Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale Kit Number 6759; Panzerkampfwa gen T-34/85; 447 parts in grey styrene, 1 length twisted steel wire; pre-or der price US$56.99 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: Still a very good T-34-85 kit
Disadvantages: features in the kit are throwbacks and will disappoint many who liked the updated T-34 series (see text); for many modelers may be unim pressive
Recommendation: for all "34-ka" fans
Like most other manufacturers DML has now their T-34-85 Factory No. 112 va riant tank kit to the "captured vehicle" list.
T-34-85 tanks were a rare item for the Germans to capture, as when they ca me out in early 1944 the Germans were in retreat from Russia. By that time the bugs in the T-34 chassis had long been eliminated and the tanks were we ll supplied and quite reliable. As a result any captures were usually simpl y repainted and reused by their new owners.
This is the T-34-85 Model 1944 (Late Production) with the single flap hatc h and twin ventilators at the rear of the turret and the Factory No. 112 "t ankoviy desant" infantry handrails fitted to the hull. It follows the origi nal T-34-85 kit that came with just over 400 parts, all but one of which we re in grey styrene, and injection molded tracks on sprues. The rear engine grille was a solid component and no other media came in the kit other than one length of nylon string.
This is the same kit but with surprisingly few of the upgrades and changes introduced over the years. It goes back to the old tracks (recent ones had Magic Track single links) and the original one-piece radiator air exhaust cover (part B15). No brass is included whatsoever even though the box adver tisement claims they are provided, and the "test mule" assembled model also sports them.
The styrene gun barrel now is slide molded as are two new exhausts for the rear of the hull. Also included is a complete DT machine gun for the bow.
The single-link tracks are not bad (the "Magic Link" ones were better and needed no cleanup as these do) and as with all T-34 tracks must have a plat e and tooth alternate. It is recommended that the idler adjustment arms (pa rts A6) be left loose until the tracks are ready to test fit so that the le ngth will come out right. As always, T-34 tracks HAVE to have an even numbe r of links so the flat and toothed links will mesh.
The modeler does have a choice between "new" and "used" fuel tanks and als o a set of cast wheels is included to use as replacements among the pressed steel disk wheels.
Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson are given developmental credit.
A tiny sheet of Cartograf decals is included - mostly crosses - and two va riations on a theme are offered, both "Unidentified Unit 1944" with one wit h green over sand and one in tricolor paint.
Overall this does leave a simple kit that can be an easy project for a mod eler who wants a "German" T-34-85, but many '34 fans will be disappointed i t is missing the nicer update features.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.