ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale T-34 Model 1942 "Formochka" - Smart Kit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 series Kit No.
6487; T-34 /76 Mod. 1942 =93Formochka=94 - Smart Kit; (385 in grey
styrene, 160 =93Magic Track=94 links, 85 etched brass, 3 clear styrene, 2
twisted steel wire); retail price US$49.95
Advantages: Another popular T-34 variant appears as a kit; kit
provides a good version of a mid-production Factory No. 183 hull for
this turret
Disadvantages: name not found in any history of the T-34; no cupola
for late-production variant offered
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and =9334" fans
Even though the Soviets quickly decided on producing two versions of
the Model 1941 T-34 turrets =96 cast and welded =96 even with new casting
techniques using steel molds they were hard pressed to keep up with
production requirements. Another source of turrets was required. As a
result, in October 1942 the State Committee on Defense (GKO) ordered
the UZTM factory to produce pressed steel turrets as they could double
the speed of production by this method.
The new turret design =96 called =93Shtampovannaya Bashnya=94 or the
pressed turret =96 was based on the cast turrets from Factory No. 183,
but here the UZTM used its 10,000 ton =93Shleman=94 steel press (which had
been used to make components for destroyers and other warships) to
produce the new turrets from 45mm homogenous rolled armor plate. Under
the direction of chief designer L. Ye. Gorlitskiy it was hoped the
design would use 60mm plate, but the press could not handle this and
thus 45mm plate was used. Surprisingly during testing it was found to
be superior in protection to the then standard 52mm cast turret
armor.
UZTM produced both the cast turrets as well as the pressed steel
turrets in parallel and sent out to other T-34 factories for
production, but most commonly they were seen on Factory No. 112
(Krasnoye Sormovo) chassis. When production ceased on 1 March 1944
UZTM had produced between 2,050 and 2,062 of these turrets. They were
used for both regular T-34 Model 1942 tanks as well as the Model 1943
with the commander=92s cupola.
This tank has always been a popular variant of the T-34 due to its
unique turret shape, and now DML has released a modified version of
their Model 1942 =93Gayka=94 kit with this turret. The name =93Formochka=94
puzzles me, for it is not used by any contemporary Russian source nor
any modern Russian historian, but only as a slang term (also used for
=93vacuform=94 as well) on Russian modelers=92 websites. This is not the
first time DML has done this, and while not as dim as the use of
German names or designators for Soviet tanks it is still
unfortunate.
Be that as it may, the kit provides all of the recent Model 1942
=93Gayka=94 parts with six new moldings for the pressed steel turret. The
rest of the turret bits are retained, but no aluminum barrel is
provided. The roof parts are integral and unlike some recent DML M4
Shermans a new and proper base is provided.
The kit adds several new sprues to the latest set of the molds and
provides the cast wheels, cast wheels with rubber tires, new stern
plate, new radiator exhaust grilles, and the turret and detail
components. The shapes and angles match the Russian plans of the tank
I have on hand. A new set of 500mm =93waffle=94 tracks are provided in the
form of a new set of =93Magic Link=94 single link tracks. Each link does
come with two ejection pin marks on the inner face, but these stand
proud and while tedious are easily removed.
As noted many older but well-done parts are used in this kit. The
late-model double bump stops on the lower hull molding are still
present, as previously noted they can=92t really be seen when the model
is assembled and is a=93so what=94 correction.
The model comes with two standard PT periscopic sight/viewer with the
=93acorn=94 shaped cover found on most T-34s as well as the =93cylinder=94 =
one
seen on some tanks for the loader. A gun breech and partial interior
to the turret are provided as with all of the DML T-34 kits. As noted
the kit does not provide the late-model commander=92s cupola, but one
could be adapted from a Tamiya T-34 Model 1943 kit. Note that these
tanks could and did carry external fuel tanks, with one each going on
the rear sides of the tank and two smaller ones on the stern plate; it
is recommended you try to get copies of =93T-34 Snizhu Doverkhu=94 by
Sergey Kirsanov (Frontline Illustrated, a Russian magazine) if
possible to see how these attach.
This project is listed as supervised by Hirohisa Takada, with
drawings from Minoru Igarashi and the Dragon design team; technical
assistance was provided by Nick Cortese.
Three different finishing directions are provided: Unidentified Unit,
Eastern Front 1944 (4BO green with earth brown patches, white 248);
Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1943 (whitewash over 4BO green, no
markings); and the inevitable captured vehicle, Pz. Regt. 2nd SS
Panzer Division =93Das Reich=94, Kursk 1943 (sand and green, white outline
crosses and white 1011). A targeted set of Cartograf decals are
provided.
Overall, this is a nice execution of this variant of the T-34 and
other than the unfortunate STZ kits continues DML=92s streak of
excellent T-34 kits.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Sprue breakout
A 12x2 T-34 driver mounts, road wheel arms
B 21 T-34 40/41 turret roof and hull details
C 21 T-34 40/41 upper hull and details
C 19 T-34-85 details and gun barrel
D 6 T-34 Model 1942 Turret (pressed steel)
E 16 T-34 tie-downs and brackets
F 20 T-34 42 hull detail components
H 6 T-34 engine intake vents, driver=92s hatch
H 14 T-34 41 turret front and details
J 3 Clear styrene
K 13 T-34 41 F-34 gun assembly
L 33 T-34 42 =93Gayka=94 turret assembly
M 18x2 T-34 95 liter round auxiliary fuel tanks
N 4x2 T-34 spring towers
P 39x2 T-34 center-buffered ast steel wheels and suspension components
P 45 T-34 Krasnoye Sormovo hull details
P 4 T-34 rear grilles and stern plate
S 2 Twisted steel wire
W 10x2 T-34 Post-April 1942 rubber tired cast wheels
X 1 T-34 standard hull pan
Y 80 =93Magic Track=94 waffle pattern track - flat link
Z 80 =93Magic Track=94 waffle pattern track - toothed link
MA 83 Etched brass
MB 2 Etched brass
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