Unimodel 1/72 T-34/85 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2005||Manufacturer||Unimodel|
|Kit Number||0328||Primary Media||Styrene & Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely detailed tank kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.98|
The T-34/85 entered production in 1944 as an improvement over the main battle tank of the day, the T-34/76. This new tank featured heavier armor to withstand the increased firepower of the latest German tanks, a larger turret to house the new 85mm S-53 main gun, and internal stowage for 56 rounds of ammunition. In addition, the tank was also equipped with two 7.62mm machine guns.
Powered by a 12 cylinder diesel engine, the T-34/85 could move its 32.2 tons up to 55 kph. It would be the principal weapon to drive the Germans back into Germany and to ultimately seize the streets of Berlin. The combination of firepower, mobility, and simplicity made the T-34 arguably the greatest tank of World War II.
The kit is molded in green styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus two additional rubber trees cast in black containing the rubber road wheels. A small fret of photo-etched parts is also included which contains an engine deck grille, a wood saw, and the mantlet for the hull machine gun.
The first tree contains the upper hull, front fenders, turret hatches and a number of parts not used in this kit. The second tree contains the turret sides and top as well as the main gun barrel. The third and fourth (identical) trees contain road wheels and track sections, as well as grab irons for the turret. The final tree contains the lower hull and hull sides.
The track sections are an interesting touch since they are more realistic than rubber band tracks and easier to manipulate/assemble than true track links (especially in this scale). The results appear to be quite nice.
The rubber road wheels are an interesting touch that will save lots of time painting the wheels. Since there are ten rubber wheels on each side of the hull, this would be convenient!
Looking over the instructions, the details of this kit are quite impressive and the T-34/85 should build into a nice scale replica.
Markings are included to represent seven different T-34/85s:
- 63rd Guards Tank Brigade, 10th Guards Tank Corps, 1944
- 11th Guards Tank Corps, 1st Belarusian Front
- Number 222, Regiment of Colonel Dragunskij, 1944
- Number 522, 7th Mechanized Corps, 6th Guards Tank Army, Manchuria 1945
- Number 127, 4th Guards Tank Brigade, 2nd Guards Tank Corps, 1944
- 51st Tank Regiment, 1945
- Number 20, Baltic Front, 1944
This is a nice-looking kit that is reasonably priced and not a difficult build. You can see for yourself at your local hobby establishment or you can find this kit online at Squadron Mail Order.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!