T-34/76 Model 1941 STZ
Chesapeake Model Designs, 1/35
u m m a r y
|Stock No. &
||Chesapeake Model Designs 1/35 Scale Kit Number
43; T-34/76 Model 1941 STZ
|Contents and Media:
||30 parts (29 in light tan resin and one turned
aluminum gun barrel)
||Much cleaner than the Zvezda kit, and provides
suitable modification parts and supplemental instructions to convert
either DML T-34 Model 1941 kit to an STZ produced tank
||Requires the modeler to do some work on his own!
||Highly Recommended for all Soviet WWII and "34"
fans who want something different
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I have to plead guilty to being an avid T-34 fan (those of snide disposition
would probably claim it makes me an STFF or "Slobbering 34 Freak") as I have
followed a lot of its career and researched a good deal of its early production
difficulties and achievements. One of the more popular subvariants of the early
model T-34s (only the Germans used the stroke 76 designator; the Russians never
did and only added a dash 85 for the later variants with 85mm guns) for modelers
due to its extreme detail changes.
The T-34 began production at the Kharkov Steam Locomotive Factory No. 183 in
December 1939. Later, in the summer of 1940, as orders began to grow for the new
tank, a new production line opened at the "Krasnoye Sormovo" Factory No. 112.
Finally, in 1941 a third line was added at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory (STZ
in Russian). Starting by assembling about 100 T-34 Model 1941 tanks with L-11
guns produced from "knock-down" kits supplied by Kharkov, this factory was to
change over to mirror the first two and produce an identical version of the
Model 1941 tank with F-34 gun.
This quickly fell apart after the Germans invaded in 1941, and the name of the
game soon became the production of the T-34 by the fastest possible means. While
Factory No. 183 was withdrawn to Nizhniy Tagil in October 1941, the STZ stayed
put and soon became the backbone of the defensive effort supporting the
Stalingrad Front. Over the course of 1941-1942, the factory managed to produce
3,670 T-34 Model 1941 tanks to support the war effort.
But as the crunch for time began to impact them, STZ began to modify the T-34
design to make it easier – and quicker – to build. Not having the massive and
impressive automatic welding jigs for the hull as used in Nizhniy Tagil (which
at their peak cut the time required to assemble a T-34 hull to only 20
man-hours) STZ used a unique method of notching the hulls to make it faster and
more reliable for hand welding to make the hulls in a hurry. These notches were
at the front, rear and top center of the hull sides.
They also changed the turret to make it easier to construct. Indents were used
at its lower front for alignment, the rear of the rolled sides were left at a
sharp angle with the entire rear plate bolted on, and the recoil mechanism cover
was left as a single plate (producing an angular or "chisel" front to it) in
order to avoid having to have another step in bending the cover plate and
cutting the sides to match a jig.
Due to a shortage of rubber, they also were the first factory to go to an all
steel cast wheel with internal rubber buffering. This was quickly found to make
the tank an extremely rough rider over any distance and fatiguing to the crew
from the noise and vibration; it was soon amended to use a combination of rubber
tired and steel wheels with the rubber tires on the first and last road wheel
CMD has done most of the basic work on the kit for the modeler, and all the
modeler needs to do other than use the parts in the kit is to make the notched
section on the upper hull and fit the notched front and rear plates to the DML
hull. This is not beyond the skills of most modelers, and very detailed
directions are provided for that.
The kit provides a complete turret shell with choice of early or late hatches
(again, by cutting corners on fancy items it speeded up production), new recoil
mechanism cover ("chisel nose"), a turned F-34 barrel, and bow and stern plates;
it also provides the short-term "applique" armor sections for the front and
lower glacis as well as new rounded fenders and the simplified "hammerhead" tow
hooks with spring keepers. (For those who used the earlier Model 1940 kit, the
CMD kit also provides the later radiator intakes with longitudinal venting.)
The kit does not provide the standard production steel wheels, so the modeler is
on his own for those items. I have not tried to see if Tamiya wheels fit on this
kit, so cannot comment whether it is easier to use them, Zvezda wheels, or
Overall this is a useful conversion kit, and one that is up to the high
standards of CMD.
Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2005 by Cookie
Page Created 21 April, 2005
Last updated 20 April, 2005
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