Manufacturer: BattleFront Miniatures
Product Code: SBX???
Date of Article: 05 Jan 2009
A successive upgrade to the T-34/76, the T-34/85 was necessitated by the growing armour on German Panthers and Tigers, which made the original 76.2mm gun obsolete while increasing the distances from which these early T-34s can be knocked out. The T-34 was upgunned with a 85mm gun, and served quite well in the ’44 and ’45 campaigns.
The version being reviewed here is an existing mold of the T-34/85 from the SBX?? box set. It represents an early production T-34/85, without the turret drive motor bulge, and has been in production for some time.
As mentioned in the T-34/76 Obr 1942 (BattleFront) article, the tracks are a major issue to deal with. As previously stated, you might want to leave them off for painting prior to assembly.
Unlike the T-34/76 Obr 1942 (BattleFront), the fenders are molded onto the body. This isn’t a major drawback as there is sufficent room to paint underneath them (above the tracks), and the fenders are simple devices.
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”.
Like the T-34/76 Obr 1942 (BattleFront), you should glue this ASAP, as it is a small part that can go missing quickly. You don’t get spares in the box, so do them carefully.
The turret of the T-34/85 is significantly bigger and different from the T-34/76 Obr 1942 (BattleFront). The major difference here is that the cupola comes molded to the tank, and you don’t have much choice in the matter.
The cupola hatch is a one piece affair which is easy if you want to model the hatch shut; the periscope should be to the front of the hatch, as per below:
However, if you want to model the cupola open, it gets trickier, as you need to cut the hatch in two, and the two halves become quite small to handle and glue, as you can see below:
The advice? Cheat: glue the crew first, then glue the hatch to the crew also.
The main gun of the T-34/85 is metal; there is no possible replacement for this like for the T-34/76 Obr 1942 (BattleFront) off the top of my head. This gun, like any pewter gun, has a tendency to go haywire and shoot around corners. Also, the mounting point of the gun is rather short, so you can end up with a 85mm gun “wobble”; you’ll need to take care when gluing the gun.
The fuel tanks of the T-34/ 85 are separate that you can attach or leave off as you wish. Take note that there is a cap molded onto the tank as a detail. Typically, this is supposed to be in the up direction, but as these fuel tanks are typically not connected to the internal fuel supply and are actually supposed to be taken off when entering combat, having it pointed down doesn’t really hurt anyone.
The fuel tanks are typically placed 2 on the right side of the tank, one on the left side. But as mentioned, they are supposed to be removed before combat, so any combination or none at all would work.