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The T-34 Model 1940, and the even better Model 1941, were a major shock to
the Germans when they invaded in June 1941. This tank was the work of the
legendary designer Mikhail Koshkin, who unfortunately died before he got to see
his creation validate itself before the Soviet government and the world.
Companies like DML need to be aware that the Soviets never called these
"T-34/76" tanks, as that was a German description and did not come into being
until the 85mm tanks appeared in 1944. In point of fact, many Soviet era
documents show that the tanks were only differentiated by their number of
turrets (as with the T-26) or gun carried (here either L-11 or F-34). The
Soviets did dub later tanks T-34-85 to show the differences.
DML has now added the more widely built Model 1941 (T-34 with 76.2mm F-34 gun)
to its "Armor Pro" series (a select part of its 1/72 scale series with
additional parts, different moldings, and extras included in the kits). The kit
retains the welded turret of the early T-34s and does not yet provide a cast
turret for the more widely produced late Model 1941 with longitudinal grilles.
Like the Model 1940, it follows the design of their 1/35 scale kits, and again
DML has managed to shrink the level of details down and at the same time compact
the number of parts by some clever molding tricks.
One of the most impressive tricks is the use of what DML calls "slide-molding"
in which multi-part molds with moving parts are used vice the older
"sandwich-type" two piece molds. As a result, they can do larger pieces without
either ejection pin marks or sinkholes, and get depth or undercuts in smaller
parts. This shows up in this kit in two areas: first, the fact that even in this
scale the gun barrel for the F-34 cannon has a hollow muzzle as molded; and
second, the wheels come in 14 ready-to-install assemblies vice 28 separate
wheels and perhaps axle caps. The wheels are nicely done, with a nice deep grove
in between (unlike another company's 1/72 scale kits with solid road wheels or
most HO scale armor) and detailed on both sides. Purists will want to drill out
the thin flash in the drivers (parts C2) and idlers (parts C1) though, but that
is an easy task if you have a pin vise and small drill bits.
The hull comes with the correct early T-34 (Model 1940/early Model 1941) hull
with vertical grille openings in the radiator intakes and a choice between
either a solid radiator exhaust grille or one with an etched metal grille
instead. This is the same nice touch now offered in the 1/35 scale kits, and DML
is to be congratulated for providing it in 1/72 as well.
The turret also mirrors its "big brother" in construction, and as many modelers
have found, if done carefully no putty is needed to fill the gap between the
glacis (part A22) and the turret sides (parts A43 and A44). The turret also
includes a partial interior as well. (It should be noted that both the Model
1940 and Model 1941 appear to come off the same set of molds, with "gates"
opening or closing to provide the correct section of the sprue for their
Most of the details parts are crisp and well done as well, but the twin jacks
for the tank are provided as one part (A63) and are probably the least well done
of any component.
The kit provides single-section tracks as before, but DML has now changed over
to use their DS plastic vice the original black vinyl. This means that standard
plastic cement can be used to assemble them and get them to "sag" on the model.
However, some modelers indicate these tracks may be a bit short; unlike the 1/35
scale kits that provide an eccentric idler axle that can be used to adjust
tension for shorter tracks, the idler mounts on the 1/72 kit are fixed and thus
care is needed in mounting the track on the model.
The kit comes with an absolutely gorgeous sheet of decals with many patriotic
sayings and markings, but as the original sheet with the Model 1940 was more
suited to the Model 1941, most of them are now quite useful. However, many early
production Model 1941s carried no markings (they weren't around long enough to
do that) so care must be taken in using the decals.
Three basic tank finishes are shown: one "protective green" with numbers from
early 1942; one in winter scheme with the famous "tire tracks" camouflage; and
the 130th Tank Brigade from the 21st Tank Corps, with another 12 options shown
for use of slogans on turrets. Again, you may want to get photo references as
many of these, from what I recall, went on cast turret tanks.
In conclusion, based on its continued excellence from the Model 1940, this is a real
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2005 by Cookie
Page Created 10 July, 2005
Last updated 10 July, 2005
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