ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Panzerkampfwagen T34-747(r)

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale '39-'45 series Kit No. 6449; P anzerkampfwagen T34-747(r) - Smart Kit;
599 parts (389 in grey styrene, 180 "Magic Track" links, 29 etched brass, 1
twisted steel cable, 1 turned aluminum barrel); pre-order price US$58.95 v ia DragonUSA
Advantages: provides for a captured option to the STZ Stalingrad version of the T-34
Disadvantages: original release had some problems with hull fit and design; current version appears correct but may cause some problems
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and "34" fans
    The Germans and Soviets both captured a good deal of each other's equipmen t, but putting it back into service was sometimes problematical. While the Soviets happily used any trucks they could capture, they were loathe to use German tanks in most instances as they were gasoline powered and as such n ot preferred by Soviet crews. The sole exception was the Panzer III, which was converted into the SU-76i and used in small numbers.
    The Germans were not as choosy, and whatever they captured and could maint ain generally went into service. This kit is of a somewhat odd choice - a c aptured Stalingrad Tractor Factory built Model 1942 tank with the "notched" turret and dovetailed hull repainted in German colors and fitted with a Pz kw. III turret bustle bin. Since it has a very specific user identified, it is based on at least one prototype.
    This kit was previously released as a cyber-hobby.com kit (No. 22, DML kit 6388) and was subjected to a number of negative comments about the hull of the model and its fit. This one appears to have undergone some reworking a nd the upper and lower sections fit together as designed, but I have not co mpared it to detailed 1/35 scale plans.
    This kit does include all of the late features of STZ tanks - the "chisel" gun recoil mechanism cover, the "chopped" turret, and the "notched" hull, and the cast steel wheels with internal buffering. This upper hull retains an integral glacis and fender assembly, so the others in the kit are now sp ares. Likewise, the kit retains the STZ early-type hull pan with "notched" joints as well as the single road wheel arm stop on the first position.
    Both the early and late turrets are still in the box, but the captured one is clearly the "chiseled" turret. More for the spares box.
    The rest of the kit is basically most of what came in the STZ Model 1941 k it except that the pressed steel wheels are no longer included, only the ca st steel ones with internal buffering. The usual DML options are provided s uch as the "Magic Track" two-section single link tracks ("a" with guide too th and "b" plate without) but only a small fret of etched brass. Both 40 li ter "box" spare fuel tanks are included and the same odd selection of the 9 5 liter "cylinder" tanks as was present in the T-34/76 cast turret kit (No. 6418). You also get two styles of engine louvers (vertical and horizontal) and extra fenders as well as spare glacis and driver's hatches.
    Production credits are to Hirohisa Takada for supervision, Minoru Igarashi and the Dragon engineering team for technical drawings, and Nick Cortese f or technical assistance.
    The kit comes with but one finishing option: Pz.Rgt. 31, 5th Panzer Divisi on, Russia 1942 - sand and green blotches with black crosses and the regime ntal crest. Decals are targeted and from Cartograf.          Overall this is an interesting offshoot of standard T-34 fare and at least lets German fans build a '34.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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