T-34-76 Model 1941
Cast Turret

1:48 Scale - Kit No.32515
First Look by Terry Ashley

Tamiya have chosen for their second allied tank in the 1:48 series this kit of the T-34 which represents a T-34-76 Model 1941 and more specifically a vehicle produced by Factory 112 “Krasnoye Sormovo” in the spring-autumn 1942 batch with all the characteristic features of that production batch such as cast turret with late style ventilator, armoured cover on the hull machine gun, handrails added to the glacis, hull side, engine deck and on the turret, all steel idler wheels but with the early rubber rimmed road wheels plus the square additional fuel tanks.

The kit consists of 185 parts in dark green plastic plus the now familiar cast metal lower hull tub, a length of twine for the tow cables, a few poly caps plus the decal and instructions sheets.

Standard of moulding is typical Tamiya with clean crisp mouldings and just a bare minimum of visible pin marks with the cast effect on the turret a standout feature as well a some very fine parts such as the miniscule lifting eyes on the turret and very little cleanup needed on the parts overall.

Lower Hull:
The metal lower hull tub has the axles cast in place with basic bolt head and axles attachment details with separate final drive housings in plastic which also incorporate part for the rear hull sides, but there are a couple of pin marks to be removed for these parts but will probably be hidden once the top hull is in place.

The plastic rear hull lower panel includes the final drive fairings and separate towing shackles with the fit of the plastic panel to the metal hull and final drives being very good without any gaps to be filled.

The front idler axles are held in place by two large poly caps that sit in troughs inside the hull and allow the axles to move to ensure the wheels sit correctly when fitting the track sections later and is a nice feature.

Details on the road wheels, drive sprockets and idler wheels is excellent with the rubber rimmed road wheels having good tread pattern and well defined rim and bolt head details with a separate centre hub cap for good definition and are designed to simply glue in place on the axles. There are four large pin ejector marks in the inside face of the inner road wheels but these won’t be seen after assembly unless you make habit of crawling around under your 1:48 models.
The drive sprocket details are also very good on both the inner and outer wheels as are the all steel idler wheel wheel halves and again designed to be glued in place.

Tracks are in the form of plastic link and length with nice link details but there is two pin marks to be removed on the inside of each link with long sections for the top and bottom track runs with shorter lengths and single links for around the drive sprocket and idler wheels. If you can choose to leave the track off till later, leave the drive sprocket and idler wheels loose also as this will make attaching the track easier after the hull top is attached.

Upper Hull:
The upper hull is moulded in one piece except for the upper rear intake screen door and side engine intake louvers which are separate to allow good detail definition as well as separate front driver’s hatch, hull machine fairing and rear hull panel.

The hull side angles on the Tamiya 1:35 T-34 kits has been the subject of much debate but the hull side, front and rear panel angles on this kit match exactly to the plans in the AJaKS T-34 book and certainly look the part.

The upper hull is attached to the lower hull by two small screws via locating holes under the rear screen door panel and front hull machine gun fairing and you should remember to screw the two hull parts together before attaching either of these parts or you will have problems attaching the hull top later.

Also the two side louver panels have to be inserted from inside the hull prior to attaching the hull and you should take careful note of the assembly sequences around this area with the fit of the louvers being very good.

The rear hull panel has good details on the engine access hatch with separate exhaust pipes which have the ends hollowed using slide moulds and separate armoured covers with the fit of the panel to the hull again being very good.

At the front the driver’s hatch has separate inner details and two periscope covers to allow these to be shown open or closed but if you plan to glue the hatch closed you can dispense with the inside details.

The hull machine gun fairing also has good details and there are alternate machine guns provided with and without the armoured shield but the shielded gun is used for this version while the single head light has a separate “glass” section with the front tow shackles also being separate parts.

Other hull details include the rear square fuel tanks made up of three parts each and the many hand rails added to the glacis, hull sides, rear and engine deck panels on this particular version with the rails moulded commendably thin with just minor moulding seams to be removed before fitting.
The fender storage boxes and extra wooden boxes are provided as are the spare track links attached to the fenders with the twine provided used with the plastic cable ends. There are two types of cable end shackles with the early and later type provided to use as applicable.

The turret is split in two halves and features very well done cast texture which should look very good when painted and weathered with the separate rear turret flat panel and lower front panel completely hiding the join seams to keep the cast texture intact after assembly.

The support for the gun is trapped between the two turret halves by a couple of small poly caps to allow the gun to elevate after assemble with the fit of the front and rear panels and turret top panel being spot on without any gaps at all.
The large single hatch has a couple of shallow pin marks on the inside to deal with if you want to leave this open and there is a basic shelf inside to stand a tank Commander on if you want to crew the model.

The F-34 gun mantlet is in four parts for good detail definition with just a small join seam at the top and bottom of the mantlet to be cleaned up and the assembly then glues to the inner support bracket and this can be done at any stage and not necessarily as you join the turret halves together.

The gun barrel is moulded as a single part with just a minor mould seam to be sanded and has the muzzle hollowed out with the use of slide moulds and this is the closest plastic barrel to a metal one you will find.

Alternate periscopes are provided, the early and later types with the later PT-K type used with this kit but shows we will be getting another version on this chassis and to finish off there are the three small round lifting eyes which are moulded very fine especially in this scale and look very convincing.

The small decal sheet is typical Tamiya with well printed markings but slightly thick carrier film and provides markings for four T-34s which consists of the vehicle number and turret slogans where applicable.

The vehicles are all finished in overall Russian Green with markings for;

This is another superb kit in the series with excellent details and easy assembly with all the particular features of the Factory 112 produced vehicle captured well with the alternate parts indicating we will see other versions of the T-34, SU series in the future.

Highly recommended for 1:48 fans.

Decal sheet

The Sprues
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Detail images
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Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created 2 June 2005

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