The third release in the Dragon T-34 series. It has been said that the Hull is wrong, I will not go that far as to say it is wrong,Very rare maybe, infact so rare that outside of a set of drawings pictures are very difficult to find, but there are more reasons to this than that simply it did not exist. to try and tell the proportion of something from a picture is very hard. So I will say simply this that the hull is not correct for a common vehicle of this type but who knows the whole story? For tose who would prefer the more common type then the T-34/44 supplies it, but who wants to pay twice for one kit ??
Back to the kit, It uses the same lower hull as the rest of the series, but with a new upper hull, this is also the first one that has the Drivers hatch as a separate piece which allows you to see inside, but no interior detail (with the exception of the turret) is included, having thought about this, you can always use the drivers station out of the dreadful Military Wheels T-34 Hulls. You have to commend Dragon for one thing, they certainly leave the way open for aftermarket products, if only there were some ! The hull is nicely detailed with the correct round access hatch in the rear plate. Also included are two types of Armoured covers for the exhaust, although only the straight edged ones are suitable for this tank (But you never know!) The rear fan cover is as usual given twice, one fully moulded and one open to add the PE screen to, A word of warning, Unless Dragon have changed it then only the moulded one can be used as the PE screen is too small to fit the open cover. Still the moulded one is nicely detailed and for those that want the moulded mesh can be cut away and replaced just like every other T-34 kit.
The Turret is of the Hard edged variety and correctly shaped and proportioned, in fact it matches exactly the drawings I have, the only problem with the turret are the two vision slits in either side, the are a little too pronounced and could do with being smaller, although I am not sure how you would acheive this. The other odd thing about the turret, is the inclusion of two roofs, the one on the main sprue, is a type I have never seen before with the periscope on the right, mostly from all the photos I have seen the either have it on the left or on both sides, Maybe this is a mistake that Dragon corrected before release, although the instructions do give the option of using both.
As with the other two releases there is a basic breech for the main gin included, although this does fill a space nicely it is not a complete turret and it would need some extra work if modeled with the hatches open, unless they were filled with crew figures.
Also included in the kit are two nicely detailed unditching beams and the early type external fuel tanks, along with some separate tools and two rolled canvasses.
Now we come to the kits main downfall as a static model, although the wheels are nicely moulded and these are the best all steel wheel I have seen in plastic, their one downfall is the fact that all the holes are moulded shut, although I like the idea of one piece wheels (only because I hate doing them) I would rather have two piece wheels with open holes than one piece and have to drill them all out. However I don't understand as surely it must be possible to have a one piece wheel and open holes !! anyway back to drilling !
The Tracks are of the waffle type, moulded in the DS styrene, despite what many people think of this, I like it, it takes paint very well and glues with normal styrene cement and there is enough of it to produce the slack needed without being tight around the drive and idler wheels. For those that say it is not stiff enough and bends around the wheels, there is a way round this, with some careful glueing and deft cuts and it is still quicker than link and length. Don't get me wrong, I like link and length when it is done right, however it is very easy to get it wrong and a lot of the companies seem to cut it a bit fine on the length of the track which gives no room for manouver and the tracks end up too tight.
The decal sheet includes markings for 6 vehicles, also included is the metal string for the tow ropes and the too small PE radiator screen
All in All a nice complete kit and despite it's flaws this is the best Hexagonal turret in this scale and in plastic.
The Kit measures out well according to my references to 1/72nd scale
Russian T-34 battletank by Horst Schiebert Schiffer publications
T-34 in action By Steven Zaloga and James Grandsen Squadron/Signal Publications
T-34/76 1941-1945 by Steven Zaloga And Peter Sarson Osprey New Vanguard NVG009
Tankomaster Hull Drawings
M-Hobby Hull and Turret drawings
Plus Various other russian Publications that when I find out what they are called in English I will add to the list