Kit #: 5039 Preview by Marcin Milczarek - panzerbreslau(at)o2(dot)pl
Edited by Marc MERCIER

Kit 5039 is a World War II era T-34/85, being more specific a model of this tank produced in Uralskyi Tankoviy Zavod no. 183 from December 1944 (or January 1945) till the end of the war. This factory produced the largest number of T-34s during the war and most model companies, who have a T-34/85 in 1/72, offer this particular version. These are: Revell #03130, UM #328, in some aspects Dragon #7270 and also an Italeri fast assembly kit #7515.

Zvezda's snap-kits' are more detailed than other 'fast assembly' kits, so it would be fair to compare them to the more 'traditional' models. The idea of a 'snap-kit' is to make a model without using any glue to assemble all the parts.

This kit contains two sprues plus a lower hull.

It has the late Zavod no. 183 turret - you can recognise this version by a "bulge” on the left side, a single-piece commander's copula hatch and MK4 periscopes. It is more detailed than the one in the UM kit and looks similar to the one you can find in Revell's kit.

If you compare the kit's turret roof to the drawing (T-34 Mythical Weapon, p.491 ) it seems that the antenna mount and the MK4 periscope location is not perfectly correct .

None of hatches can be opened, moreover the drivers hatch visors are also closed (similar to the Zvezda #5001 T-34/76 and Revell's #03130) which makes the driver blind! Only UM focused on this aspect and gave the modeller a choice to open (or close) both hatch and visors. I'd like to notice, that historically, a T-34 often travelled with the driver's hatch open.

This kit contains a different set of wheels than the earlier Zvezda (#5001) T-34/76 kit.
Although the T-34-85 on the box artwork shows a set of Zavod no. 112 wheels, inside you'll find the correct set of "full spider" road wheels with large (and small!) lightening holes typical for a late-war Zavod no. 183 vehicle.

Zvezda released the same T-34-85 Zavod. no. 183 (even with the same picture on the box) in 1/35 scale (#3533) but with a wrong set of wheels (lacking the lightening holes!) inside. For some unknown reason, UM committed the same mistake in its 1/72 scale (# 328) kit.

The sprocket and idlers wheels are the same as in Zvezda's T-34/76, which is correct for a T-34/85.

There is one serious disadvantage about this kit – it has no handrails. This might be acceptable for some T-34 versions produced in 1942, but is unacceptable for a T-34/85. Other Zvezda's "snap-kits" (ISU-152, IS-2) do have the necessary handrails.

The upper hull part (C1) is similar to the C1 from the earlier T-34/76 (#5001), but has the late-type front fenders and turret ring deflection bars – correct for this T-34-85. I have also doubts about the front girder of this tank – it should not be so rounded (like on the early T-34) but more 'sharp', 'angular'.

The kit also contains two towing cables, some standard spare tracks carried on front upper hull and an optional set of tracks sometimes seen on the right fender.

The kit has new 500 mm tracks, typical for most T-34s from late 1942 till the end of war and the post-war period (UM gives the same type of tracks for all its T-34s). The track is thin enough, made in hard plastic and looks good.
Overview of the dimensions (according to: Michulec p. 351, Moszczanski p. 70) :
The four page manual is clear.

The decal sheet gives you only one option : Tank number 82 "Forward on Berlin" which is correct for this T-34.
However, the Uralskyi Tankoviy Zavod factory made about 7500 T-34/85 of this particular version, so I expected a bigger variety of markings in this kit.



The Zvezda model gives you a well detailed and mostly historical correct tank. The kit is recommendable even for less experienced modellers and with some extra work, can be turned into a good model of late-war T-34/85.


I. Moszczanski. No. 275 - T-34/85 - Tank Power Vol. XLVIII . 2007. Wydawnictwo Militaria
R. Michulec, M. Zientarzewski. T-34 Mythical Weapon. 2006. Airconnection. Inowroclaw
S. Zaloga, J. Kinnear, P. Sarson. 1996. T-34-85 Medium Tank 1944-1994. New Vanguard No. 20. Osprey Publishing, London
S. Zaloga, J. Grandsen, D. Greer. 1983. T-34 in Action. Squadron/Signal Publications
S. Jablonski, G. Okon, Kagero Topshots 11032 T-34/85. 2006. Kagero, Lublin

Review sample purchased by the author.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 03 January 2016