Soviet Medium Tank T-34/76 mod. 1943

Kit #: 5001 Preview by Jolyon Ralph - jolyon(at)mindat(dot)org
Edited by Al Magnus

This model should in no way be compared to other fast-assembly kits, such as the Italeri or Armorfast range. Those are, quite simply, toys. This is an absolute work of art.

Designed to be snapped together without glue, and yes, it does go together absolutely fine without glue. The detail is incredible. The tracks are fantastic - great detail and just the right thickness, the wheels are excellent - the lightening holes on the all-steel wheels maybe just a fraction too small - but I’ve not got my references here to check, so they may actually be fine. But, unlike the “Pro” Dragon T-34 kits, at least the lightening holes are drilled for you! You have to assemble the wheel from two parts unlike the Dragon kit, but I can tell you that takes a LOT less time than drilling the wheels. And the tracks look like T-34 tracks made of individual plates, not like a saggy rubber band you get with the Dragon kits.

The intricate system of lugs and holes that you use to clip everything together without needing glue is simply the work of genius. I can honestly say it’s a masterpiece of design, and if this model kit doesn’t win some kind of award for kit of the year then there’s something seriously wrong somewhere.

After building it you probably need very little detailing, if any, to make it into a decent replica of the hexagonal turret T-34. I’m probably going to add an aerial and that’s about it. Decals are provided for two vehicles, one in overall 4bo and one with 4bo/brown camouflage.

The turret hatches can’t be positioned open using the snap-together technique, but the way they are moulded means you could quite easily shave off the plugs on the bottom that are used to attach them to the turret, glue them in the open position, and then glue the turret to the turret base to keep everything intact. No big problem.

I have to say it was a very pleasant change to build a kit without inhaling a lung full of MEK fumes. If this is the future of 1:72 plastic kits then I’m all for it!

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Article Last Updated: 27 April 2011