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T-34/85 with S-53 gun

 

UM, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: UM 328 T-34/85 with S-53 gun.
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 198 dark green plastic parts on five sprues, 3 PE parts on one fret, 22 black rubber parts on two identical frames, Decals for no less than seven vehicles and 4 double sided A4 pages of instructions with history, parts plan, build diagrams and paint/decal drawings.  ,
Price: USD$9.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Interesting subjects, highly detailed and cleanly moulded.
Disadvantages: In my opinion, rubber road wheel tyres, numbers on decals donít match those in instructions, closed commanderís hatch and too many bolts on road wheels.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by
Glen Porter


UM's 1/72 scale T-34/85 with S-53 gun is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

  

The T-34 is reputed to be the best tank built during the Second World War.

Having the right combination of armour, mobility and firepower it certainly gave the German Army a nasty surprise when first encountered. In fact, the Wehrmacht was so impressed that General Guderian suggested that to defeat it, Germany should just copy it. This didnít happen of course, and at Kursk the Soviet Army found the T-34ís 76mm gun was no match for the Tigers and Panthers.

Enter the T-34/85. 

This second T-34/85 from UM represents, I believe, the Model 1945, according to Brett Greenís article on identifying warime T-34/85 variants in Hyperscaleís reference section. This variant might be said to be the best.

198 parts? Sure itís got link and length tracks but that only accounts for 44 parts. Many 1/35 scale Armour kits have less than this.Mind you, some of the sprues are for other kits and many parts are not used, like grab handles for instance, beautifully moulded in plastic and almost to scale, but they wonít go astray in the spares box. My only criticism of the plastic is the road wheels have too many bolts, 12 instead of 6 and the commanderís hatch is moulded closed. Mind you, both the loader and driverís hatches can be modelled open and it wonít take much work to open that pesky commanderís hatch.  

 

Click thumbnails below to view larger images:


The rubber tyres, Iím not so sure about. I like the idea of separate wheels and tyres as it solves some painting problems but I would prefer to see the tyres in plastic because seams can be hard to rid from rubber. Each rubber sprue has a tow cable on it and I will have to wait to see if this is a good idea or not until I build the kit to pass judgement. 

PE parts number only three, thank goodness, as Iím not a fan of this media. Engine screen, saw blade and a circular piece behind the MG I can live with. 

Decals, for SEVEN, (yes you read it right) seven vehicles, are well printed by UM although there is a small register problem where the red doesnít quite align with the white. However, there are only two markings where red and white are both used and these are the two red stars with white border. Either you donít use these stars and find another set or avoid this scheme. The rest of the markings are unaffected. Some of the decal numbers donít match those on the instructions; however, a careful scan of the instructions will solve this small problem.  

 

 

The instructions are what we have come to expect from UM - clear and concise with the parts not for use on the parts plan unnumbered and shaded. Another small problem, again on the paint/decal diagram, where the main four view drawing has a date of spring 1942. The T-34/85 wasnít introduced till 1943 and this could just be a typo. However, three of the other six schemes are dated summer and July 1944. This is a 1945 model and although it was introduced in 1944 I donít think it was that early.   

 

 

Conclusion

 

These ďrivet countingĒ problems aside, this is a superb little kit and any Brail scale modellers should be able to produce a lovely T-34/85 from it. Letís face it; this is Revell territory fellows, so buy two or more. You wonít regret it. 

Highly Recommended.     


Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Page Created 27 January, 2005
Last updated 27 January, 2005

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