In-Box Review
T-34/85 Model 1944

by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]

The appearance of the T-34 on the battlefields of Russia during WWII, as everybody knows, put the fear of God into the Germans, and led them to develop the whole idea of sloping armour in the Panther. The T34/85 was equipped with a more powerful gun and thicker armour than it's predecessor, but was still ultimately out-performed by it's German adversaries, making up for these deficiencies by sheer number.

The following is a first-look review only. I know very little indeed on the subject of Russian armour, but was so impressed by this diminutive kit from a new manufacturer that I picked up all 10 kits they had to offer! I will therefore not comment at all on accuracy, but will confine myself to commenting on the quality of the kit and leave the accuracy issues (if there are any) to others.

the kit
The packaging is impressive to say the least! A strong proper cardboard box, with a lid. Great box art, and when you open the box it's equally impressive. Each sprue is separately sealed in it's own bag, therefore no damaged parts, and the separate hull tub and top are held securely in a cardboard structure at the end of the box. The instruction booklet is of the exploded line drawing type and looks extremely professional, which is not what we always get from new manufacturers.

The painting schemes are on a separate glossy insert too.

The kit comes on 9 fair-sized sprues of light grey styrene, with separate 2-piece hulls mentioned, and as you examine them, the first thing that comes to mind is that they exude quality. Very little flash indeed, and really, really sharp detail. Which is what attracted me to them.

Also included in the box there are two small clear headlights, a length of copper tow rope, very similar in composition to Karaya tow ropes, a small decal sheet, and the really innovative touch........... a PE grill already moulded into the styrene rear engine cover! Quite how they achieve this is beyond me, but it looks fantastic! A huge step forward.

the parts
The finesse of the parts is quite stunning, from the full crew compartment to the engine, transmission and full turret interior, and remember this is in 1/48th scale! There is a tiny amount of flash around some of the smaller parts, but easily cleaned off.

Construction begins with the drivers station, and includes some very fine detail indeed. There are separate sidewall inserts to be detailed, and moving back into the fighting compartment there are full arrays of batteries, and more highly-detailed sidewall inserts. Construction continues with the full engine, transmission, air cleaners.......... this small kit really does have a full interior! Some of the smaller parts look to be a tad simplified, but at this scale, that's something you would expect.

After inserting the firewalls and the radiators, work continues on the external upper deck. Again, fine detail is the order of the day, with some detail already being moulded onto the inside surface of the hull. Then there's that innovative engine screen.

The tracks are supplied as link and length, the instructions being very clear indeed on which section to use where. Each link does have a tiny ejector pin mark on it's surface, not very noticeable, but if you do choose to remove them you'll need a micro-chisel such as that available from Mission Models in order not to mar the surrounding detail.

The gun barrel is in one piece and has a pre-drilled opening........nice touch. Also for the turret interior there is lot's of detail...............and I do mean lots! A full breech assembly, moulded on detail in the turret itself, ready ammunition racks with ammunition, and the test of a good moulding..........all the rounds supplied are round!

marking options
As mentioned earlier, the marking scheme is supplied on a separate full-colour glossy insert. There aren't any options really. It's dark green or nothing! There is only one scheme shown on the insert, although as you can see from the decal sheet, more options are there, we're just not shown what to do with them?

There's only one conclusion i could reach, and that's that this kit represents remarkable value for money. 1/48th scale, with a full interior, and including that PE & styrene engine screen. There has been speculation that these kits are in fact scaled down Trumpeter 1/16 kits, and whilst that might be true, my money is on the profits from these going to a certain other far east kit manufacturer. Highly recommended.

You just don't get better value for money than this. A great kit with a FULL interior.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 84807
  Suggested Retail: 11.95
  Related Link: Little Cars
  PUBLISHED: Aug 20, 2006

Our Thanks to Little Cars!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)

Copyright 2021 text by Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]. All rights reserved.


do you have a dealer?
AUG 20, 2006 - 10:40 PM
I got it from luckymodel.com. Sometimes shipping is even less to the States. LINK You can save on shipping by combining 2 or 3 small items so when you split the total shipping by the number of items it ends up being less than getting only that one item. I just play around and add different combinations to the cart until I get the best deal. Especially since they have free shipping on some items. Just shop around.
AUG 20, 2006 - 11:17 PM
Guys I got mine (T-34/85 Flattened Turret) from Hobbyeasy in Hong Kong. http://www.hobbyeasy.com I just did a quick check for all you guys from the US and the cost of the kit is $USD 10.71 + $USD 9.82 shipping to the States. I've dealt with the Hobbyeasy guys many times and they are a pleasure to do business with.
AUG 22, 2006 - 07:04 PM
There are quite a few of these T-34kit (as well as their sherman kits) on Ebay. I won the T-34/85 Model '44 Flattened turret about 5 days ago and I already recieved it from England. The kit is impressive, and with a complete interior? and in quarter scale? So awesome, I can't wait to dive into this kit!!!!!!!
AUG 22, 2006 - 07:17 PM
All T-34s come with interior? (This is so, freaking awsome... I love vehicles with interiors, the only problem is that the resin set consts 3X as much as the kit. But this? Man, I hope they make a habit out of it.) About Luckymodels: They don't seem to combine shipping. If you order 3 kits, it's three times 5 bucks. And the LHS didn't even hear about this kit.
AUG 23, 2006 - 02:50 AM
The T-34s had trickled down to London from Norfolk by Saturday, so I just had to get the Mod 43. Umm... WOW!!! and Hobby Boss remembered to put in new sidewalls for the fighting compartment reflecting the smaller turret ring of the 76mm gun versions. David
AUG 28, 2006 - 03:46 PM
I think all these good reports might tempt me to try the smaller scale Cant wait to see a painted one
AUG 28, 2006 - 05:06 PM
Bought mine today from my LHS. After seeing some of the prices being posted here, I think I got hosed at $29.95 +tax! They are nice looking kits though. I have way too many other builds ahead of this one to start, but I'm damn sure tempted! "Q" Yeah, I just went to Hobby Easy...........I defineltly got hosed..
MAR 29, 2007 - 02:47 AM
Howdy Y'all: Has anyone figured out the other markings on the decals sheet? I was thinking of building this as a North Vietnam or North Korea tank for the "Beasts of the East" contest. Any ideas are appreciated. Y'all have a nice day! Don "Lakota"
OCT 13, 2009 - 03:58 PM

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