This latest T-34 kit from Cyberhobby/Dragon is of the T-34-76 Model 1941 type built at “Krasnoe Sormovo” (Factory 112) in the later half of 1942 and had a number of features peculiar to this version as do numerous other versions from different factories.
Cyberhobby/Dragon have again captured most of these features that include a revised rear plate design, notched welds on the glacis as well as all rubber road wheels but with the all steel idler wheels and optional features of hull and turret grab handles with the additional bullet guards added around the turret ring as well as alternate design on the upper rear plate with different sized round inspection hatch and top meshed engine bay cover.
The kit is labelled “3 in 1” which comes about by the fact Cyberhobby/Dragon has identified that due to shortages of the V2 diesel engine in 1942 some Factory 112 (and Factory 183) vehicles were fitted with the M-17 petrol engine for a short time.
This results in the three versions offered, 1: Diesel engine type 2: Gasoline modified and 3: Gasoline engine types with the instructions showing the different features such as the grab handles and turret guards applicable to the individual kit options. While these combinations are possible they are not confined to the engine type used with the full grab handles and turret guards appearing on many later 1942 early 1943 produced vehicles irrespective of engine fitted which does allow for different configurations to be built from the kit.
The kit also features the single head light on the left glacis and hull machine gun without the armoured shield but has the right hull mounted aerial pot, this pot is not applicable to the versions in the kit as it appeared with the later production vehicles that also had the head light re-positioned to the left hull side and the armoured shield added to the hull machine gun. It’s best to leave the aerial pot off and fill the locating hole in the hull side for the kit versions but other than this the kit captures the Factory 112 features well.
As with other T-34 kits this one also has many parts from previous kits such as the T-34-76 STZ Mod.1941 (kit #6355) and T-34-76 Mod.1941 Cast Turret (kit #6418) that includes two types of track, the injected 1941 type and individual “magic track” 1942 type plus new sprues P and T that included a new cast turret shell. Some of the older sprues have a few new parts added as well as some parts “snipped” off leaving gaps in the sprues but there is still quite a few parts for the spares box.
The kit consist of 385 parts in light grey plastic with a further 375 track links (two types) plus a large etched fret and the metal 76.2mm barrel, a length of braided steel wire, 4 clear plastic parts as well as a small decal sheet and the instruction sheet.Standard of moulding is excellent throughout with clean crisp details and virtually no pin marks that can be seen after assembly due to the many small plastic nodes but you will need care removing these from some parts. Some of the sprue attachments overlap the parts meaning when you remove these there is no scar left on the part itself which makes things a little easier on the cleanup while others have the usual sprue attachment on the part proper
Some of the older parts have a little bit of fine flash appearing but nothing excessive and the level of surface details is well done with nice weld seams, bolt detail and other detail nicely represented and the fit of the parts is very good overall with just a few minor niggles but nothing that the average modeller can’t handle.
I guess I have to mention that the hull parts revert to those from previous kits and therefore we don’t see a repeat of the hull fit problems with the recent T-34/76 STZ Mod.1942 (kit #6388) thankfully.
Dimensionally the kit measures up well against available 1:35 plans and data with any discrepancies well within acceptable tolerances given printing processes etc.
This is the same tub from the previous T-34 kits with separate front panel and new lower rear panel added and includes the side sponson fillers as well as a couple of separate access plates on the hull bottom.
The separate lower front plate has nice weld seam details but you will need to remove the 6 upper bolt heads as these are not on these versions. The lower rear hull panel is new for this kit and includes the slightly different features of the Factory 112 plate on the final drive bulges as well as towing hooks added to both panels with the fit to the hull being very good.
Inside the hull are the separate suspension channels with inner spring detail while the separate axles are from the original T-34 kits and have a little less detail than those in more recent kits.
There is just one set of road wheels provided, the original 1940 pattern rubber tyred pressed disc road wheel which correctly have the ten hub bolts and inner stiffening ring but take care when removing the moulding seam around the middle of the tyre section so as not to damage the detail. Each wheel station has the two separate wheels and a separate hub cap that also has the correct detail for this type of wheel and is designed to be glued to the axle stub.
For the drive sprockets you get the original 1940 pattern sprockets that have excellent details on both the inner and outer sprocket discs that fit together without problems and include the drive rollers as they should as well as separate hub cap. One thing to watch here is the instructions indicate the hub cap as part F9, but it should in fact be part F10.
Included for the kit are the later all steel idler wheels applicable to this version but the original idler wheels with rubber sections are still included but not used so you can consign these to the spares box.
These are two types of track included in the kit, the early 1941 550mm cast type provided as individual link but moulded in the conventional manner meaning each link has to be removed from the sprue and cleaned up before assembling the track runs and there are a few shallow pin marks on the inside of each link to be removed.
The second type is the individual link “magic track” for the more common 1942 550mm type track that have very little if any cleanup needed but the track shoe design is slightly different to that of the 1942 track produced in Factory 112 as this track had less ribs on each link than the kit track. But there is little you can do here and most would not worry as close inspection would be needed to notice the differences when fitted to the kit.
The upper hull is the same as from the previous T-34-76 kits such as #6205, #6355 and #6418 with a new separate front glacis plate with the notched side plate welds as well as enlarged early style driver’s hatch and new tow hooks made up of three parts each. These are quite nicely done but there is a small notch missing from the top of the hook and the separate securing latch is quite undersized.
The front fenders sections are separate plastic parts with the edges bevelled for a better appearance but could do with being thinned a little more and overall the surface details are again well done. At the back the fender extensions are included with the main hull but alternate etched fenders are provided if you want to cut off the plastic parts and replace these.
At the back there is a choice of rear hull panels, one with the large round inspection hatch and the other with a smaller hatch as well as alternate upper engine bay hatch covers with the instructions showing to use a particular rear plate and hatch cover combination depending on engine type but there is photo evidence showing that either combination is possible so you can basically use which ever you want here.
There are actually 4 alternate engine bay hatch covers provided, two for each alternate type mentioned above that gives you a choice of solid hatch with plastic mesh moulded in place if you want a quick build or two hatches with cut-outs and separate etched mesh and frames.
There are also two locating pins on the inside of the hatch cover that also need to be removed due to the etched panel/louvers added to the inner engine deck but again the instructions don’t indicate this, but it’s quite obvious that it won’t fit without cutting off the pins.
Thankfully Dragon have removed the moulded on frame so you don’t have to remove this first as you did in previous kits and you can get straight into fitting the mesh screen in place which is easily done using thin cyanoacrylate and small tweezers to hold the mesh in place as you apply the glue. The frame is then added over the top in the same manner ensuring you line up the etched parts perfectly to avoid any problems.
The inner hull etched louver panel has been modified like it was with the Mod.1942 STZ kit to allow the upper hatch cover to fit properly but you will have to slightly trim the forward bolted strips on the deck for the etched panel to fit neatly.
The separate etched louvers can then be added but if you want to show these at an angle you will have to bend the end connectors to get the correct sit preferably before attaching to the etched panel.
Added to the hatch cover are additional small etched latches and rear tail light cover depending on the hatch type used.
The four side and top intake grills have two styles provided, the original from the previous T-34-76 kits and those from the recent T-34-85 kits and it’s best to use the original intakes (parts G20/G21) for this kit as photos indicate these are the correct pattern for this kit.
The intakes hit neatly into the hull cut-outs with the detail on the plastic intakes being perfectly adequate but the top engine deck inspection hatch is a tight fit and I shaved a very small amount off the sides and front to get a perfect fit but this is only very minor.
On the real hull panel there is a choice of the original two piece exhaust pipes or the newer one piece pipes (parts M6) and it is best to use these for the kit. Note there is a raised seam along the top of the exhaust pipes to represent the welded seam and you should take care to leave this in place. As the sprue attachment is right on this raised seam some careful knife work is needed during cleanup to ensure the seam remains intact.
I also drilled out the pipes for a better appearance as while they are indented at the end this is not very deep and drilling out does improve the look.
Other details added to the hull are the fender storage boxes with separate etched latches plus etched grouser tie downs and straps for the separate snow grousers supplied.
The steel wire provided is used for the tow cables that fit into plastic cable eyes and have etched securing brackets on the fenders. There are two types of cable end shackles proved that have slightly different designs that is hard to pick at first look but shows good attention to detail.
As mentioned above the right side mounted aerial pot should be left off this version and the locating hole filled and when assembling the driver’s hatch with separate clear periscopes you will have to open up the holes to fit the periscopes in place. The separate periscope covers unfortunately can only be fitted in the open position with the periscopes in place so if you want to show the covers closed you should leave out the clear periscopes altogether.
The separate hull machine gun coaming has excellent weld bead detail and fits perfectly to the hull and drilling out the MG barrel will provide a better look. The head light has a separate clear lens and alternate plastic or etched mounting post but if the etched post is used you will have to fill in the hull locating hole for the plastic post afterwards.
There are additional details provided in the form of the finely moulded grab handles that were added along the hull sides and on the engine deck as well as the turret splash guards and despite the instructions saying these are for the specific versions you can add these to any of the kit options as they were fitted progressively to later 1942 early 1943 Factory 112 produced vehicles to provide some choice for the final appearance of the kit.
The fit of the upper and lower hull parts front and rear as well as the underside sponson joins is very good and there shouldn’t be any problems here if the usual care is taken during assembly.
There is a new style cast turret provided that differs from that in the T-34/76 Mod.1941 Cast Turret (kit #6418) by including the raised weld seam along the sides and front as well as including very subtle cast surface texturing and welds around the side vision ports.
The new cast turret is moulded in one piece with virtually no cleanup required and the original 1941 welded turret shell is still included which is consigned to the spares box.
The gun shield and housing is made up of four parts which fit together well and have excellent weld and bolt head details and you should note there is a weld along the top join seam and adding this will cover up the join nicely.
Again there is a choice of three F32 76.2mm main guns, the original plastic gun in two halves, the single piece plastic barrel and the aluminium barrel and obviously the metal barrel would be the preferred choice here. This has a drilled out muzzle but there is no rifling included but is still the barrel of choice as it’s perfectly round and just slips into the gun housing.
The roof is also new for this kit with the original roof still included so make sure you use the correct one (part T4) with a new turret hatch moulded commendably thin with excellent contours without any hint of pin marks and includes additional etched parts for the interior details but to use these you have to trim off the moulded on plastic detail and care will be needed with this.
As with the previous kits there is the full gun breech and mountings which gives you all the basic structures for a nicely detailed gun as well as two crew seats and there are additional etched parts for the inner visor mountings and the large top hatch will allow most of the detail to be easily seen.
You have to take care when bending the inner visor parts as no engraved bend lines are included and you will need to use any of the available etched bending tools to get a result due to this.
As with the hull you also get the fine plastic grab handles to add around the turret if you are building the kit with these fitted.
The fit of the turret shell and the turret ring is quite good but the side join will need a little work as it is not perfectly even but this should be easy to remedy with the trusty #11 blade.
These are the conventional exploded view type and are fairly easy to follow in most sequences but as usual careful study before hand will avoid any real traps along the way.
The decal sheet has a section of all white turret numbers and Russian slogans with four turrets shown in the instructions but any combination would be possible.The instructions show silhouettes of the three kit alternatives of Diesel, Gasoline and Gasoline modified but no indication of what marking go with what version so you can just take your pick unless you have specific reference on the vehicles.
Overall this is another excellent T-34 kit that offers a good choice of features such as the rear plates and engine hatch covers as well as the additional grab handles and turret splash guards to provide some excellent variation in finish.
The kit captures the early production Factory 112 features well and it wouldn’t take much to produce a later production vehicle by moving the head light to the side plate and adding the MG armoured shield as you already get the aerial pot in the kit.
There are some minor issues along the away as there are with any kit but overall this will build easily into another excellent T-34 kit in this series from Dragon.
Hopefully they will move on the hexagonal turret versions before too long to complete the T-34-76 series.
Highly recommended 8.5/10
See the T-34 series subject page for additional reviews of T-34 items.