In-Box Review
T34/85 Model 1944 Update Set

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

I recently became 'reconverted' to the possibilities of 1/72nd scale armour by building a few of the Revell kits in this scale. I then got some of the DML kits as review samples and my enthusiasm was fired even more. There are several distinct advantages of this scale. Firstly, build-time is shortened, secondly, the detail and 'extras' in the newer kits are quite remarkable and thirdly, the space they occupy is much less than their larger scale counterparts.

Eduard's Update set
22099 - T34/85 Model 1944 is a 1/72nd scale PE update set designed for DML's T34/85 - # DRA7262 by the incredibly prolific Eduard of the Czech Republic. The update deals with the following areas:

1) Front Hull/Front Fenders

2) Front hatch

3) Rear engine deck (including engine grills)

4) Rear (auxiliary ) fuel drums and rear fenders.

5) Side-mounted auxiliary fuel tanks

6) Stowage - including extra ice cleats, tools and large stowage box

7) Additional turret details and grill over the gun mantlet.

Some notes about this review. In the next section, i'm going to look at the kit parts and the replacements offered by Eduard. In the penultimate section, I'll give my personal assessment.

In Depth
1) Front Hull/Front Fenders The front fenders on the kit are a little lacking in detail, so these are a useful addition.

2) Front Glacis Hatch The set provides additional detail for the inside of the front hatch which is adequately detailed, so unless this is being moulded open - not of great use.

3) Rear engine deck (including engine grills) DML's kit includes a PE engine grill (for the large rear grill). However, the Eduard set replaces this entirely and provides replacements for the mid (side and top) grills which are moulded into the hull. Good enough replacements, but not totally necessary.

4) Rear (auxiliary) fuel drums and fenders The kit does not contain the smaller drums, so these are enhancements. The replacements for the rear fenders are not necessary in my opinion.

5) Side-mounted auxiliary Fuel Tanks In my opinion, the PE enhancements add little - unnecessary.

6) Stowage - including extra ice cleats, tools and large stowage box: The original kit provides racks of ice-cleats. The PE replacements are, in my opinion, lacking depth and therefore are not a viable replacement. The PE storage box is nice and is a good addition. The tools are, in my opinion, too 'one-dimensional' and not really an improvement.

7) Additional turret details and grill over the gun mantlet. The turret details consist of slight enhancements to the (interior) hatch detail - lacking in the 'donor' kit. The hinged panel above the mantlet is nicely done in both the kit and the PE set - the 'edge' is with the PE part.

The Instructions are what we have come to expect with Eduard - clear and simple to follow. The etching is clean and well-done.

Sometimes a donor kit requires a lot of updating, on other occasions, a few delicate 'touches' are all which are required. I find it very difficult to recommend this set for the following reasons:

1) I don't honestly see what improvements are on offer. In certain aspects, there are some nice touches, however, in a 'global' sense, it is in the final analysis, pretty unnecessary.

2) The price. $19.95 is quite expensive. I appreciate the time involved in producing a set like this, but the price seems far too high.

3) Kit-parts vs. PE. In some cases, in this set, the kit parts are far superior to the replacements. That suggests that the designer should be looking at what is actually necessary for an update, not what they want to sell.

There are good things in this set. Nothing in the set is badly done, therefore my final thoughts on some of the parts can be summed-up in one word, Why?

Acknowledgements/ Further Information

My thanks to Eduard for providing the review sample.

Secondly, the 'donor' kit was reviewed HERE!!
The last year or two, has seen some very impressive (new) kits coming out in 1/72nd scale. Inevitably, the after market manufacturers have been releasing update sets as fast as the kits hit the shelves. However, sometimes, an AM set isn't as necessary as some may think...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 22099
  Suggested Retail: $ 19.95
  PUBLISHED: May 22, 2006

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


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  • 01
    Instructions 1
  • 02
    Instructions 2
  • 03
    Instructions 3
  • 04
    Fret 1