ARM: Review - Academy 1/35 scale T-34/85 Factory No. 112 Model 1946

Kit Review: Academy 1/35 scale Kit No. 13290; T-34/85 "No. 112 Factory Prod uction"; 337 parts (279 in dark green styrene, 50 in black styrene, 7 etche
d nickle, 1 length of nylon string); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: first kit in styrene (in one place) of this tank with this turr et and fittings; simpler kit; comes with options for use of the etched meta l or not; link and length tracks
Disadvantages: overhyped "cast" texture is excessive; ejection pin marks on every track link
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and Korean War armor fans
    When World War II - the Great Patriotic War to the Soviets - came to an en d, the Soviets continued the production of their late-war T-34-85 tanks thr ough the end of 1946. While the main factory in Nizhniy Tagil (No. 183) beg an to shut down in preparation for starting production of the anticipated T -54 tank, Factories No. 112 ("Krasnoye Sormovo" in Gor'kiy) and 174 (Omsk) continued production. A total of 2,701 tanks were built - 493 at No. 183, 1 ,154 at No. 112, and 1,054 at No. 174.
    The tanks were nearly the same as the late war (1945) production but for e rgonomic reasons of clearing the turret of propellant fumes early in 1946 t he twin "Siamesed" ventilators at the back of the turret were split, with o ne being moved over the machine gun and cannon breech and one left at the r ear of the turret roof. Also new for 1946 was a new taller cupola with a si ngle piece hatch flap which replaced the lower cupola with the split hatch flaps. Other new modifications were made but most were internal and not out wardly visible.
    Until now the only way to get this particular arrangement - and then only with the Factory No. 112 "hard edge" turret - was to purchase an RPM conver sion set that provided that turret and ventilator arrangement. This new kit from Academy provides for it and also comes with parts to build either a 1 945 or a 1946 model of the tank.
    The 1945 version comes with the twin ventilators and the low cupola; the 1 946 ones provides the split ventilators and taller cupola. The kit also off ers a choice between a solid radiator exhaust grille and an etched metal on e, so those who do not like etch can go with the solid one.
    The kit does also provide link-and-length tracks for the first time with a T-34 kit, but unfortunately each link has two ejection pin marks prominent ly displayed on the face of the link,
    There is no interior per se, but it comes with suspension towers and sprin g units and a firewall between the fighting and engine compartments. The re ar radiator exhaust grille also comes with the two louvers (for use with th e etched grille) but all hatches except the transmission access hatch are m olded closed.
    As it replicates Factory No. 112 it comes with the full set of "tankovyy d esant" handrails around the upper perimeter of the hull. As they come on th e same sprue with the ice cleats, you get extras in the kit.
    This is a simplified kit in that it comes with minimal etched metal - all of it is for the see-through grille and its reinforcing bars. Unlike DML 34 s this means that the ice cleats are not strapped down and other details ar e missing as well. There is also no clear sprue for the headlight or other viewers in the tank. Note that the tow cables are also identified with the breezy "attach freely" which I think (!) means place where you wish, but mo st have at least one end hooked to a tow hook and the other to a tie-down o n the fenders. The lower hull also only has a single bump stop for the firs t road wheel station whereas most 85mm tanks had two (DML gives two with al most all of its kits to include early 76mm ones so perhaps a bit of surgery can correct those kits and this one at the same time!)
    Six finishing options are provided, three for Model 1945s and three for Mo del 1946s; all are in 4BO Green. The 1945 options are: Red Army, Berlin, Ma y 1945 (white 904); Red Army, Berlin, May 1945 (white m 08, red stars); Red Army, Yugoslavia Spring 1945 (white bear, "Ot Ottsa Shul'gn Syna Kisenko" - From the Father of Shul'gn to the Son of Kisenko). The 1946 options are: DPRK Army, captured at the Naktong River 1950 (white 738); DPRK Army, North Korea 1950 (white 229); DPRK Army, knocked out in Daejeon, ROK, 1950 (comm emorative logo "Knocked out 20 July 1950 under the supervision of MajGen W. F. Dean"). A sheet of decals provides for all markings.
    Overall, T-34 fans may be a bit disappointed by the overdone casting finis h and the ejection pin marks on the tracks as well as minimal etched metal. But for modelers short on time and who would like a late war '34 or Korean War version this is a nice simple build and will certainly look the part. Sprue layouts also indicate more T-34 kits will be forthcoming.
Cookie Sewell
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