Dragon, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale Kit Number 6759; Panzerkampfwagen T-34/85|
|Media and Contents:||447 parts in grey styrene, 1 length twisted steel wire|
|Price:||pre-order price US$56.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Still a very good T-34-85 kit|
|Disadvantages:||Features in the kit are throwbacks and will disappoint many who liked the updated T-34 series (see text); for many modelers may be unimpressive|
|Recommendation:||Recommended for all “34-ka” fans|
Like most other manufacturers DML has now their T-34-85 Factory No. 112 variant tank kit to the “captured vehicle” list.
T-34-85 tanks were a rare item for the Germans to capture, as when they came out in early 1944 the Germans were in retreat from Russia. By that time the bugs in the T-34 chassis had long been eliminated and the tanks were well supplied and quite reliable. As a result any captures were usually simply repainted and reused by their new owners.
This is the T-34-85 Model 1944 (Late Production) with the single flap hatch and twin ventilators at the rear of the turret and the Factory No. 112 “tankoviy desant” infantry handrails fitted to the hull. It follows the original T-34-85 kit that came with just over 400 parts, all but one of which were in grey styrene, and injection molded tracks on sprues. The rear engine grille was a solid component and no other media came in the kit other than one length of nylon string.
This is the same kit but with surprisingly few of the upgrades and changes introduced over the years. It goes back to the old tracks (recent ones had Magic Track single links) and the original one-piece radiator air exhaust cover (part B15). No brass is included whatsoever even though the box advertisement claims they are provided, and the “test mule” assembled model also sports them.
The styrene gun barrel now is slide molded as are two new exhausts for the rear of the hull. Also included is a complete DT machine gun for the bow.
The single-link tracks are not bad (the “Magic Link” ones were better and needed no cleanup as these do) and as with all T-34 tracks must have a plate and tooth alternate. It is recommended that the idler adjustment arms (parts A6) be left loose until the tracks are ready to test fit so that the length will come out right. As always, T-34 tracks HAVE to have an even number of links so the flat and toothed links will mesh.
The modeler does have a choice between “new” and “used” fuel tanks and also a set of cast wheels is included to use as replacements among the pressed steel disk wheels.
Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson are given developmental credit.
A tiny sheet of Cartograf decals is included – mostly crosses – and two variations on a theme are offered, both “Unidentified Unit 1944" with one with green over sand and one in tricolor paint.
Overall this does leave a simple kit that can be an easy project for a modeler who wants a “German” T-34-85, but many ‘34 fans will be disappointed it is missing the nicer update features.
A 12x2 Road wheel arms and driver mounts
B 27 Cupola and rear deck hatch
C 20 Upper hull and gun (new)
D 15 Spoked road wheels
E 9 Factory No. 112 tankoviy desant handrails
F 27x2 Crumpled fuel tanks and drivers/idlers
G 7 T-34-85 Model 1944 turret
H 6 Louvers and driver’s hatch
I 1 Lower hull pan
J 1 twisted steel wire
L 66x3 Track links, fuel tank mounts, grousers
M 14x2 Fuel tanks, exhausts, tiedowns and details
N 8x2 Spring suspension, fuel tank mounts
Q 6x2 Lift rings, turret cheek pieces
Q 15x2 T-34/SU-85 disk wheels with perforated rims
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.