ARM: Review - AFV Club 1/35 scale T-34/76 Model 1942 Factory No, 112 - Special Edition

Kit Review: AFV Club 1/35 Scale Kit No. 35S51; T-34/76 Model 1942
Factory No. 112 - Special Edition; 474 parts (431 in grey styrene, 20
in black styrene, 12 clear styrene, 10 steel springs, 2 black vinyl
tracks, 1 black nylon string, 1 turned brass barrel, 1 etched brass);
estimated retail price US$50
Advantages: complete interior with clear styrene parts to show it off;
neatly done details with very nicely broken down parts
Disadvantages: minor glitches in design and features (see text)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and =9134 fans
Most diehard T-34 tans now know the story of how Factory No. 112 =96
=93Krasnoye Sormovo=94 =96 got started in the T-34 business in 1941. The
second factory after the Stalingrad Tractor Factory to take up
production, they began with knocked-down T-34 kits from Kharkov and
began working on their own slightly modified design from that. Later,
as they got into production, they modified the design of the Model
1941 tank to make it easier to produce, =93notching=94 the front of the
hull and glacis plate to fit together and adding handrails for
=93tankovyy desant=94 infantry everywhere that they could. 161 were built
there in 1941 and by the time that =93Krasnoye Sormovo=94 changed over to
the product-improved Model 1942 =96 in 1943 =96 they had built more than
3,000 of this type.
DML released a kit of the early Factory No. 112 tank under the aegis
of its cyber-hobby.come affiliate, and it was a nice kit in its own
right. Now AFV Club has released their long-awaited kit, and it is a
very lovely piece of work with a couple of twists: first, it has a
complete interior from bow to stern with most of the major pieces
provided; secondly, in this version of the kit (the base kit is
AF35143) it comes with six clear parts to show off all of that
interior detail. While aircraft modelers have had that since the
=93Phantom Mustang=94 of the early 1960s, this year marks the first time
such features are offered to armor modelers (Trumpter also has a 1/16
scale Tiger II with the same option.)
AFV Club has played it smart with some of their favorite features
(which have not always been modelers=92 favorites!) by using smart
choices for a change. For example, the kit comes with 20 separate
black tires for the road wheels; but unlike Academy, they have made
theirs in styrene so there is no problem in cleaning them up, fitting
them to the model or painting them. But like the Churchill kit before
it, it comes with actual steel springs for the Christie suspension
units; these seem much weaker and should be easier to install without
20 or more fingers. If installed carefully the complete suspension
Detailing starts with the floor and moves forward. Separate details
abound in the control (drivers=92) compartment and include rodding for
the foot pedals. Ammo racks are provided with only half a shell;
however, since this cements to the ammo rack trays for single rounds,
it is a smart way to ensure you can paint the round AND the rack with
a minimum of grief. Seats are neatly done with separate thigh pads and
even machine gun racks look the part.
The V-2 engine is complete, but is one of the few areas in the model
where AFV Club made a mistake. Somebody put the original 1940-early
1941 air cleaner (sort of like that from an older American car with a
carburetor) on top of the engine (parts A31/A32) but then includes the
later =93cyclone=94 type air cleaners behind the transmission firewall.
The latter are unfortunately necessary as the exhaust pipes attach to
them on the way to the exhaust outlets in the rear of the hull. They
also connect to nothing, so this will be tedious to fix.
The transmission comes with the odd =93ribbon brakes=94 in place on each
final drive/lateral clutch assembly (A43-A46) and the fan is a four-
piece marvel of the moldmaker=92s craft. Note that the main clutch is in
the center of the fan.
The radiators each consist of three parts and fit as required next to
the engine.
While the model comes with only the original pressed disk steel
wheel with =93notched=94 tires, there are three different options for the
idlers and drivers (1940, 1941, 1942 and beyond). The kit suggests
using B33/B37 for the idler and B9/B13 for the driver, but if you have
good references you could probably use the B31/B35 and B15/B16 ones as
The tracks are a bit thin and floppy, so most modelers may want to
use an after-market set for this kit. I am not sure if AFV Club will
offer single-link tracks although based on their past kits it seems a
logical assumption.
The upper hull, stern plate, turret halves, roof and turret
ventilator are all molded in clear styrene. This is slightly marred by
ejection pin marks on the inside of the rear fenders, the stern plate
and the turret roof; removing them will take careful sanding, buffing
and a touch-up with Future or Johnson=92s Klear.
All radiator louvers - intake and exhaust =96 are positionable, but the
rear deck is solid so if you wish to display it you will have to leave
the covers (D53, D54, D5) loose. There is a single etched grille for
D5 which is a good choice. The kit comes with spare track but seems to
have lost one of the =93toothed=94 links in the process; the links bolt to
the ends of the fender with one =93flat=94 link on the bottom and one
=93toothed=94 link tooth up above it. The kit has two =93flats=94 on the ri=
and a single =93toothed=94 on the left. Possible, but an odd choice.
The turret is nicely done and comes with a very complete F-34 gun
breech and coaxial DT machine gun back end. There are details
everywhere you look, but the clear plastic turret will cause some
problems when completed due to attaching the parts to the inside.
(Note that AFV Club has a promotional DVD which provides a number of
shots of their finished version of the kit with nicely weathered green
paint on all non-clear parts, showing what the inside looks like when
assembled. It is an interesting effect!)
Four finishing options come with the kit, three in 4BO green and one
white: two from the 1st Tank Brigade, Polish 1st Army, Pomoroze 1941
(white 122 and white 238); 45th Tank Regiment =93For Soviet Estonia=94,
Eastern Front 1943'; Unknown Unit, whitewash camouflage (Triangle red
6), spring 1943.
Design of this kit is credited to =93Team Niitakayama=94.
Overall this is a super effort and other than the silly twin air
cleaner option problem is a winner. From the parts breakdown AFV Club
appears to have more T-34s planned for the future as well.
Thanks to Miin Herng Tsueng for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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Uh, no. Tristar offered a "transparent" version of their Pz.IA kit (#028) a few years back. Comes in a special "black box". Officially only a limited (numbered) release, still available via some eBay sellers.
Bruce Probst Melbourne, Australia
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Bruce Probst
Boy, talk about an "under the radar" kit release! I never even heard about this one from the usual suspects, easy to see how I missed it.
Cookie Sewell
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Your "usual suspects" don't include the PMMS site? You should bookmark it and check it regularly.
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Bruce Probst
Generally I am "top fed" via a couple of the PR men from MRC (who are the importers here in the US). They provide me with new import and release data and about one kit in three for a review sample.
I do check PMMS at least once a week but never saw this one come up. For some reason it tends to have odd loading here -- one day it's current and then it goes back three months or so for no apparent reason. Not sure if it's a server problem or not.
Cookie Sewell
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