During the early years of WWII the Russian Army main tank was the T34 with its 76mm main gun. However due to the ever improving German armour from 1943 onwards it required an upgrade and the 85mm barrelled T34 was designed and put into production.
Improvements included a 3 man larger turret with thicker armour, moving the radio into the turret and a larger main gun. The additional crewman allowed the Tank commander to solely focus on commanding his tank and left the gunner and loader to deal with the gun.
In total 49,000 T34/85 were built and it saw active service in the Russian Army until the mid 1960’s.
This Premium edition kit was released by Dragon in 2007 to represent the late 1944 variant. Containing extra detailing the kit includes a metal barrel, brass 85mm rounds and a large Photo-etch fret.
As well as the 7 plastic spures there are 160 Magic Tracks to clean up and glue, this was quite a busy build.
I am pleased to say that there was nothing too problematic to report during the build. Though the Dragon instructions can be a little infuriating!
After it was built the model was painted with a base colour of Mig Ammo Russian Green. To create the winter camp I used AK Interactive chipping fluid and Tamiya Matt White. As a first attempt I am fairly pleased with the results. Frustrating at times, but with practice I am positive I will improve the finish on future builds.
For the base more new products to try, AK interactive Snow Terrain and Sprinkles. Recommended is the tutorial video that AK have made for this product. Using a knife blue Styrofoam was shaped to represent a road. Afterwards AK Muddy ground Terrain and clumps of dead static grass were added to the base. Next stage is applying the snow products which was also added to the lower half of the model.
As a result of reading the excellent book Stalingrad by Antony Beever I gained the inspiration to finally build my Dragon T34. For 10 months I had intended to build a snow vignette incorporating the T34 but I had again lost my mojo for the hobby. However the book had piqued my interest in the Russian front and my building juices were rekindled.
Probably one of my favourite models that I have made. Certainly not perfect but I am pleased with the overall look of the whole scene.