ARM: Review -- Maquette T-34 Model 1941

Kit Review: Maquette 1/35 scale Kit No. MQ-32512; T-34 Model 1941; 429 parts
(427 in varying shades of grey styrene, 1 length of nylon string, 1 section of
nylon mesh); price varies from $24-28
Advantages: one-stop shopping kit includes extra parts and wheel sets for the
parts box; also includes parts for a Model 1940 tank so the modeler has a
Disadvantages: based on the older "Rudy" T-34-85 kit with the same basic
problems of that kit regarding dimensions and angles; transmission is incorrect
for this tank
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for Soviet and T-34 fans
I have been a big fan of T-34s for a long time, and at the end of 2002 did a
long research and study of T-34s in order to produce a model of a T-34 Model
1941 (June 1941 construction) for an article that appeared in "Military
Modeling." As it would figure, the Murphy's Law corollary about "If you
scratchbuild or convert it somebody will release a kit" has come true. There
are now two kits of Model 1940s on the market ? one from DML and one from
Maquette ? and this new kit of the Model 1941 from Maquette; DML is to follow
with their own Model 1941 later this year.
The hallmarks of the early Model 1941s are: solid disk wheels with "cheater"
holes in the tire rims; a two man turret ? either cast or welded ? with the
F-34 76mm gun; four 33.5 liter rectangular auxiliary fuel tanks on the front
sides of the hull; a low storage bin at the right rear and a tall storage bin
at the left front; two small objects on the rear fenders; lateral (vertical)
grille fins on the radiator intake grilles vice longitudinal ones; multipiece
welded tow hook mounts; and twin 7" headlights. There are other smaller detail
differences but those are the main ones.
What Maquette has done ? and similar to what DML did ? is take their
extant T-34-85 kit and use new parts to change it to the earlier model. To this
end, the "Rudy" kit now has some 109 new parts added to it ? 86 for the
conversion of the T-34-85 to the T-34 Model 1941 and 23 for the V-2 engine and
transmission kit sold separately as an accessory. The right parts are provided
to build into a T-34 Model 1941 OR Model 1940, as a small bag with fine detail
parts was included in the box.
While the basic "Rudy" parts were produced in yeoman style ? not great, but
not useless ? the new parts are fairly crude in their production techniques
but most appear to be close to scale in size and shape. Translation: plan on a
lot of filing and fiddling to get them to fit. The turret is the welded type as
found in the DML Model 1940, but here it consists of some 9 basic parts vice 4
? turret, race, lower rear, front, side armor braces/patches, side view
ports, and rear plate. Both the L-11 and F-34 gun mantelet and barrel
assemblies are included, but the breech is that of the F-34 and not the L-11.
New grille sections are provided for the engine deck, along with an open
section rear radiator exhaust grille (the only thing I consistently grouse
about with DML T-34s) and a section of metallic nylon netting for the openings.
I would personally replace that with aluminum mesh, but it does come with the
insert in the kit.
No grousers, jacks or spare track links are included for fender stowage, but
the fuel tanks are included. A new hull rear plate with new exhaust shrouds and
the rectangular hatch is also included.
The tracks are unfortunately for a short-run of Model 1940 T-34 tanks, and
thus incorrect for a Model 1941. These will have to be replaced with links such
as those found in the DML Model1940 kit, which are correct, or a set from Fruil
or Model-Kasten. If you build the kit as a Model 1940, they work fine for
October-November 1940 production.
The V-2 engine is fine, but the transmission represents the later 5-speed
model used to replace the awful 4-speed of the early production T-34 tanks. If
you use it, just cement the rear access hatch in the closed position.
Decals are included for three tanks with very simple markings on "protective
green" backgrounds.
Unlike the DML kit, there are some side benefits to this kit. One of them is
that it comes with the original "Rudy" kit's wheels, which are very late
production T-34 wheels with solid tires and the "twelve" wheel ? twelve fins,
twelve big holes, twelve small holes ? which make them suitable for use on a
T-44 or T-54.
Overall, this kit is not bad, but it does tend to get overshadowed by the DML
kit which is more accurate and much nicer in quality.
Cookie Sewell
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