T-34/76 obr 1942
Manufacturer: BattleFront Miniatures
Product Code: SBX???
Date of Article: 05 Jan 2009
The T-34/76 is regarded as one of the best tanks in WWII. With good armour, good horsepower, a decent gun when it was introduced, and huge numbers, it has since became a trademark tank, easily identifiable and associated with WWII.
The miniature in question is the new, redone T-34 obr 1942 in BattleFront’s SBX?? box. This comes with molded stowage and equipment, but these do not largely impact on the discussion on hand.
The T-34/76 model’s greatest weakness comes from its tracks. Not that it is overly complicated to put together — assembly is largely apply glue, match parts, apply pressure. Tip-toe is minimal, possibly because this is a batch from a new mold, but flash can be extensive, and can be annoying to remove.
Where it becomes difficult is that the roadwheel is accurately modelled as two discs instead of one solid disc. Again, this pose no issues in assembly, but once assembled, it becomes difficult to reach the area between the two discs. A close examination of the area will, if you are not careful, reveal unpainted pewter.
If you are quite particular about these things, you might want to consider painting these separately, as they can be done up and then assembled later; this does however, slow things down considerably.
The new T-34/76 does not come with molded fenders; rather, they are a separate part which you can apply or not as you wish. Attachment of the fenders is not overly difficult, since there is a generous area for you to apply glue and fix to the main hull.
The side fenders however, do need special care. It is easy to crack these side fenders as they are thin and does not hold up to abuse well. You should take care while assembly and handling, at least until the tracks are in place and you can handle them using the tracks. If you are especially lucky, you can patch back the fenders with some support (I used paper in this case), but otherwise you’ll have to make do with “battle damage”.
This part is small and a bit delicate, so it’s advised for you to attach this ASAP. There is an option to build OT-34s in the box, but to attempt to set up a part-swap setup is a bit ill-advised, as the parts are very small and can be easily knocked off.
The Turret is a simple affair, with options for “Mickey Mouse” hatches or a cupola. I’ve made the effort to make the cupola interchangable with the normal hatches, but the effort is largely wasted as the paint on the small parts could not take the abuse of part-swapping. Still, it opens up some avenue if you want to represent both MW and LW tanks.
If you do want to do this, you have to be aware that you need some way to remove the Mickey Mouse hatch after it has been attached. The fit can be rather tight and as such difficult to remove. What I did was to sand a little channel for me to fit a knife blade down to lever the hatch up. You don’t need to use this for the cupola, but you’ll need something for the normal hatch.
The good news about the cupola hatch is that it comes pre-molded as open; in the T-34/85‘s case you need to cut a metal hatch into two and fit the subsequent small parts into the hatch, which is tricky to do. In this case it’s been done for you already, so you need not worry about it.
The gun is of special interest, as the box comes supplied with metal guns; however, I dislike these as they bend too easily and is a major effort to straighten, especially after paint has been applied.
In the T-34/76’s case, the gun is a 76mm gun (technically a 76.2mm), without a muzzle brake. The M4 Sherman 76mm is also armed with a 76mm gun, also without a muzzle brake, and is a longer barrel, but comes as a plastic part. As such, some trial and error allowed me to cut down, shape and fit some spare Sherman 76mm guns into the mount of the T-34/76. This is something that you might want to consider to do as the plastic is much more resistant to bending than pewter.
The fuel tanks of this T-34/76 is molded on unlike the T-34/85, and you do not have any spare parts to represent them separately; it is also not possible to add parts from other T-34s here as there are clamps on some of the sculpts in their place that prevents usage without a great deal of routing with a dremel.