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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
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
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.
Review Copyright © 2004 by Cookie
Page Created 19 April, 2004
Last updated 19 April, 2004
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