Aber, Armorscale & RB Model T-34 76mm Barrel Comparison
Edited by Al Magnus
The T-34/76 has always been a favorite of modelers over the years, and for many, replacing the barrel with an aftermarket item is a requirement. With this is mind, I thought I would do a full comparison of the various alleged T-34 76mm 1/72 scale barrels that I currently have in my possession.
NOTE: All of the photos use as comparison an illustration from “T-34 Mythical Weapon” (by Robert Michulec, Air Connection, 2007, ISBN:0978109104), which has been scanned at the original 1/35 scale and printed when reduced to 1/72 scale.
Not pictured, because I've already used it on a model - Model Point (7200): Made of brass (not aluminium), the Model Point F-34 is as accurate as the Aber. They also made an L-11 (7205) which is just as good. Unfortunately Model Point products are out of production and quite hard to locate these days.
Other choices for the F-34 are virtually non-existent. Armo have two F-34 barrels in their catalogue; one wonders what the difference between them would be, but neither seem to be currently in production. A company called "Micro-RealistiXX" made a brass barrel but I know nothing about it and have no idea of its availability (I've not seen any for sale anywhere). And so far as I'm aware, that's it! That means the Aber barrel 72 L-34 is currently the only available game in town.
The benefit of the replacement barrel would be mostly felt when making one of the old ESCI kits (still available from Italeri) -- the barrels supplied in these being quite undersized; or one of the Eastern Express or UM kits (which are accurate enough in their dimensions but tend to suffer from flash and mould seams). The barrels that come with the Dragon and Trumpeter kits are slide-molded (I presume) and about as good as you could hope them to be; a metal replacement would do little for them.
The barrels could also be used in the 1/76 Airfix, Matchbox/Revell or Fujimi kits -- the guns in all of those kits being undersized. The scale difference is miniscule and would be impossible to spot.