T-34/76 STZ Mod.1941
Cyber-hobby Kit No. 6355 (16)
1:35 Scale
Review by Terry Ashley


This latest T-34-76 kit from Dragon/Cyberhobby represents the early 1941 model built at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory (STZ or Factory 264) and differs from the later 1942 STZ models in not having the distinctive interlocking hull plates and pointed gun housing but with different style steel road wheels, idlers and drive sprockets than seen on those produced from other factories as well as a new welded turret. Dragon/Cyberhobby has captured these features very well but there are a couple of issues which while quite easy to remedy does leave you scratching your head?

The 2 in 1 option allows you to build the initial production version with rubber road wheels and the early production type with the all steel road wheels as well as minor variations in the fuel tank arrangement. Many of the parts come from the previous T-34-76 kits (#6092, #6185 and #6205) with a few parts from the recent T-34-85 kits plus the all new steel road wheels, idlers and new drive sprockets and the individual link “magic track”.

The kit:
The kit consist of 391 parts in light grey plastic with a further 90 individual track links but there are 67 parts shown in the instructions as not being used including the full turret shell from the previous kits so there is plenty for the spares box.

Also included is a large etched fret and the metal 76.2mm barrel from kit #6205, three lengths of braided steel wire, 2 clear plastic parts as well as a small decal sheet and the instruction sheet which has thankfully reverted to the conventional line drawings instead of the photo sequences from the previous kits.

Metal and Etched parts

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.
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.

Dimensionally the kit matches available 1:35 plans in the references below perfectly in all areas for a well proportioned kit.

Lower Hull/Suspension:
This is the same tub from the previous T-34 kits with separate front and rear panels added and includes the side sponson fillers while you also have to remove some of the moulded on dump stops depending on the version you are building so you have to make this choice right from the start.

The separate lower plate has nice weld seam details and the lower rear hull panel includes the final drive bulges as well as towing hooks added to both panels with the fit to the hull being very good.

When fitting the rear hull panel note that the small fillets (parts C1, C2) are a different shape than shown in the instructions having a curved profile and not straight as indicated but this shouldn’t pose any problems as they are numbered correctly.

Inside the hull are the separate suspension channels with inner spring detail as well as a new set of separate axles with enhanced detail from the previous axles which are still included in the kit.

There are as mentioned two sets of road wheels provided, the original 1940 pattern rubber tyred pressed disc road wheel which correctly have the ten hub bolts and inner stiffening rind 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.
The second type provided is the later all steel road wheels that again have the correct detail for the “Stalingrad” STZ produced wheels as these differ from other steel wheels as not having the raised lip around the rim lightening holes as shown on the box art. The central attachment disc and hub cap are also separate parts that fit together easily.

For the drive sprockets you get the original 1940 pattern sprockets with rubber tyre sections that have excellent details on both the inner and outer sprocket discs that fit together without problems.
The second sprocket represents the 1941 “Stalingrad” pattern that has a more contoured central section and U shaped fillets around the six drive roller attachment bolts. Unfortunately there is an issue with the sprockets as the six inner drive rollers are completely missing with the inside surface of each sprocket being smooth like the idlers.

This means there is nothing for the track guide teeth to mesh with and to depict the sprockets correctly you will have to add these drive rollers yourself.
This is easy enough to do by cutting small sections of 2.5mm plastic tube; I use tube as it’s easier to cut that rod.

After adding the drive rollers test fit the see that they are the right height to join to the other disc and you can use the original drive sprockets as a guide for doing this. The other thing to watch when gluing the two sprocket halves together is there are no locating tabs so you must ensure you line up the round lightening holes in each sprocket disc correctly.


Again there are two idler wheels provided, the original 1940 pattern wheel with rubber tyre and the 1941 steel idler and both have separate hub caps for better definition while the separate axles allow you to animate the suspension ride height if you wish for a diorama setting.

These are individual link “magic track” with the links having little or no cleanup required and are designed to be glued together and are not workable but the links have nicely defined link details and as there is no discernable sag on T-34 track assembly should be fairly straightforward.

Magic Track

Upper Hull:
The upper hull is the same as from the previous T-34-76 kits such as #6205 with a separate front glacis plate, rear engine access hatch, intake grills and panels and the rear plate panel, the surface details are again well done.

At the front the new glacis for the STZ version has separate fenders with a choice of rounded or square profile and the machine gun coaming is also separate with nice weld seam detail included as well as a separate early style Driver’s hatch, the two tow shackles and single head light.

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 this 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.

There are two rear engine bay hatch covers, the original full plastic version and the same one from kit #6205 with the opening for the separate etched mesh, but this is designed to have the mesh added from the inside with the outer frame included in the hatch moulding.

There are also two locating pins on the inside of the hatch cover that need to be removed due to the etched panel/louvers added to the inner engine deck but the instructions don’t indicate this, but it’s quite obvious that it won’t fit without cutting off the pins.

The redesigned etched screens with this kit provide the mesh and separate frame which is added from the outside meaning you have to cut off the moulded on raised frame before adding the new etched parts but unfortunately the instructions again don’t tell you to do this?

Removing the moulded on frame will require care so you don’t damage the surrounding bolt head detail, especially on the top hinges and the mesh can then be glued in place using cyanoacrylate. The frame is then added over the top of the mesh to produce a nice look engine hatch and there are also additional etched parts for the cover latches and central tail light fitted to these early model T-34s.

Another issue here is similar to the recent T-34-85 Bedspring kit where the engine hatch fits perfectly as originally designed but when you add the etched louver panel this extends out to within a millimetre or two of the edge of the rear deck meaning when you add the cover over the etched louvers it is lifted up by the thickness of the etched louvers leaving a noticeable gap at the side and along the top.

Note, the gap (centre) is exaggerated due to the camera angle and is not that big on the kit but
still needs attention for a good fit of the engine cover

As with the previous kit there is a couple of ways around this, you reducing the inner edge of the top cover to fit over the etched louvers but this means the edge will be paper thin and I wouldn’t advise this.
The second is to cut a 1mm strip from the sides and rear of the etched louver panel allowing the cover to clear this and sit properly in place but cutting the etched parts will need care. The top cover then fits perfectly in place as before once this trimming is done.

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.

Its unfortunate Dragon didn’t learn from the T-34-85 kit with the same issue as it requires a bit of work that shouldn’t really be necessary with a bit more planning and development of the kit parts.

With the four side and top intake grills there are two styles provided, the original from the previous T-34-76 kits and those from the recent T-34-85 kits and it’s probably best to use the original intakes for the initial production kit and the -85 style intakes for the early production but checking reference photos will determine which is best.

Both style of intakes hit neatly into the hull cut-outs and there are no etched covers provided with this kit, but they are not really needed as the detail on the plastic intakes is perfectly adequate and as we saw with the -85 kits the etched covers didn’t fit properly anyway.

On the real hull panel are the separate square access hatch, exhaust covers with the correct 7 bolts for this version and a choice of the original two piece exhaust pipes or the newer one piece pipes.

Other details added to the hull are the box type fuel tanks along the hull sides which come with etched attachments as well as the normal fender mounted storage boxes also with etched latches and hinges 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.

The Turret:
There is a new style STZ turret provided as well as the original turret shell which is consigned to the spares box and the new turret has the correct features for the 1941 STZ turret while using the extensive main gun breech assembly from the previous kit.

Surface detail on the turret sides, separate front panel and roof is nicely done with good definition on the weld seams and other details with the fit of the parts being very good overall and any very minor gaps can easily be filled with liquid cement as you go.

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 get the choice of three F32 76.2mm main guns, the original plastic gun in two halves, the single piece plastic barrel and the aluminium barrel from the previous kit #6205, obviously the metal barrel would be the preferred choice here.

The roof is also new for this kit with the original roof still included so make sure you use the correct one (part R12) and you also get the choice of two new turret hatches but only one is actually shown in the instructions (part R10) which again is the appropriate type for the early STZ turrets.

The hatches are moulded commendably thin with excellent contours without any hint of pin marks and include additional etched parts for the interior details but to use these you have to trim off the moulded on detail and care will be needed with this.

As mentioned there is the full gun breech and mountings which gives you all the basic structures for a nicely detailed gun 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.

These are the usual exploded view drawings thankfully and not those horrible photo sequence instructions as mentioned and the usual careful study before gluing should avoid any problems.

The small sheet just has one set of numbers, one set of Russian stars and one set of German balkenkreuz with four vehicles shown on the instruction sheet.

One is for the 1st Guards Armored Brigade, Eastern Front 1942 and the other three are noted as Unidentified Units and some additional references would be needed to identify these.


This is overall an excellent kit of the early T-34-76 STZ and this current series of T-34 kits from Dragon are clearly the best available today but you still have a bit of work on the new drive sprockets which you shouldn’t really have to and with the engine deck screens and hatch to fit if accuracy is of concern.

The overall level of detail and fit is excellent and the choice of running gear offers a nice choice and hopefully Dragon will continue the -76 series with later 1942-43 vehicles, especially the later 1942 STZ which is arguable the most distinctive of the many variants.

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Detail Images
Click Browsers BACK button to return to page

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
Tank Power Vol.XXXV
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.259
ISBN: 83-7219-259-6
T-34 vol.II
Tank Power Vol.XL
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.265
ISBN: 978837219265
T-34 vol.III
Tank Power Vol.XLIII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.268
ISBN: 9788372192684
T-34 vol.IV
Tank Power Vol.XLIV
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.269
ISBN: 9788372192691

Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service fromRainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created July 14, 2007