T-34-76 Model 1943
1/16 Kit No. 00903

First Look Review by Terry Ashley

There has been much anticipation of these large T-34 kits with the sneak previews over the last few months wetting the appetite and so without waffling on further we'll look at what's included in the large 630mm x 410mm x 130mm box

The Kit:
The kit consists of 764 parts with the interior parts in light grey plastic and the remainder in olive drab plastic. Also included are ten large springs for the suspension, a length of copper wire for the two cable and separate vinyl “rubber” tyres for the applicable road wheels plus two large frets of etched parts and 156 individual track links in hard black ABS plastic and of course a decal sheet and instruction booklet.

The road wheels, hull parts and track links are packed in smaller boxes within the main box while the other sprues are in separate plastic bags to ensure they are well protected during shipping.

Trumpeter Suspension springs and copper
wire for tow cableTrumpeter

The kit represents a T-34 Model 1943 (late 1942 production type D) with hexagonal hard edged turret and standard F-34 gun mantlet and the two early round “mickey mouse” hatches plus the square box fuel tanks on the rear hull with the suspension having the combination of three all-steel road wheels with pierced rubber rimmed road wheels on the first and fifth station, the rubber rimmed wheels were added to counter the vibrations set up with the all steel wheel setup and has 550mm ‘Waffle' pattern track.

The standard of moulding is very good with nice crisp details and subtle cast texture on the turret and hull surfaces as well as nice weld seams and bolt head details with the pin ejector marks mostly in places where they can't be seen but there are some visible in places where it can't be avoided that should be fairly easy to remove and there is some mould release agent still on a few parts that will need to be given a detergent bath before assembly.

Lower Hull , Suspension and Road Wheels:
The suspension is fully workable with each unit made up with a central piston and the large spring provided, the spring assembly is then fitting into the large hull side channels which also have internal hull details such as ammo racks and small fittings. The axles are held in place through the hull openings with poly caps and a pin attaches the axle to the bottom of the spring assembly.

The all steel road wheels have inner and outer wheels and separate centre hub cap and feature nice cast effect and ribbing on the wheel faces with the pierced rubber rimmed road wheels having separate vinyl “rubber” tyres with good ribbing details. Note that the road wheels must be attached to the axles with small pins provided before attaching the hub caps.

The two part drive sprockets have to be attached to the final drive housing with a poly cap before attaching the housing to the hull sides if you want them to rotate after assembly so study the instructions before gluing, this also applies to the idler wheels that have to be attached to their axle before gluing the hub cap for the wheels to rotate, the idler axle also have a series of notches that fit into the hull mounting to allow the idler to be repositioned for track tensioning.

The lower hull tub has excellent cast effect on the side walls as well as the track pin retaining bulge on the rear hull plus the lower hull access panels with separate crew escape hatch.

Hull Interior – Fighting Compartment:
This area is very complete with the details already added to the suspension channels bulkheads as well as a very busy side panel next to the driver. The Driver's and Gunner/Wireless Operator's stations include four part seats, multipart foot brakes and gear levers as well as the radio, electrical junction boxes and additional wiring on the sidewalls. At the rear of the compartment are the large ammo storage boxes and engine compartment bulkhead plus etched machine gun ammo racks while on the inside of the upper hull is additional etched ammo racks and the coaxial machine gun mounting made up of six parts as well as the complete 7.62mm MG which will move in its mounting if you are sparing with the glue during assembly.

There are numerous locating holes that need to be opening up inside the upper hull so check the instructions before continuing.

Hull Interior – Engine Compartment:
If you thought the fighting compartment was busy, it has nothing on the engine compartment with the engine block and accessories made up of 42 parts which have excellent fine details with some piping and small fittings included.

The gearbox assembly has nineteen parts with another ten for the two brake assemblies all with very delicate and finely rendered details.

In the rear of the compartment is a four part fan assembly that fits between the gearbox and central bulkhead with two large air cleaners with five parts each plus the two large side mounted radiators and separate exhaust pipes running each side of the compartment for one of the busiest engine compartments you will find in a standard kit this side of the real thing.

It really is a shame to attach the upper hull and cover up a lot of this superb detail. I can see many models with the engine deck removed to show off the interior.

Upper Hull Exterior:
The upper hull is moulded in one large piece with separate central plate/ turret ring and all separate engine bay doors and intake panels as well as separate real hull panel which also has the circular engine inspection panel separate.

Starting from the front there is the driver's hatch with no less than fourteen parts which include inner and outer door panels, separate periscopes and armoured covers plus separate latches and fittings. The hatch is designed to be movable after assembly with the separate outer hinge trapping the door when attached to the glacis while on the inside of the hull is the balancing cylinder with separate piston that attaches to the door, it is important not to glue the piston to the cylinder or door if you want the door to open smoothly after assembly (the parts are designed to clip together).

Other fittings include the towing shackles and head light with separate clear part while on the top hull is the separate turret ring panel which has superb details including the ball race and traverse teeth and it's a shame this is hidden when the turret is attached and shows the lengths Trumpeter have gone with the details.

On the engine deck there are the inner louvers on the rear and side intake openings with the left and right intake mantlets having excellent grill work details while the rear panel has etched intake screens with nice mesh pattern and separate etched parts for the reinforcing strips. On the rear hull panel is the separate exhaust shrouds and exhaust pipes. Note; there are two types of side intake mantlets included with one set for the other versions so be careful to use the correct mantlets for this kit.

Additional details include the curved front fenders as separate parts as are the side hull grab rails, the many small tie down cleats, fender storage boxes, track ice cleat racks with etched retaining straps and spare track links, plus the aerial mounting and tow rope form the copper wire included. Finally there are the two large square box fuel tanks for the real hull with etched lower mounting bracket.

The upper and lower hulls fit together with the aid of ten large locating pins on the front and sides that ensure precise location and there is a separate round nose fairing that also hides the front hull join while the angles of the glacis and side hull appear correct when compared to available plans.

The Turret:
The main turret is in two parts, the upper turret shell and lower section with turret ring details, there are some largish pin marks around the upper ring and care will be needed in cleaning these up to not damage the surrounding bolt head details.

Added to the turret ring is the traverse gear made up of seven parts plus four etched MG magazine racks on the rear shelf.

The inside of the turret shell has the ventilator fan on the inside with the armoured cover on the outside plus the forward periscope being a full assembly with five parts that fits through the turret roof opening and can be seen through the vision slot in the turret top periscope cover. There are also electrical junction boxes and side vision slot covers to complete the shell wall details.

The F-34 76.2mm gun and mounting has forty parts with everything from the separate breech block, breech opening level and trigger mechanism, sighting telescope with full basket panels and traverse wheel as well as the coaxial 7.62 MG and the two four part crew seats attached to the turret ring.

The gun assembly fits neatly into the large front bulged mantlet that has nice cast details included while the outer mantlet has bice bolt head details but there is a prominent seam line down the centre that is easy to cleanup.

On the outside is the two round turret hatches with separate hinge details, there are some pin marks on the inside of the hatches to clean up if you are to show them open and the three lifting eyes and side grab handles are also included.

The Tracks:
These are individual link fully workable track links that simple clip together, nothing could be easier. The track links, both flat links and toothed links have nice cast effect on the outer side as well as the appropriate rib details for the ‘waffle' pattern tracks.

Each length of track uses 36 links of each type and after assembly are easy to fit to the running gear with the adjustable idler mentioned earlier used to get the correct track tension.

The Instructions:
These are in the form of a booklet with clear exploded view drawings of the various sub assemblies but due to the sheer number of parts you will have to study the instructions carefully to ensure you get the right part in the right place and in the right sequence in some areas.

The small decal sheet has markings for just one vehicle from the 41 st Guards Tank Brigade, 7 th Mechanized Corps, Kursk 1943 in overall olive drab as well as a large full colour painting guide.


A simple stunning kit with finely rendered details everywhere, the level of interior detail as well as the exterior detailing is superb for what is easily one of the most detailed and comprehensive models straight from the box we have seen and really shows the advances Trumpeter have taken in kit making in a relatively short period of time.

Even if you are not into Russian armour this kit is hard to pass up for the sheer level of detail included and will keep modellers busy for quite a few hours and we can only hope Trumpeter continues with the 1/16 th line of kits, a series of Shermans perhaps?

TrumpeterThe T-34-76 Model 1942 (Kit No. 00905) is basically the same as this kit with the obvious changes for the rubber tyred dished wheels, earlier cast turret, the decal sheet and also includes the full interior as per this kit.
Added a quick dimension check to see just how well the parts measure up compared to a set of 1/16th plans.

The Sprues:
Click for larger view
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Click to see Instruction Sheets

T-34 Mythical Weapon
by Robert Michulec
Published by AirConnection
T-34 - Stalin's War Horse
Model Fan Encyclopaedia #5
ISBN: 83-914521-4-X
T-34 In Combat
Model Fan Encyclopaedia #6
ISBN: 83-914521-5-8
T-34 Medium Tank 1941-45
Osprey New Vanguard 9
ISBN 1855323826
Russian T-34 Battle Tank
Schiffer Military History
ISBN 0-88740-405-7
T-34 in action #2020
Squadron Signal Publications
ISBN 0-89747-112-1
Medium Tank T-34
Modelist Konstruktor
publications 3'99
Thanks to the guys at Rainbow Ten for the usual prompt delivery of the kit.

Page created 25 May 2004
Updated 26 May 2004

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