ARM: DML 1/72 T-34/76 Model 1942 w/Cast Turret

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Armor Pro Kit No. 7224; T-34/76
Model 1942 w/Cast Turret; 116 parts (91 in grey styrene, 21 etched
brass, 2 tan DS plastic track runs, 2 twisted steel wires); price
about US $13.98
Advantages: Modified and improved version of earlier kits; nicely done
pressed steel turret
Disadvantages: DS tracks cut long for sag and will require care in
fitting; somebody needs to do more research on which tank is which!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all small scale Soviet armor fans
There are times I wonder who's minding the store. The T-34 is a
favorite subject of mine, to be sure; but when basic items are missed
I do tend to get annoyed, and this kit is a typical example of
somebody not paying attention.
The T-34 went into production with two types of turrets, one welded
up from rolled steel armor plates and one in cast steel. the latter
was easier to make but was also heavier as it took 15% more thickness
to yield the same level of protection as the welded one (52mm sides
versus 45mm sides.)
In late 1942, the Chelyabinsk Tank Factory (AKA the Chelyabinsk
"Kirov" Factory, AKA "Tankograd") was ordered to begin production of
the T-34 Model 1942 tank. While not happy about it (this factory was
home to the KV series tanks, and later the IS series) they did as
ordered. They also received support from the Ural Factory for Heavy
Machinery Construction (Uralmashzavod or UZTM) However, instead of
building cast turret tanks as were being carried out elsewhere, the
the UZTM instead developed a pressed steel version of nearly identical
external dimensions that had a unique smooth surface and softly
rounded edges. UZTM built 719 tanks on their own, as well as provided
turrets to the ChTZ for installation on their T-34 hulls; the ChTZ
built another 5,094 T-34s in 1942-1944 before changing over to IS-2
production. of this number, 2,067 tanks were fitted with the UZTM
pressed steel turret ("shtampovannaya bashnya" in Russian.)
This is NOT a cast turret, which was made in several factories and
generally dubbed the "gayka" or "hex nut" in Russian.
All that being said, DML has done a bang-up job of getting the turret
right!
The tanks from both the ChKZ and UZTM were noted for having handrails
fitted at the
top of the hull, and later production models also had the twin
cylindrical spare fuel tanks on the flanks of the hull replacing the
angular ones at the rear of the hull. Strangely enough the kit only
comes with one long handrail on the left side, and no spare fuel tanks
of any sort. Other than that, the fittings provided in the kit match
photos of the ChKZ/UZTM tanks pretty well.
The kit comes with the same parts breakdown as other DML T-34 kits.
Only one set of the very nicely done "slide molded" wheels is
provided, the early production rubber tired pressed steel wheels
(later ones were cast solid disks) and "waffle" tracks are provided in
DML's DS plastic.
The hull comes with optional rear grilles, either solid styrene or
open with an etched brass grille and an etched brass set of louvers to
go under it; the Mk 1 eyeball says to be careful as it may interfere
with mounting the grille. At least it is bored so the alignment pins
in the engine grille will pass through it for solid attachment.
A sprue of Soviet external details is included, but most of the items
which were found in previous kit No. 7266 are now missing.
Decals and paint schemes are provided for five examples: Unidentified
unit, Leningrad Front 1943 (4BO green with brown patches);
Unidentified unit, Eastern front 1942-43 (whitewashed); Unidentified
unit, Eastern front 1943 (worn whitewash over 4BO green); Unidentified
unit, Leningrad Front 1943 (4BO green with red stars); and
Unidentified unit, Eastern front 1944 (same unidentified unit as the
first one with different brown patches and side number.)
Overall, misnomer aside, this is an excellent kit and fills another
gap in the T-34 saga.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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Additional disadvantage "Not German"!
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willshak

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