ARM: Review - DML T-34 Model 1943 w/Commander Cupola

Kit Review:Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 series Kit No.
6564; T-34 /76 Mod. 43 w/Commander Cupola Factory No. 183 - Smart
Kit; 707 parts (415 in grey stryene, 168 =93Magic Track=94 links, 118
etched brass, 4 clear styrene, 2 twisted steel wire); retail price
estimated at US$49.95
Advantages: Most accurate kit of this version of the T-34 now in
production; fairly generic version of the tank
Disadvantages: may not meet some modelers=92 expectations of =93their=94
version of the tank
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and =9334" fans
DML continues to =93complete the record=94 on T-34s and now is offering
this kit of the Model 1943 with commander=92s cupola. While the tank
still only had a four man crew, the addition of the cupola provided
the commander with much needed capability to observe the battlefield.
This kit combines parts from the T-34 Model 1942 =93Soft Edge=94 turret
kit (No. 6462) and their T-34-85 kits along with a few new bits such
as the cupola to create a kit of the Model 1943. As a result, it uses
a full set of the =93six spoke=94 or =93twelve hole=94 (modelers=92 terms) =
wheels with perforated rubber tires.
The turret is the generic T-34 Model 1942 but with the molds modified
to provide a mounting for the commander=92s cupola. While the profile of
the cast turret appears closest to that from Uralmashzavod, this time
DML has designated a =93Factory No. 183" tank., As I noted previously
I=92ve never really been able to find out how many of the six-sided =93hex
nut=94 or =93Gayka=94 turreted tanks were built, but a good estimate would
be about 16,000 and another 3,000 with the commander=92s cupola.
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, but for reasons
best known to themselves this time DML has added four more sets of
links. 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 kit comes with three different stern plates but only the one on
the =93Gayka=94 turret sprue is probably best for this version.
The turret sprue (L) includes a one-piece shell (thanks to =93slide
molding=94) with even the holes for the mantlet bolts and mounting
guides in place. The cast-in reinforcements under the turret are
present as are some casting marks on the turret. When joining the
turret top and bottom do not be too fastidious as the race section and
top section were welded together after casting, and the weld bead
could be pretty rough; also the cleanup of mold edging was done for
speed and not finesse.
The model comes with a standard PT periscopic sight/viewer with the
=93acorn=94 shaped cover found on most T-34s. The modeler has a choice of
but one barrel for the F-34 gun: a one-piece item with hollow bore
from =93slide=94 molding and muzzle cap molded in place. A gun breech and
partial interior to the turret are provided as with all of the DML
T-34 kits. Note that this kit also comes with the ATO-42 flamethrower
head (sprue U) as an option for the bow DT machine gun.
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.
Four different finishing options are provided: 109th Tank Brigade,
16th Tank Corps, Ukraine 1943 (partial whitewash over 4BO green, red
diamond K 4 and K-5 on rear of turret); 8th Estonian Rifle Corps, 3rd
Baltic Front, Tallin Operation 1944 (=93Za Sovetskuyu Estoniyu=94);
Unidentified Unit, Poland 1945 (faded whitewash on turret, 4BO green,
white 241); 1st Czechoslovakian Armored Brigade, USSR, Prague 1945
(4BO green with Czech roundel and white 421). A targeted set of
Cartograf decals are provided.
Overall, this is a great improvement over the Tamiya kit with a
correct size cupola and once more should be quite popular.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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