"ChTZ" with PT-34 Mineroller
AER (Kit #
LEVA (72-C-08 and 72-C-09); Resin Master (2R5 and 2R7).
This was a
major conversion project involving several kits and
manufacturers. The base T-34 kit was the AER T-34/85. The turret
and PT-34 are resin items from LEVA, and the wheels, and
miscellaneous details are from Resin Master.
AER T-34 kit is a T-34/85, and the LEVA turret directly
replaces the kit turret. This kit is not really up to the
standards set by today's newest kits, and is also not
quite as good as the old ESCI T-34's. But it still has
the correct shape, and its size scales out very well to
hull has good detail. There are a couple of cables molded
onto the rear plate of the hull, which are supposed to
run into the two smoke barrels which were used on the
T-34/85. These cables need to be sanded off the hull for
this conversion. Also, the locating circles for the fuel
barrels, and other hull parts should also be removed.
engine air intake vents are molded a little too shallow.
Both Eduard and PART make etched brass detail sets for
this kit, which include replacement grates, and this kit
would definitely benefit from either set.
driver's hatch must be glued in the open position, or
else major work would need to be done to improve the
hatch hinges. In the open position, the hinge parts fit
of the kit parts are poorly detailed, and have been
replaced by resin parts from the Resin Master Detail set.
not used in this project, the 85mm turret included in the
kit is only mediocre (and the gun barrel far too large),
and is best replaced by a resin after-market turret.
spacing of the wheel axles is whacked. I recall reading
about this in early reviews of this kit. Perhaps I read
the reviews wrong, because I had the impression that this
kit was incorrect in that all the wheels were evenly
spaced, when in fact, three of the axles should be close
to each other, and the other two, farther apart. Well,
when I was building the model, I noticed that the kit
axles were, in fact, staggered, not evenly-spaced. So I
thought that perhaps the original review I read was
wrong, and I built the model as shown. But
... after completing the kit, I looked closer at drawings
of this tank, and realized that the kit is indeed wrong.
The kit has the forward three sets of wheels close
together, when in fact, it should be the rear three wheel
sets. AER got it backwards.
the way, if you build this kit with the steel wheels
included with it, be aware that they do not have enough
lightening holes in them. The steel wheels in the ESCI
kits are much better.
have mixed feelings about the tracks. They are hard
plastic, link-and-length, which is good. But they are not
as finely molded as the tracks included with the SU-85
and SU-122, which are produced by a company from Samara,
Russia. The tracks in this AER kit are much thicker; too
thick for my liking. However, the attachment points
between each individual link is much less distinct, which
has the effect of making them much easier to attach to
one another. When I built the Eastern Express SU-122, it
took a great long time to clean up each link, and sand
and file them in order to get them to fit into each
other. Consequently, these tracks assembled much quicker
than the Samara tracks. And although I do not like how
thick they are, the finished tracks looks very good.
There are a large number of extra individual links
included in the kit, so it is possible to replicate track
sag, which I did only to a limited extent. Also, the
guide teeth are not as tall as they should be, but that
may be a molding limitation.
PT-34 and T-34/76 D Turret
are the first LEVA items I have used, and I am very
impressed by them. They are both extremely well detailed
and well molded.
turret set comes with six parts (see scan at bottom of
page): the turret, main gun, mantle shield, commander's
cupola, commander's hatch, and hull-mounted flame thrower
nozzle. As you can see, the modeler has the option of
building the turret with or without the commander's
cupola. I chose to use it. There is a substantial hole in
the turret beneath the open hatch, so if a modeler chose
to use the hatch, you can also add a commander
half-figure (or whole figure, if you deepen the recess).
used the flame thrower nozzle for the OT-34 version. I
have never seen a photo of a T-34 with both the
flamethrower and the PT-34 mineroller, but I decided to
use both for the sake of this review project. Besides,
you never know. Both the PT-34 and OT-34 were support
vehicles, so there may have been an example of a vehicle
have heard stories of peole who had problems with LEVA
resin (sticky, not adhering to glue), but I had none of
those problems. A LEVA representative told me that they
had a bad batch of resin in the past, and have since
fixed the problem. Indeed, the quality of the resin parts
I used was top-notch.
PT-34 has exceptional detail, and again, is very
well-molded. However, based on the few photographs I have
been able to find of this item, I believe that the radius
of the roller wheels is too small. From what I've seen,
the rollers should be more massive.
modeler is required to fabricate some cable to attach the
mineroller mechanism to the tank. I did this by twisting
strands of fine solder, and gluing the ends into the tow
cable end-loops from the kit, which I cut off the plastic
cables, and drilled a hole into the ends.
Master Wheels and Detail Set
owned both of these sets before I received the donated
review items, and there are some differences between the
donated sets, and the older ones which I've had for
wheels are the "spider" style, with pierced
metal wheels, and rubber tires. In my older set, each
wheel is a separate part, but in the newer set, each pair
of wheels is a single piece, with a groove cut down the
center. This arrangement greatly simplifies the
construction, however, the groove was not cut deep
enough, and a heavy wash was needed to make it appear
deeper. It would have been better to paint the groove
black. It was also necessary to snip off the guide teeth
of the track links passing over and under the wheels. The
rubber tires should be perforated, not solid as these
of the wheels on each side are extremely close to
touching each other. I've checked many scale drawings,
and the best I can figure is that these wheels are
perhaps just a hair too large in diameter, perhaps by
less than half a millimeter. But when you have two wheels
next to each other, that discrepancy is doubled, and they
are then too close. Aside from that, they are very
well-detailed, and well made.
sure that you attach the wheels as far onto the axles as
possible, else the track guide-teeth groove will not
align with the groove in the kit's idler and sprocket
T-34/SU-100 Detail set includes several parts intended to
replace poor kit parts. With the exception of the antenna
mount (which is in the parts scan below, but I did not
use that part), all of the resin pieces are direct copies
of ESCI T-34 kit parts, which are superior to the AER kit
parts. In my old set, they also included a siren, which
was not in this new set.
two mufflers have bolt detail around the outer edge. I
had to sand the backs of the mufflers to thin the parts
before gluing to the hull.
engine access hatch has much more detail than the AER kit
part, but would be even better yet replaced with brass.
fender storage boxes have lid and latch detail, which the
AER parts do not. However, in duplicating the ESCI parts,
Resin Master also duplicated the deep sink marks in the
boxes, which need to be filled with putty.
wooden ammo boxes are nice, but Resin Master did not
clean off the sprue attatchment nubs on the edges of the
boxes (!), so be sure to sand those clean.
scan above, the LEVA T-34/76 D Turret set is in the upper left.
The PT-34 set is to the right. The Resin Master wheel set is
below the turret, and the T-34/SU-100 Detail set is below the
the model in AeroMaster Acrylic Soviet Green. The markings are
for a Polish Brigade, which I got from an old MicroScale sheet.
I've seen photographs of a Polish PT-34 with the
"Uralmash" turret (another name for this type of
turret), but again, I don't know if it was also an OT-34.
You Very Much to Michael Hatch for providing the review samples.