tank Regiment, 46th Mechanised Brigade, Byelrussia. July 1944 A T-34 18th Guards Tank Brigade, 3rd Guards Tank Corps, Byelrussia, July 1944 A T-34 Sevastepol, May 1944 A T-34 of an undesignated unit, from the Summer of 1944. A T-34, 4th Guards Mechanized Corps, Romania, August 1944 A T-34, 10th Guards Ural Tank Corps, Ukraine, Summer 1944. Conclusion This is another nice kit from ICM. Although not the most complicated of tank kits it does look the part is would make a nice, relaxing weekend build. The addition of the tank riders is a very nice touch, and they don’t necessarily have to be used with this kit, so they have more potential. Just a shame that the tracks let the kit down, either go full rubber band or even link and length styrene, but the method chosen for these is definitely a step backward. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Presumably Zvezda snap-kit is better than any of the trio mentioned above, but i don't like the looks of the hex-turret model 1942/43. So can anybody tell me what are the pros and cons for the early production T-34 in Braille scale? Is Dragon really so wrong and Unimodels so good? And what about the Trumpeter? Is it worth its price?
  24. After almost 50 years of modelling (mostly aircraft, but also ships, cars, railways) at last I decided to build a small collection of AFVs in 1/72. Frankly speaking somewhere deep in the 70s or 80s I have built two or three such models (Centurion, Patton and 155mm M40 IIRC), but the time goes by and new kits appear every year. As a newbie in this ocean of modelling I would like to know your opinion which kits of several WW2 AFVs are the best on the market now. I'm not a rivet-counter, but correct shape and sharp surface detail are more important for me than sheer number of parts, opened hatches and detailed interior. So which kit would you buy to model the : Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. G (ESCI/Hasegawa/Italeri, Revell, Dragon, Trumpeter) T-34-76 (ESCI/Hasegawa/Italeri, Revell, AER/Toga/Parc, Zvezda, Trumpeter, Dragon, Unimodels, Eastern Express) T-26 (SKIF/Unimodels, Mirage, S-model, Pegasus) M4 Sherman - original variant, not M4A and later (Dragon, Italeri, Trumpeter, Heller) M3 Stuart - also "plain" M3, neither M3A nor M5 (Hasegawa/Revell, Alanger, Mirage) Eager to hear your opinion
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