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T-34/76 early 1943 production
gharker
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Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2015 - 04:04 AM UTC
I read all the negative comments and thought screw it I will check for my self. The first thing I did was plop the hull and turret down on the mythical weapons line drawings and they looked good to me. My only real concern was the turret with the split, if you think it was there no big deal, to me this is a very easy fix as all it requires is a bit of putty. I will wait for somebody to release a detail set and I almost always replace the tracks (I did not think these where that bad though). All in all I think the kit is well engineered. Mark was your kit warped, my was perfect?
MCR
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 09:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mark, always love seeing your comments on the T-34.



Well, of course you do.

(Thanks, Greg. )
MCR
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 09:00 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mark there is no need to be concerned that I will take offense as I enjoy this type of interaction.

(W)hat was accurate yesterday, is questioned today and wrong tomorrow. I am really glad to see your reply Mark, Thank you



I'm pleased that you took it in the way it was intended.

There was a day not long ago where we would have been on the same page in regards to the volatility of what we "knew" about the T-34 but it's not quite so true anymore.
Over the last several years there has been a lot of very good scholarship and firming up of what we actually KNOW (Grok?) about the tank. Things that we used to tend to question are now pretty well cleared up.
With luck more of these books and articles will be available in English in the near future!

Mark
pgb3476
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Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 09:46 PM UTC
Mark, always love seeing your comments on the T-34.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 01:58 AM UTC
Mark there is no need to be concerned that I will take offence as I enjoy this type of interaction. I will admit that some of my descriptions could be better if I knew all of the right words. I tried to supply images to help where my words failed.

Your comments about the books I used in some way prove my point, what was known is now wrong and what is known will be wrong in the future. the respected authors of both titles are only correct to a certain level. The conflict between titles will always cause false assumptions on the part of the modeller as what was accurate yesterday, is questioned today and wrong tomorrow. I am really glad to see your reply Mark, Thank you
MCR
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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 10:30 PM UTC
I debated for a while on whether or not to post this.
First, understand that I am not intending to make anyone look bad or to be the smartest guy in the room.
My motivation is strictly from an interest in the tank and a wild and so far un-realized hope that a some point some kit maker will give us a really good and well researched model of the T-34-76.

When ICM announced news of the upcoming release of this T-34/76 it received a lot of negative comments from those members in the know when it concerns the T34. Having had this model land on my doorstep and the negativity it received, I decided to take a look and assess the comments made against what I have in my grubby little hands. As it would seem most of you here respect certain writers, I used a Squadron/Signal Publication titled ‘T-34 in Action’ written by Steven Zaloga and James Grandsen and illustrated by Don Greer and Steven Zaloga and T-34 Mythical Weapon written by Robert Michulec and Miroslaw Zientarzewski for reference.

“T-34 in Action” is a great but very old photo reference. The drawings and much of the information provided is well out of date.
“Mythical Weapon” is also a fantastic photo reference with a lot of interesting historical details but suffers from some less than perfect translations and questionable technical information. Worse, many if not most of the drawings suffer from one level or another of inaccuracy. You have to be careful about which you choose as reference.

The suspension arms and suspension springs do match reference in the second title mentioned, but the bolted plate detail on the back edge of the arms where they enter the hull does not match reference in either title, with that said they do match reference images I took of a T-34/85 on display at Bovington Tank Museum.

I think this detail is intended to replicate the “torque plates” that were introduced along with the 500mm tracks. On DML kits these are molded to the hull (even on the Model 40/41 kits which should NOT have them). AFVC has included the base on their hull with the plate detail being a separate piece. Unfortunately for this kit it means that the suspension cannot be posed anything but “flat” since moving the position of the arms will also move, incorrectly, the position of the plates.

The lower hull appears to be correct from my examination with one exception; the point where the upper and lower hull meets at the rear is a match for a Factory 183 produced tank. Removal of the three hinges and replacement with two wide hinges near the outer sides could make this a Factory 112 offering.

It’s not so simple as replacing hinges. The entire upper and lower rear plates were different, with the upper plate overlapping the lower rather than butting up against it as was the case with every other factory.

On tanks made before the last few weeks or months before ’44 you would also need to recreate the interlocking glacis plate, add bullet splash strips around the front and sides of the glacis and upper side plates on either side of the turret as well as adding certain other arcane small details.

In addition to that Krasnoye Sormovo (Factory 112) never made use of cast wheels of any sort. You would have to find a full set of replacement “stamped” wheels to complete the conversion.

The kit as is represents best a UTZ made T-34 from the second quarter (or there abouts) of 1942.

Moving to the upper front hull I noted concerns about the placement of the drivers hatch and the size of the armoured build for the MG; The MG blister looks a match for my reference in both titles. The drivers hatch detail is good and also has interior detail that may prove of use, its position on the hull looks to match the information in T-34 Mythical Weapon, but T-34 in Action indicates that it is very slightly to far towards the side by 1 or 2mm. one missing detail on the model that is very easy to correct is the missing grab handles that should be on both sides of the front face.

Based only on your photos the placement of the driver’s hatch seems pretty close to correct. The “inside” edge of opening for the hatch should be on the centerline of the glacis plate.

Grab bars on the glacis plate would be appropriate for Factory 112 only.

The top of the upper hull came in for some stick about being a pick and mix. Having checked the deck against reference I was only able to find two errors. The rear mounted intake only has 3 hinges present and there should be four.

Not entirely correct. The switch from four to three hinges happened no later than early 1942. For the tank represented by the kit three is correct.

A notable error is that the two engine deck covers (on either side of the raised center section with the large engine access hatch) are a hybrid of two different types. Whereas the front section is more or less correct for UTZ, ChTZ, Factory 174, etc, the rear part would be correct ONLY for Factory 112. Fixing the issue will require some cutting, filing, plastic stock, and shifting of details on the engine deck. Do-able but a PITA anyway.

BTW, the large screened cover at the rear of the hull isn’t for air intake. It’s actually the engine cooling air exhaust. The air intake is via the grills on the top and side of the engine deck.

The turret supplied with this model is the hard edge type as indicated by the acute angle on the front lower edge. The rear portion of turret has the correct rounded edge detail, but I believe there should be a joined just above the rounded portion of the turret. The pistol ports in the front sides of the turret are correctly located.

The pistol ports were actually fairly uncommon on the hex turret, at least until the introduction of the commander’s cupola in mid-1943.

The turret sides have a quite nice sand casting texture present; the texture is random and so very convincing. The bottom of the turret has not been ignored detail wise as the ribs are correctly represented both at the front and the rear despite the rear area being hidden. One issue I do have with the lower portion of the turret is that it is a sloppy fit and has a good 2 or 3mm of movement.

Again, based only on your photos, the ribs on the turret ring area are too thick, too big, and far too square to represent the real thing well.
Also, be aware that these ribs varied quite a bit between groups of castings.

The turret top is correctly laid out and also has the metal plate between the two hatches present.

That removable plate is an interesting subject in itself; it appears shortly after the introduction of the turret but then disappears not long afterward. So, early hex turrets don’t have it but neither do later ones.

The housing for the main gun was questioned, but I feel it matches reference very well as regards shape and size and even correctly positions the main gun off to the right side.

The problem I see with the turret “blisters” is they do not represent the profile, the compound angles involved, well at all and, at least based on photos of that kit part, are almost cylindrical. It’s a fairly obvious miss in terms of shape.

BTW, the F-34 was offset only 12mm from the turret centerline. If you can notice an offset in 1/35th scale it’s probably too much.


The weld detail is nice but here is where there is an issue, the detail matches drawings in 'T-34 in Action' but does not match drawings and photographic evidence in T-34 Mythical Weapon. The tabs on the outer edges of the mantlet need to be removed, as does the weld seams on the turret face; the weld detail should follow the shape of the mantlet from the half way point down to the bottom of the mantlet.

This is really more a question than anything else but I’m not quite sure what is being referenced here? If you’re talking about the plates on either side of the lower recuperator housing then, yes, those should be there and welded on three sides, top, bottom, and back (the front plate of the housing was removable for maintenance).

Check the photo on the bottom of page 169 of Mythical Weapon for a nice photo of the detail I “think” your referring to.

The mantlet is the correct standard type and has the rivet detail correctly placed.

There are no rivets as such on the “mantlet” (the recoil mechanism housing/armor?) as such, only bolts.

Also not mentioned, but I think fairly important to the finished look of the model are what appear to be numerous machining marks left over from the mold making process and, more time consuming to fix, the too small bolt detail on the rear plate as well as the miss-located boltheads on the round transmission access hatch.

My personal opinion is that this kit looks like something from thirty or more years ago in terms of both detail and fineness.
It's almost unforgivable from a company from the flipping birthplace of the tank! (As I've said before )
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:25 PM UTC
This kit does have some very good features and would not require a lot of work to build a good replica of a few hard edged turret versions of the T-34/76.
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:22 AM UTC
I am thinking of kit bashing this beast as well. I like the rear deck idea with the louvers and all.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:17 AM UTC
If you play with the hinges at the real of the hull and source some side mounted fuel tanks, there are quite a few variants possible from this base. I also wonder how hard it would be to alter the front bottom join to get a soft edge and laminate turret.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:07 AM UTC
The Mythical Weapons title seems to indicate this to be an early feature, how long early covers is open to anyones guess.

I would like to see the image and I will add one on my turret as I meant to and forgot.
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:01 AM UTC
I can post a picture tomorrow of the fit if you want, I do not want to wake my wife. I wonder if it is a hybrid turret, welded on a left over turret top to use up old parts.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:00 AM UTC
Check page 21 of the Steven Zaloga book, I believe that is the best overall match I found. I also came to the conclusion that there are very few of the original T34's left that have not been altered in some way and at some time either during the war or after.

If you sand away the plate between the hatches you in theory have a later version of the turret. I also believe that it is just as possible that some of the turrets with that layout had grab handles attached.

The 'T34 Mythical Weapons' is the better title, but even they seem to indicate that just about anything is possible timeline wise. I still believe that this model is not the poor model that I had believed from comments in the news thread.

The bottom of my turret is very loose where it attaches to the upper part of the turret, I don't know how to explain why yours would be a good fit and mine not.
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:44 AM UTC
See what I mean, no grab handles and no ports.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:37 AM UTC


Page 454
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:37 AM UTC
Can you tell me what page the drawing is on, I saw some with the plate but the other parts no longer matched. I do hope you are right.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:32 AM UTC
No the plate on the roof should be there and is mentioned in the book you mention and there is a line drawing in the book.
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:22 AM UTC
If you putty in the metal plate between the hatches it will match that line drawing in Mythical weapon. I just checked my turret parts fit well, I wonder if you have a bad casting.
gharker
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 10:14 AM UTC
I have the kit, on the positive side mine does not have the sink hole issue, however I can not find this turret in any of my T-34 references including mythical weapon.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 04:40 AM UTC
Darren Baker takes a look at ICM''s T-34/76 early 1943 production WW2 Soviet Medium Tank. A model that took a lot of flak when announced, is it as bad as indicated?

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!