Sometimes we lose sight of the interesting things that are happening in other scales. It is all too easy to get carried away in the enthusiasm for the extraordinary work which is being done in 1/35th scale and overlook the equally impressive work which is being done in 1/72nd scale. The application of the technology is there - slide-moulding is getting used in this scale as well as 1/35th, the detail (if you look closely) is also there, sometimes we really need to start using our eyes more. There are some VERY
interesting things happening in 1/72nd as well....
DRA7269 - T-34/85 Mod. 1944 (Early Production)
Is a 1/72nd scale model of one of the most emblematic vehicles of WW2 - the T34. The kit comes in a colorfully illustrated box . The model consists of just over 90 parts on two sprues. As we have come to expect (even in this scale), there are a number of interesting 'extras:
1) Two 150mm Metal Tow Cables
2) A tiny photo-etched grille for the enhine cover
3) The wheels and idlers are contained (pre-cut) in a seperate plastic bag
4) The tracks are not vinyl, in fact they are made of 'Dragon Styrene'
There isn't a lot to the kit (construction wise), however, there is a lot of very sharp detail. Looking at the major sections:
Doing a bit of quick dry-fitting indicates that the three principal sections (turret roof, turret and bottom half) are well enough engineered and that no major fit problems are noticeable. There will be a 'join' between the top and bottom which should be reworked - not to make invisible, but to look like a weld join. There should be a bit more 'texturing on the turret - finely finished armor was NOT
a Soviet trademark...
The mantlet is beautifully cast and correct for an early -85. The barrel is cast using slide-mould technology and is hollow - not all that noticeable in this scale, but a nice detail.
The bottom is a one-piece tub with the detail on the underneath represented.
The top-hull is very delicately detailed and fits well on top of the bottom. All essential details are there - the auxiliary fuel tanks, the racks for the ice cleats etc. The engine deck includes a delicately done PE grille. The rear plate/exhausts are also nicely done with a seperate hatch.
The front glacis contains all necessary detail including the MG, seperate hatch and nicely done headlamps, A length of metal tow rope is included which is very convincingly done - more so than the usual length of thread....
Running Gear and tracks
The road wheels and idlers are done as one piece mouldings using (once again) slide-mould technology to produce a crisp and convincing finish.
The track, as I mentioned earlier, is moulded from Dragon Styrene
which although criticised in some quarters as being difficult to glue. Personally, I haven't found this much of a problem - in cases of dire emergency, one can always resort to Superglue... The tracks are thinly moulded and very flexible, with good detail.
The decal sheet provides markings for four vehicles:
1) 22nd Guards Armored Brigade, 5th Guards Armored Corps (Prague 1945)
2) 4th Guards Tank Brigade , 2nd Brigade Tank Corps (Byelorussia 1944)
3) 4th Guards Tank Brigade , 2nd Brigade Tank Corps (Byelorussia 1944)
4) German 'BeutePanzer' ('Trophy Tank' ) in Poland 1944.
The decals are thin with good solid whites and excellent register.
An excellent kit of a popular subject. Definitely (at first glance) one for a simple 'evening' build although, it is certainly a pretty sophisticated piece of moulding. Some of the detail is downright impressive, although given DML's
experience of the T34 in 1/35th, it shouldn't be too surprising... The quality of many of the parts pleasantly surprised me - the gun barrel, the commander's cupola and the running gear are all noteworhy parts which should make for a very satisfying 'whole'
My thanks to Dragon Models Limited
for the review sample...