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In-Box Review
135
T-34/76 m1943 w/Com Cupola
T-34/76 m1943 Factory No.183 with Commander's Cupola
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by: Jacques Duquette [ JACQUES ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The T-34 tank is not only one of the most recognizable tanks of World War II, it is arguably the most produced tank in WWII, and is rivaled only by the American M4 Sherman series. Design and initial production was at factory 183 in Kharkov (Charkovskiy Traktornyj Zawod No. 183 – ChTZ), which was relocated to Nizhniy Tagil (and renamed Uralskiy Tankovyj Zawod No. 183 – UTZ) in the fall of 1941. According to T-34: Mythical Weapon 35,595 T-34/76 were produced from 1940-1944 at 6 different factories (7 if you include factory 183 at Kharkov as one and factory 183 at Nizhniy Tagil as another), with a total of 15,014 produced at UTZ, and of that, roughly 3,000 with the commanders cupola. The commander’s cupola was an adaptation from work on the T-34/85 turret intended to give tank commander's a better field of view with less exposure to enemy fire.

Kit 6564 from Dragon Models is packaged in a sturdy box with attractive artwork on the cover and many of the kit features shown on the box sides and bottom. (This comment is a bit tongue-in-cheek for those of you who appreciate a good review of the packaging.) Although all sprues are not individually bagged, there was no breakage in my kit.

If you follow the instructions you can build a T-34 m43 in 10 easy steps...quite a feat - much like the change in production time to build a real T-34 (to build the components for a T-34 hull went from an initial 200hrs to a wartime 36hrs).

the kit

Step 1 - Building the roadwheels, idler, and sprocket:
The kit includes half-spider road wheels with lightening holes that are accurate compared to the scale drawings and appear to replicate the real wheel detail very well. The idler and sprocket are also accurate when compared to drawings and photos. Sprocket parts P20/P21 are called for, but parts L3/4 could also be used. Parts D8/9 CANNOT be used and don't exactly match any sprocket I have seen, but hey, they are not needed.

Step 2 - The addition of the suspension to the lower hull:
The inaccurate "double bump" stop for the first roadwheel is still present from previous T-34 kits...but not on the instructions! As is shown in the instruction drawing, there should only be one stop. This area is hard to see after construction, but for accuracy's sake they could be removed and one of the stops relocated. Also, the instructions say to use part C8 for the lower front, which does not have rivets to be removed AND has an inside cut to the plate that does not seem accurate for this tank. As far as I can tell, this should actually be part B10, which DOES need to have the rivets shaved off. Part A6, the axle for the front idler, should be left loose until the tracks are put on to allow for better fitting to avoid the need for the dreaded "half track" piece (a gap that is half the size of one track piece). The lower hull also does not include the "track pin hammer", a protruding plate on the lower hull by the final drive. This was used to "hammer" track pins, that would loosen up towards the lower hull, back into the tracks and were known to be added to factory No. 183 tanks starting in 1942 and were a common occurrence...a miss for a No.183 specific tank.


Step 3 - Adding the back transmission cover and details to the lower hull:
Part G5 is correct, but there are only two hinge points (correct) on the actual part, not the three shown in the instructions. I am not sure if this is all that is in Step 3 as there are a lot of small sub-assemblies that are being built on this page, but I will cover the rest below.

Step 4 - Adding the lower and upper hulls and LOTS of details:
DML packs as much assembly per step as possible. For the cooling fan access hatch, you get either a solid plastic piece with molded on screen (B15) or a piece ready to accept the photo-etch screen/frame included in the kit (P19). P19 is a better “open” hatch than DML has offered in the past, but it still needs trimming on the inside front edges (towards the engine bay) to allow it to sit fairly flush with the deck. This was not a precision engineered piece on the real tank but it looks awkward as molded, so while DML keeps trying to improve this piece, they are still a bit off the mark. The PE screen and squared-off edging is about 2mm too big for the opening in the hatch and the interior edge of the hatch shows under the screen. It appears that the opening is correct in size and the PE is wrong. I do not have any aftermarket PE on hand, but I do have DML's #6359 SU-100 Premium kit and the PE Screen and edging is the correct size in that kit, so DML had something on hand that would work. Another disappointment.

The upper hull correctly adds part L8 for the front glacis, but the instruction drawing shows the piece with the wrong opening for the hull MG cover. Also, at this point you can make the hull MG port for the MG or for the flame thrower variant (parts U16/U17/U15) BUT this necessitates a move of the radio antenna pot. More on that later. DML's instructions do not even mention that the U parts replacing the MG parts are for the OT-34, let alone that the antenna must be moved. The fender mounted box (parts H10-H13) gets replacement hinges, which are very nice but VERY tiny to work with. With careful work the added detail is worth it.

Step 5 – More hull detailing:
Part B22 is correct for the rear upper hull back plate, but be careful not to trim out the hinge detail INSIDE the hinge. It may be hard to make sure what is sprue and what is detail, so dry fit the piece to G5 to get an idea of what to remove. Instead of using PE parts MA11, I would use parts E2 for the tie downs...they are more accurate, representing welded on rods. While PE part MA10 is incorrect as flat metal, it is better than the molded on detail it replaces. Care should be taken adding the tiny PE piece for part C11 (stowage box) and C11 will not fit well on the fender as is...some of the fender detail (the bolted plate) will have to be partially removed for it to fit correctly. While you are at it, remove the rod tie down just behind this area on the fender and replace with part E2. The radio antenna and mount (A8-A10) need to be relocated, and the mount modified, to the back of the turret if making the OT-34 version as the flame thrower system took up that space in the hull. DML missed this.

Step 6 - The Commanders cupola and main gun/mantlet assembly:
Everything with the cupola is correct dimensionally, and the separate periscopes are a nice touch. The only problem at this step seems to be at the end of the main barrel, the “tip” or "collar" - which is too elongated. While the barrel is nicely pre-hollowed out of slide-molded plastic, it is not the correctly done metal barrel that DML has included in other kits in the past. They could have easily copied their own metal barrel. Part K12, the Coaxial MG, is NOT hollow molded.

Step 7 - The turret roof:
All details are correct for a No.183 m43 tank, including the roof molded "soup can" optics cover in front of the gunner's hatch.

Step 8 - Putting the turret together:
The turret shape and dimensions match the drawings in T-34: Mythical Weapon pgs 473/474.

Step 9 - External fuel tanks:
Here lies my biggest problem. In the instructions, and indeed on the box bottom, there is discussion of "new" fuel tanks as parts F18-F21...but the parts are not included in the kit and are not shown on the parts breakdown. So you have to use the old tank halves, parts M7-M10. This will involve sanding off the molded on straps...a big disappointment. But the highlight of the kit is the new ACCURATE tank mounts...made from 8 pieces of PE and 1 plastic kit piece. This is a MUCH more accurate representation of the mounts than in previous kits I have seen.

PLEASE NOTE, the instructions incorrectly label part MA19 as MA23 in the general build drawing...they are correctly labeled in the magnified drawing of the mount setup. However, DML only tells you to build 2 fuel tanks but a vehicle built at No.183 typically came with 3...two on the right side and one on the left. DML have given you enough PE pieces for 3 fuel tanks, but you will need to make a third piece of C17 since the third kit piece is used in step 8 on the turret rear (this should be simple, it would only be a rod). You may also need to add one more set of handles to one of the fuel barrels as there are only 4 PE handles in the kit (I say maybe as sometimes the barrels were so close together you could not see the handles).

Step 10 - Final assembly:
The tracks are DML's Magic Tracks and represent the "standard" 550mm track type of one with a guide horn and the next without. These tracks have holes in BOTH tracks and are labeled on page 474 of T-34: Mythical Weapon as the winter type. The DML tracks have proud knock out marks that need to be sanded off each link. While DML got the number of hand rails correct for a late '43 production tank, the rails are too long and thus become incorrectly placed compared to the T-34: Mythical Weapon drawings from pgs 473/474. Finally, railing part P15 on the cooling fan cover appears to be incorrect for factory No. 183.

If you have gotten yourself safely to this point, you now have a Factory No. 183 T-34/76 with commander's cupola. Congratulations!

Markings:
The markings options are for 4 different vehicles, 3 Russian and 1 Czechoslovakian. All are for 1943-1945. They are well printed and look thin, but I cannot comment further until I use them.

conclusion

Overall, I am cautiously pleased with this kit. It does have a number of small, annoying issues, 1 moderate one (the fuel tanks) and one big one (the PE engine screen). The instructions are VERY busy, incorrect in places, and omit important information. The parts included are very nicely detailed, but it can be very confusing to find all the correct parts, especially when there are multiple sprues with the same ID letter, 2 different sprues both labeled as C for instance. But since this kitting has so many partially used sprues, you get a lot of parts for the spares box.

In some ways this is a well thought out kit, (the fuel tank mounts, the rework of the fan housing cover, the OT-34 parts) and in other ways it seems like a rushed project (the PE deck screens, the incorrect main gun barrel, and the fuel barrels). The instructions are sloppy to the point where correct parts are included in the kit, but not mentioned. A little more effort, maybe as little as a couple of days to do extra proofreading or parts fit, would have helped immensely, since DML already has fixes for these problems in other kits in their range. But this kit CAN be built as a T-34/76 m43 Factory 183 or OT-34 OOB, just not the best way.

Recommended with slight reservations.

Further Reading:
T-34: Mythical Weapon – Airconnection Publishing - by Robert Michulec and Miroslaw Zientarzewski
Soviet Tanks in Combat 1941-45 (T-28, T-34, T-34/85, and T-44 medium tanks) – Concord Publishing No. 7011 - by Steve Zaloga
Russian Armor: T-34 Medium Tank 1939-43 – Ian Allen Publishing - by Mikhail Baryatinskiy


A Build Log has been started on the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.

SUMMARY
Highs: Correct Fuel drum supports. Better fan deck cover. Parts included to make the OT-34/76 m43 version.
Lows: Fuel drum advertising mistake. Non-metal main gun has a problem. Oversized PE mesh for fan cover hatch.
Verdict: A solid kit that can be built into either a T-36/76 m43 from Factory 183 or a OT-34/76 entirely from the parts in the box, aftermarket items will be needed to make this kit excel.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6564
  Suggested Retail: $53.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 02, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 83.65%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

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About Jacques Duquette (Jacques)
FROM: MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES

The first model I remember building was a glow-in-the-dark P-38, running around my bedroom in the dark flying it, and stubbing my toes. I do a lot less running around with glowing models now. I mainly focus on 1/35 armor and figures, with Modern Russian military vehicles being my favorite. I a...

Copyright ©2017 text by Jacques Duquette [ JACQUES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for your review, Jacques. I found your comments on the instructions and assembly process in particular very helpful, and they'll certainly help should I ever pick one of these up. One thing I would have liked to have seen more of though are close up shots of the sprues. The closest I often get to "opening a model box and having a gander at the contents" is in reviews such as these, hence the fetish for plenty of close-up photos. Overall though, a very insightful review, and much appreciated. R
MAR 01, 2010 - 11:45 PM
Detail shots, and fixes for problems, can be found with the T-34/76 m43 BLOG I left them out of the review as I intended to get into photo-graphic detail in the BLOG.
MAR 02, 2010 - 08:25 PM
If it's OK, I'd like to add a few corrections and observations: Introduction ChTZ may have existed but was not related to Factory 183 KhPZ (Kharkivsky parovozobudivny zavod) which produced the T-34 in Kharkov. Production numbers can be tricky in that they often include tanks rebuilt by the factory and no two sources seem to agree. The kit You could use L3 and 4 but it would be an unlikely, though not “impossible”, combination. These parts represent the version of the drive introduced in the second half of 1941 that omitted the “pinch rollers” in favor of fixed triangular bars in order to save time in production. However the design was found to play hell on the tracks and could cause them to be thrown at inopportune times. The design was dropped and pinch rollers returned. Parts D8 and 9 represent a version of the drive sometimes used by STZ (though they’re missing some detail). These too would be unlikely to show up on a Model ‘42/’43. Step 2 - The addition of the suspension to the lower hull Though I haven’t been able to establish the exact date they were introduced the “double bump stop” for the front suspension are not inaccurate for these tanks. The detail appeared no later than mid-1943 and probably earlier (depending on which factory produced a given tank). The instructions illustration suggests the use of part B10 but correctly calls out part C8. The profile of C8 is probably more accurate for the Model ’43. (See pg. 358 of “Mythical Weapon”). “Pin knockers” were added to all T-34’s with the introduction of the 500mm cast waffle pattern tracks (550mm waffle tracks had two small bolts that held the pins in place) and there are two general configurations: The first were cast wedges that were mounded to the final drive housing at the 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock position (depending on the factory it appears). The second version was welded to the hull in front of the final drives and are the common type for the T-34-85 and possibly very late Model ‘43s (though I haven’t found much wartime evidence for this) Step 3 - Adding the back transmission cover and details to the lower hull: You have a choice here: For a classical Factory 183 made tank (three hinges and four bolts on the angled outside edges) you can use parts L5 and L6 (the lower and upper rear plate respectively). For a Factory 174, et al, use parts B22 and G5 with the two hinges and five bolts. (There is a slight problem here in that G5 represents a version of the final drive housing, albeit with simplified detail, associated more with Factory 183 and it may be somewhat more correct to use part L5 but remove the center hinge.) For part B22 you may want to remove the conduit for the smoke canisters as these were fairly uncommon on the -76. At this point there is some debate as to exactly when Factory 183 switched to the two hinge configuration. It “may” have been as early as mid-1943 but photographic evidence suggests that the change may not have happened until around the time of the introduction of the T-34-85 in 1944. I’m not sure why the instructions suggest you use part B11, a rectangular access cover which is more common on the Model ’40 and ’41. It’s probably more accurate to use part B28, the round cover. Step 4 - Adding the lower and upper hulls and LOTS of details: Part C7, the armored cover for the hull DT machinegun, is very poor. The opening for the sight is too high up and the armor over the barrel is noticeably too short. Also when mounted it sits way too close to the face of the hull blister (part C6) and needs to be spaced out. DML’s PE hinges are a poor representation of the real thing and you’ll be better off not using them. In fact, few if any of the PE parts included in these kits are worth using, they just do a bad job of representing the details they’re intended to. Step 7 - The turret roof: The “soup can” cylinder on the loaders hatch side (the TC/Gunner’s cupola is on the right and the loader’s hatch is on the left when viewed from the front) is actually a dummy. Command tanks were fitted with two PTK-5 armored periscopes (or a PTK-5 and a MK-4 in the case of very late production tanks. The MK-4 is included in the kit as unused parts B1 and B2) and in order to make these less obvious as targets a dummy made of thin sheet metal was substituted on non-command tanks. As far as I’ve been able to tell the real item was open on top so it may be better to recreate this detail from sheet brass or something similar. Step 8 - Putting the turret together: The brass brackets for the turret and hull grab handles are incorrect. DML represent them as “L” shaped whereas they should be a simple piece of flat iron, no bend. Step 9 - External fuel tanks: Some of these late -76s had only two fuel cells while others had two fuel and one oil cell (standard configuration). I never managed to peg one configuration or another to a specific factory. More importantly, many if not most of these tanks appear to not have been fitted with any extra cells. Step 10 - Final assembly: The tracks provided with this kit are simply incorrect for the type. Cast “waffle pattern” 550mm tracks were common to STZ and early batches from Factory 112 (Krasnoye Sormovo) only, though they have shown up from time to time on other factory’s tanks. Mythical Weapons referring to them as “winter type” is pure fiction as far as I’ve been able to tell. You will be far better off replacing them with “standard” 500mm waffle tracks from Model Kasten, AFV Club, Fruil, etc. Hope this helps, Mark
MAR 03, 2010 - 03:29 PM
Thank you Mark. That does answer some of my questions. But what are you using for a source? The main reason I used T-34: Mythical Weapon is that I could not really find a source that provided references and had some clear, concise information on the T-34/76 m43 Factory No. 183 with the commander's turret...honestly, quite a rare bird to find either on the internet or amongst my much more dated books. And not having real tanks to look over, and not being able to read Russian, tends to limit my research ability. So again, what resources are you using? I also agree that hard counts on production numbers are a bit sketchy considering the factories considered repaired tanks as new deliveries, but I think the number I stated is becoming the more accepted one as freshly built...but no, the debate has not ended. I just wanted to put a number reasonable number out to give the reader an idea of the numbers involved. I will say this, DML seem to have gone off of Mythical Weapons drawing in the back as the kit matches it almost perfectly except for several of the small details I pointed out in my review. 1. A stupid mistake on my part over ChTZ and Factory 183 KhPZ. I picked up some erroneous info (see above) and failed to correct it after I went on into the kit review. KhPZ is a very well known factory to me as the "Malyshev Factory" of T-64 and T-80UD fame. 2. Step one: L3/4 were added because they could be used OOB and were a POSSIBLE idler, if not probable. D8/9 would need some help and are STZ, so I considered them incorrect, mostly for the detail issues. 3. For the double bumps...it is hard to tell. I am willing to take your theory into account as it makes building the hull easier...so noted. 4. While C8 is the correct part, as I noted in the review, B10 is what they called for in the instructions and illustrates the confusing nature of the instructions. 5. I did not catch the rear hull plate bolt issue of part B22...I like the idea of using L5 and G5 for the parts, I will look into it in the BLOG. 6. As for the PE hinges, I know they are not correct, but they do look better built up than the plastic details. In the review I was not going to go into that much detail over it all, as I had planned to do it in the BLOG. Also, I am not a huge fan of going nuts with Aber of Legend PE sets, so I set my expectations a bit lower for those items. But I do plan to point out what they should look like and what it would take to make them accurate. But your point on the use of the PE fret included is accurate...the PE does not really correct much, it just makes it look "better". 7. I could find ZERO info on the "soup can" dummy cover. I thought it had to be something like that, but I could not confirm it. Thank you for the information. 8. The brass brackets for the turret and hull grab handles are incorrect. DML represent them as “L” shaped whereas they should be a simple piece of flat iron, no bend. What are the part numbers for the PE and handles, I am not sure what you are talking about. 9. For the fuel cell arrangement, as presented in Mythical Weapon, I just made the assumption it was correct. I could not confirm that Mythical Weapon's drawings were not correct, so in this case I went with the information. So it is possible they were manufactured without ANY fuel rack on the back? Is there a correct length/placement for the infantry handles on the hull sides? 10. Thanks for the info on the tracks. Again, I assumed that Mythical Weapon was correct as I could not discredit it from another credable source. I could see the tracks being on the tank, but I think that using the 500mm tracks, and adding the pin-hammer plate on the lower hull, would be more accurate. So yes, it has been helpfull and thanks.
MAR 03, 2010 - 10:18 PM
Thank you Mark. That does answer some of my questions. But what are you using for a source? The main reason I used T-34: Mythical Weapon is that I could not really find a source that provided references and had some clear, concise information on the T-34/76 m43 Factory No. 183 with the commander's turret...honestly, quite a rare bird to find either on the internet or amongst my much more dated books. And not having real tanks to look over, and not being able to read Russian, tends to limit my research ability. So again, what resources are you using? My primary source? Nearly ten years of research on the beast, dozens of books, hundreds of magazines, thousands of photos, a hand full of declassified reports, and many web contacts. I’ve also been lucky enough to be supplied with very high quality translations of some of the newest books on the subject from Russia. :-) 1. A stupid mistake on my part over ChTZ and Factory 183 KhPZ. I picked up some erroneous info (see above) and failed to correct it after I went on into the kit review. KhPZ is a very well known factory to me as the "Malyshev Factory" of T-64 and T-80UD fame. A funny thing is that in all the years I’ve been at it I’ve only just heard that KhPZ was named for Malyshev! 3. For the double bumps...it is hard to tell. I am willing to take your theory into account as it makes building the hull easier...so noted. I have a half a dozen or so photos of KO’d Model ’42 hulls with the twin bump stops, both on the battlefield and being readied for factory repair. A couple of years back someone wrote that these were introduced along with the -85 turret because of the extra weight. The myth has just refused to go away. 8. The brass brackets for the turret and hull grab handles are incorrect. DML represent them as “L” shaped whereas they should be a simple piece of flat iron, no bend. What are the part numbers for the PE and handles, I am not sure what you are talking about. MA13 is the part. Take a look at page 406 of Mythical Weapon to see how these brackets were actually attached to the tank. 9. For the fuel cell arrangement, as presented in Mythical Weapon, I just made the assumption it was correct. I could not confirm that Mythical Weapon's drawings were not correct, so in this case I went with the information. So it is possible they were manufactured without ANY fuel rack on the back? Is there a correct length/placement for the infantry handles on the hull sides? It’s not incorrect as such, the three cell configuration was common in later production batches but there was also a two cell (somewhat less common), or no cells (ie, MW pg. 173 bottom). Some were fitted with two “box type” cells like those illustrated on page 470 (there are a couple of different versions of these rear mounted cells). In regards to spacing of the grab bars, I’m sure there is a correct dimension but I don’t have the numbers. I always just used photos to place them in the “about right” locations. The only trustworthy dimensions I have for these things are for the bars on the turret which were roughly 520mm wide across the back and 725mm on the sides. 10. Thanks for the info on the tracks. Again, I assumed that Mythical Weapon was correct as I could not discredit it from another credable source. I could see the tracks being on the tank, but I think that using the 500mm tracks, and adding the pin-hammer plate on the lower hull, would be more accurate. The biggest problem with mounting 550mm tracks on a Model ’43 would be removing the pin knockers. Not a really huge deal and there are many photos of earlier 550mm plates on Model ‘42s so it “could” be done I just can’t recall having seen the wider links on a Model ’43. Mark
MAR 04, 2010 - 12:18 PM
Well Mark, I thought as much. There really isn't one concise source to turn to, other than T-34: Mythical Weapon, so it does not surprise me that you are putting together the information from MANY sources. Is there a good source for info on the T-34/76 m43 Factory No. 183 w/Commanders Cupola? Well, I got some more confusing stuff: 1. Recovery of a German aquired T-34/76 with commanders hatch, in german markings, that was pulled from a lake. from a lake in Estonia It shows two barrels on right side, one mid-left, and 5 bolts and two hinges on the rear plate. Thoughts? 2. Not sure if this is a T-34/76 or T-35/85, but I found it interesting...and it has two fuel tanks on the right and one on the left. 3. Another German Bautepanzer of what looks like the tank we are discussing with a mount for a single fuel tank on the left side. 4. The double bumps were introduced to help with a more stable ride, weren't they? I would assume that the first road wheel go thtem because that was the station that got the greatest abuse? 5. I understand about Part MA13 now. When you said it was on the handles for the turret and hull, I was confused (no MA13 parts on the hull handles, just on the turret). Yes, I know this was incorrect, but I also know DML added the L portion to make the pieces easier to glue/stick to the turret for someone who wanted the detail on the handle but not the insanity of trying to glue such a small surface area to the turret. Incorrect, but easier, I know, I know...
MAR 06, 2010 - 12:28 AM
Well Mark, I thought as much. There really isn't one concise source to turn to, other than T-34: Mythical Weapon, so it does not surprise me that you are putting together the information from MANY sources. Is there a good source for info on the T-34/76 m43 Factory No. 183 w/Commanders Cupola? MW is a good book but its biggest problem is that you have to know something about the T-34 to start with in order to avoid being misled by it. As far as books in English go, “T-34 Medium Tank (1939 – 1943)” by Mikhail Baryantinskiy is the best I know of and well worth getting if you’re interested in the tank. For the UTZ with cupola there are no books that cover it specifically. Most books on the tank though will have at least a few photos of the beast. You just have to hunt around. Still you have to be careful, there is a lot of controversy over specifics and it could well be that late batch T-34s from UTZ may be for all intents indistinguishable from, say, Factory 174 (though 174 seem to have favored a different style of bracket their external fuel cells). What I “know” today may well prove completely wrong next month (it’s happened often enough). You end up having to make a best guess and then go with it. But there are some details that seem more specific to Factory 183 than others. The three hinge four bolt configuration for instance (though at least early batches of tanks from Uralmash also made their rear plates this way and at some point post mid 1943 UTZ may have changed to two hinges and five bolts), the grab bars made with bars and brackets (though UTZ also used bent bar handles as well), full sets of cast “half spider” wheels (though the stamped type are not uncommon and other factories used cast wheels too), you seeing a pattern here? Well, I got some more confusing stuff: 1. Recovery of a German aquired T-34/76 with commanders hatch, in german markings, that was pulled from a lake. from a lake in Estonia It shows two barrels on right side, one mid-left, and 5 bolts and two hinges on the rear plate. Thoughts? The Estonian Beute T-34 is a late batch from Factory 112, Krasnoye Sormovo. Your tip off here is the shape of the two rear hinges, the bullet splash strips added around the upper front hull, and the grab handles on the screened transmission cover. 2. Not sure if this is a T-34/76 or T-35/85, but I found it interesting...and it has two fuel tanks on the right and one on the left. It’s a T-34-85. 3. Another German Bautepanzer of what looks like the tank we are discussing with a mount for a single fuel tank on the left side. This one is a Factory 174 production based on the two wide hinges which have a simpler shape than Factory 112. Also interesting is the “laminate” type turret and the cupola which appears to be the sort made from rolled steel plate as opposed to cast. BTW, not all or even most Factory 174 tanks were fitted with the two large hinges it would appear. 4. The double bumps were introduced to help with a more stable ride, weren't they? I would assume that the first road wheel go thtem because that was the station that got the greatest abuse? Not sure about helping in the ride department but my understanding is that they were added because that first station takes a hell of a beating and the smaller spring and weaker design that front suspension unit had. It needed the extra support. 5. I understand about Part MA13 now. When you said it was on the handles for the turret and hull, I was confused (no MA13 parts on the hull handles, just on the turret). Yes, I know this was incorrect, but I also know DML added the L portion to make the pieces easier to glue/stick to the turret for someone who wanted the detail on the handle but not the insanity of trying to glue such a small surface area to the turret. Incorrect, but easier, I know, I know... I mentioned the hull because Factory 183 used the same design grab bar on both hull and turret throughout much of their production. I know the kit calls for the simpler bent rod type for the hull (something you see in a lot of photos) and I didn’t count the number of brackets on the fret, so, my bad. And, yes, I know WHY they did it but generally speaking PE exists to help make parts more accurate and so adding bits that do the opposite defeats the purpose, seems to me. But this kind of gets back to my opinion of the PE that comes with DML kits being pretty much useless. In fact there isn’t even one part that I’d rather use over what’s available from Aber or any other after market producer. It's not as though DML don't know this, they've had a top notch researcher working with them from the start but they seem to ignore the advice they get when it comes to the T-34. Mark
MAR 06, 2010 - 12:21 PM
Ok, I am getting where you are coming from. 1. The DML PE is not good compared to other aftermarket PE, but is somewhat better than just the plastic parts. The debate is if you are going to do PE, why not do it correctly. 2. T-34 production is hard to pinpoint for some details. Kit 6564 can be built OOB and actually represent a Factory 183 vehicle, although maybe not with the most commonly recognized elements. As long as a Factory 183 tank can be reasonably built from the kit, I am good. And I have Baryantinskiy's book from Ian Allen. I agree it is a good read, and did explain a few things, but T-34:MW was the easiest to get specific info...however, some of that now seems in doubt. I will say that kit 6564 seems to have been heavily infuenced by the T-34:MW drawings, including the dummy turret scope and many other details.
MAR 06, 2010 - 04:11 PM
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