This T-34/85 has been sprayed Russian Armour Green (Testors WP 7832) mixed with yellow to give the vehicle a slightly faded look. The tank still needs to be weathered significantly to achieve a realistic look, and the decals have not been mounted yet. The hand-rails were scratchbuilt from pianowire, because the original plastic parts are very brittle and they appeared to be out of scale. The AER model has hard plastic tracks which may be glued to the top and bottom of the roadwheels securely. The upper track section needs to be bent to suggest the weight of the track. The infantry in the photo are a mixture of ESCI and Revell miniatures.
- T-34/85 M.44 Medium Tank
- Decal Sheet covering 22 vehicles in Soviet, Polish, and Czechoslovak service
Good choice of subject, the T34/85 was an important combat vehicle in World War Two, and it continued to serve for many decades thereafter.
There are 22 different sets of decals to represent a T-34/85 serving in Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria, or North China in 1944 and 1945. The selection is very nice for diorama builders who want to portray a moment in history involving one particular vehicle like the T-34 of Junior Lieutenant Frolikov who was the first to enter the City of Minsk in July of 1944.
The running gear is fun to assemble, even if the alignment of the track links is not entirely clear from the instructions.
This T-34/85 is a interesting challenge for the serious modeller. Wargamers will get acceptable results even if they do not attempt to improve the model with scratchbuilt parts.
This T-34/85 requires more modelling experience than one would expect from a typical plastic kit. The locating holes on the hull sides and deck need to be drilled open. These holes are marked by a small circle. Some holes are not needed at all, and the circles should be scraped off carefully. Significant flash on most parts needs to be removed carefully before assembly.
The gun barrel is built from two half-pipes which will soften and bend if too much glue is used. In addition, the assembled barrel is difficult to clean up, because there are so many sprue attachment points along its length.
The exhaust cover (part 5) did not fit properly once the flash had been removed. The dividing line between the flash and the actual part is not immediately apparant.
The hinges on the driver’s hatch were embedded in flash. Even after the flash had been removed, the hinges would not interlock properly with corresponding hinges on the hull. Apparently, this hatch is modelled in the open position, but there are no parts to model the driver’s compartment. Anyone adept at scratchbuilding the driver’s compartment may want to leave the hatch open.
The upper and lower turret parts 33 and 34 did not fit very well in the area around the gun mantlet. The locating pins had to be sliced off, to improve the fit, and noticeable gaps needed to be filled prior to painting.
The illustration on the box cover shows the metal supports for the external fuel drums very nicely, but the actual parts are glued to the hull sides without any supports.
The tool boxes mounted on the fenders are not detailed at all. These parts should have a lid with the proper hinges, latches, and handles on either end.
The track assembly instructions were difficult to follow, because there are two different types of track links and it is not entirely clear where to start or how to align them. However, the track went together quite well, and the result looks very good.
The T-34/85 is fun to build and paint. Serious modellers will improve the kit further by adding scratchbuilt parts, stowage items and tank riders. One interesting detailing project would be to model the tank with open hatches, in which case the driver’s compartment needs to be built from scratch.