Yet Another T-34 from Dragon, this time the T-34/85 1944 version, This is the Same as Revells T-34 but with the rounded fenders instead of the square on the Revell kit. Dragon have changed the Hull yet again on this vehicle, which is good considering the unusual hull on the 1942 tank. The other thing about Dragon kits are their continual improvement, in 1940 it was closed driver and no rear access hatch, in 1941 it was still a closed driver but it did have the rear access hatch, in 1942 the drivers hatch opened and the rear access hatch changed, and now in 1944 both the drivers and rear acces hatches are open. There are aparently even more improvements on the mod 43 German army T-34.
The lower hull is the same as all the other T-34's
The first sprue contains the new hull top and rear plate with the open access hatch, all the hull mountings and the now obligatory two fan covers one fully moulded and one cut out for use with the PE fret which this time fits !
The second sprue contains all the parts for the turret including the main gun, the fact that two mantlets are included suggests other variants on the way. The turret has a similar breakdown as the Revell turret with the exception that the turret roof is a separate piece. The commander cupola is of the split hatch type instead of the single piece on the Revell, where this turret exceeds the Revell turret is in the depiction of the strengthening welds around the turret ring. for those that would like to know, the part gun barrel will fit the hole in the mantlet requires enlarging slightly for a snug fit
Now we come back to the wheels !! although I like the idea of single piece wheels I am not so keen on the idea of drilling hundreds of holes. but i still don't understand why they can't do slide moulded wheels with holes, I can see no earthly engineering reason as to why it wouldn't work !
The tracks are the same as the 42 version, nicely detaled and made out of DS styrene, with plenty of lenght to go round so that the sag can be replicated.
The now obligatory PE fret and Metallic string for the tow ropes which personally I find a wonderful idea.
Markings are included for 4 vehicles, the decals themselves are well printed and nicely thin.
With the exception of the wheels this is one of the best T-34/85s on the market, the kit scales out well to 1/72 scale, the hull can also be used for the Mod 42 version as well. now if only someone would get round to making stuff to fill all the open hatches !
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