T-34/76 Mod.1942 Hexagonal Turret
Soft Edge Type

Cyber-hobby/Dragon 1:35 Scale Kit No. 6424
Review by Terry Ashley


Cyberhobby/Dragon continue to releases versions of the Soviet T-34 series at a regular rate with this kit being marketed under the Cyberhobby or Dragon label depending on where in the World you live.  There is also a bonus included with the Cyberhobby labelled kits sold out of Japan with the inclusion of a set of Soviet Infantry Tank Riders from set #6197 but these figures are not included in Dragon labelled kits sold elsewhere.

The model best represents the summer/fall 1942 Production model from Factory 183 with the initial soft edge hexagonal turret but this includes the connecting plate between the hatches which is a distinctive feature of turrets produced in the UZTM plant.

The kit also includes two pairs of half-spider wheels with rubber tyre section for the first and fifth station as well as a full set of all metal road wheels manufactured at the STZ plant as is the new 550mm wide track which uses only 72 links per side compared to the earlier 74 links per side.

The Kit:

The kit consist of 271 parts in light grey plastic with a further 160 individual track links but there are numerous parts shown in the instructions as not being used including a spare set of drive sprockets and idler wheels as well as some turret parts from previous kits.

Also included is a large etched fret and two lengths of braided steel wire, 6 clear plastic parts as well as a small decal sheet and the instruction sheet which has reverted back to those horrendous CAD illustration sequences from the early T-34 kits. These instructions are simply terrible and quite misleading in places as the CAD illustrations don’t match some kit parts and they show to fit parts that shouldn’t be fitted as well as the usual miss-numbered parts we have become to expect from Dragon instructions.

The kit is quite a miss mash of sprues from previous kits with parts from T-34-76 and T-34-85 kits plus the new parts for this kit which results in multiple sprues with the same letter meaning you have to be very careful to use the correct part. For instance there are two sprues C, H, J and P so take care here.

Metal, Clear and Etched parts

Due to this mixing of parts there is some parts that don’t match and again it seems one hand didn’t talk to the other hand when the kit was being put together. There is nothing like the debacle with the STZ 1942 kit but for the rear engine hatch cover you get two alternate hatches, one with the mesh moulded in place and one with the square cut out ready for the etched screen mesh supplied.

Both these hatches have the correct square cornered mesh screen and cut-out but for some strange reason the etched mesh and frame supplied has the earlier rounded corners and the etched frame is also way to big to fit properly on the engine hatch cover.

This basically means if you want to use etched mesh and frame for the engine cover you will have to source this from one of the many aftermarket sets designed for the Dragon T-34 kits with square profile hatch mesh. But you do get the hatch cover with moulded in mesh with the correct square corners if you don’t want to go to this additional expense.

Incorrect shaped and sized etched mesh/frame for the engine hatch cover.

Standard of moulding is again 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.

The level of surface details is also extremely good with nice weld seams, bolt detail and other detail nicely represented and the fit of the parts mostly very good with a bit of work in a couple of places as will see but nothing that the average modeller can’t handle.

Care is needed when removing some parts from the sprues as the attachment points are quite large in relation to the part, this is especially noticeable on the new drive sprockets where the large sprue attachments overlap the sprocket lip and real care is needed not to damage the rim lip when cleaning up the sprue attachment, this also applies to a lesser extent with the steel road wheels and idlers as well as some turret parts.

Lower Hull/Suspension:

This is the same tub from the previous T-34 kits with separate front and rear panels and includes the side sponson fillers with additional panels added to the undersides

The separate lower front plate (part B10) has nice weld seams along the sides but you will have to remove all the moulded on rivet heads as these are not applicable to this model which has all welded front plates, not riveted. To add a little confusion there are two lower front plates included in the kit (part C8 from the T34-85 sprue) and part B10 from the previous kit #6355 but the instructions don’t actually indicate what the number of the front panel is you should use?

Alterations to lower front hull plate

The new lower rear hull panel includes the final drive bulges correct for this version 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 as well as separate axles but you have to watch as there are additional axles in the kit so make sure you use the correct ones as indicated.

As mentioned there is the full set of cast steel wheels with internal suspension and these have revised details from the earlier steel wheels in kit #6355 that now include raised ridges around the small lightening holes and they also have the inner suspension disc as part of the wheel and not separate as with the previous wheels.

I previously indicated that part P16 should not be added to the wheel but this is incorrect and sorry for any confusion.
The instructions show to include the separate suspension disc (part P16) but to add this you will need to cut off the two small locating pins on the inside of part P16 and ensure the holes in the disc line up with those on the wheel rim for correct alignment.

The new half-spider wheels with rubber tyre sections are nicely done with good details on the rims and tyre sections with just a small moulding seam around the middle of the tyre to be removed and these are designed to go on the first and last axles to help reduce the vibrations from the all steel wheels. There is as mentioned a full set of steel wheels of you want to build your model in this configuration but just the 4 half-spider wheels.

There is also a new set of driver sprockets with simplified hub details and they also include the triangular drive teeth which were a variation on the usual drive rollers on T-34 sprockets and this adds another variation to the kits. The original drive sprockets are still included in the kit if you want to use these or for another project.

A new set of steel idler wheels is also included applicable for this kit as well as the original idlers from kit #6355 to populate the spares box even further.

Assembling the suspension is straightforward without any problems but you may want to leave the idler axles separate until fitting the track to ensure the correct spacing for the best fit.


The kit has new individual link “magic track” with the 1942 production variant from the STZ factory with links having little or no cleanup required other than some fine pin marks on the inside of each link which are easy to remove before assembly.

Detail on the links is well done and matches photos of this type of track well with detail on the inside of each alternate link with the drive tooth on the other.

The tracks as with other “magic track” are designed to be glued together and are not workable but the links fit tightly together for easy assembly and as there is no discernable sag on T-34 track assembly should be fairly straightforward. It is probably best to secure the track links with liquid cement after you have positioned these around the sprockets and idlers to ensure they don’t come apart.

Magic Track

Upper Hull:

The upper hull is the same as from the previous T-34-76 1940/41 kits with a new separate front glacis plate and rear hull plate with separate engine access hatch, intake grills and exhaust armoured covers as well as separate exhaust pipe stubs. Note you have to cut out the two locating recesses form the turret ring for the turret attachment lugs before gluing the two hull halves together.

There are actually three sets of exhaust stubs in the kit and you can use the two part exhausts as indicated in the instructions or the set of single piece stubs depending on your preference but remember that their should be a weld seam along the centreline of the exhaust stubs so be careful not to remove this thinking it is a moulding seam.

At the front the new glacis for this version has separate rounded fenders and the machine gun coaming is also separate part included from the T-34-85 kits and this has quite heavy cast texturing and welds.

The full hull machine gun is provided with a ball mounting that will allow the gun to move after assembly if careful as well as the round ammo drum for the MG even though you can’t see this after assembly.

The separate later style Driver’s hatch has inner and outer panels with separate clear vision blocks and armoured covers. If showing the separate vision port covers open you will have to enlarge the location hole for the vision blocks for a better fit and if you want the visor covers closed leave out the blocks as the covers won’t close with these in place.

New later style tow shackles are also included as well as the single head light mounted on the left hull side and the aerial pot on the right side. The instructions show to include the horn on the left hull side behind the head light but as the turret is the earliest Hexagonal type the horn should be left off as this was not added till late 1942 early 1943 when the second Hexagonal type with side pistol port was introduced.

There is a small issue if you are going to build the model without the front fenders as the hull angle/cut-out for the fenders is not a right angle but is actually curved. Having the new glacis as a separate part will make it easier to remedy this if leaving the fenders off but otherwise won’t be a problem. Also note that there is an interlock on the front plate visible when the fenders are not fitted that should be added if the fenders are not fitted.

As mentioned above the style of etched mesh/frame supplied for the engine cover hatch is incorrect with rounded corners and is not usable for this kit which is a shame and hopefully Dragon will correct this in future kits, not that this helps much for those who have already purchased the kit with incorrect etched screens.

The instructions actually show the mesh screens with the correct square corners which just adds to the miss-information in these style instructions.

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.

The top etched engine access panel still doesn’t fit properly and you again have to cut away the moulded on bolt heads and trim the raised strips at the front of the deck to fit the etched panel correctly, maybe one day this fit will also be corrected?

The two separate intake louvers are again supplied to add nice internal detail which can be seen easily through the cover mesh once you have obtained the correct square style mesh.

The four side and top intake grills have nice grill detail and fit neatly into the hull cut-outs and there are no etched covers provided, but they are not really needed as the detail on the plastic intakes is perfectly adequate.

On the new real hull panel is the separate round access hatch with inner rim detail if you want to show this open although there is no engine detail inside so you’ll probably leave this closed. Take care as the original rear plate is still included (part P21) so make sure you use the correct panel for this kit, part L9 as things are not helped by the instructions not including the part number for the rear panel in the illustration.

Other details added to the hull are the two fender mounted storage boxes with etched latches plus etched grouser tie downs and straps but there are no actual snow grousers supplied with this kit. The rear fenders that are included with the upper hull can be cut away and replaced with the etched fenders supplied if you wish.

The steel wire provided is used for the tow cables that fit into plastic cable eyes and have etched securing brackets on the fenders.

The Turret

The new hexagonal soft edge turret provided is the original early 1942 style without the side pistol port which was introduced in late 1942. The main difference between the soft and hard edges hexagonal turrets refers to the lower edge between the upper turret shell and lower turret ring and not the corners of the turrets.

The early turret also features the twin flat Commander’s and Gunner’s hatches with the Commander’s cupola also added later in the production run, no doubt another kit to come from Dragon. As mentioned there is a small connecting plate between the hatches which is a distinctive feature of turrets produced in the UZTM plant but you can easily cut off the small bolt heads and fill the panel lines if you wanted to portray an early 1942 turret produced from other plants but the inclusion of the panel does give another option to the parts so it’s not really a criticism.

Surface detail on the turret sides, separate front panel is nicely done with good definition on the weld seams and subtle cast texturing as well as bolt holes under the large bulbous mantlet armour which are obviously hidden when the turret is assembled.

The early turret also only has the single Commander’s periscope as well as a separate rear roof ventilator dome which also has subtle cast texturing included and the four very small lifting eyes which require care in handling during cleanup and assembly.

The fit of the turret parts is very good overall and any very minor gaps can easily be filled with liquid cement as you go and the small join seam between the upper and lower turret section easily blended in.

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 but there are no trunnion mountings as with the previous kits with the breech just fitting to the back of the inner gun mounting.

The outer gun mounting has the large rounded gun mantlet with curved gun shield and three part gun housing what has nice bolt head and weld seam detail as well as the flame cut texture on the sides of the front plate which also has the housing correctly offset more to the left of the gun, this can seen from head on but is not that noticeable from other angles.

There is only the plastic F32 76.2mm main gun tube included which has the muzzle hollowed out and this a small locating lip at the back and you have to fit the gun in place before gluing the gun housing to the gun shield as it won’t fit afterwards. If you wanted to leave the option for a metal replacement barrel you can cut off the lip from the rear of the barrel, mark the length to be exposed gun tube and insert this from the front of the housing after assembly.

Other details on the turret are the hand rails on the rear sides and back of the turret that are made up of small etched brackets and thin plastic rails to give the correct appearance for this version as they are not just plain wire rails as on other version and this is a nice detail observation by Dragon here.


As mentioned these are the colour CAD illustrations from a previous age and to not be too blunt, IMHO are simply rubbish as there are illustrations that don't match the kit parts, incorrect parts shown to be fitted, parts not numbered and sequences hard to follow. Let's hope Dragon take the hint and update subsequent T-34 kits with the exploded line drawing instructions to save everyone a lot of pain.


The small sheet has markings for three T-34s with a selection of turret numbers, slogans and unit markings with the instruction sheet having four view colour illustrations of the three options but only identifies one as being “Moskowskiy Kolkhoz” Moscow Kolkhoz, Eastern Front 1943.

The 3 makings listed are:
  • Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1943
  • Unidentified Unit, Southwest Front, Middle Don 1943
  • "Moskowskiy Kolkhoznik", Moscow Kolkhoz, Eastern Front 1943

This is overall an excellent kit of the initial Model 1942 T-34-76 with soft edge hexagonal turret but there are a few detail compromises due to using parts from previous kits for the hull parts and what someone was thinking with the engine cover etched screen is anyone’s guess?

There are numerous new features added to this kit such as the revised steel road wheels, different style drive sprockets and the later 550mm track and these add to the list of options available from the various T-34 kits for those wanting to cross kit features to produce other distinctive versions.

The turret features capture the early 1942 hexagonal turret nicely and is obviously just the beginning of a long line of hexagonal turreted models to follow.

The overall level of detail and fit is excellent and despite some niggling detail issues is clearly the best available early hexagonal turret T-34-76 available at this time.

Highly recommended

See the T-34 series subject page for additional reviews of T-34 items.

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Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service from Hobbyeasy for the review kit.

Page created December 15, 2008