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T-34/85 Kit

Academy 1/35 T-34/85 No.112 Factory Production Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2015 Manufacturer Academy
Subject T-34/85 No.112 Factory Production Scale 1/35
Kit Number 13290 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details and options Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.00

First Look

T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit
T-34/85 Kit

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.

Here is a completely new-tool kit of the famous T-34/85 main battle tank from Academy in 1/35 scale. The kit features details that were unique to the Factory 112 facility at Gorky which was the second-largest producer of T-34 tanks (Factory 183 at Nizhniy Tagil was the largest). This kit has some nice details without being over-engineered or relying on tiny parts for assembly. The kit is molded in green styrene and provided on 16 parts trees, plus two trees molded in gray styrene, and one fret of photo-etched parts. The detail is finely molded and there does not appear to be any flash on any of the parts or trees. Ejector pin marks are mostly limited to areas that will not be visible when the kit is assembled.

Among the features and options:

  • Detailed spring suspension in hull
  • Link and length track for ease of assembly/painting
  • Nice details on hull including spare track links, fuel cells, stowage
  • Choice of circa 1945 or circa 1950 turret
  • Nice casting detail captured on turret surface
  • Choice of short or tall commander's cupola
  • Positionable crew hatches

Markings are provided for six examples:

  • T-34/85, 904, Berlin, Germany, May 1945
  • T-34/85, M08, Berlin, Germany, May 1945
  • T-34/85, -, Yugoslavia, 1945, 'From the father of Shulgi Ksinu Kicenko'
  • T-34/85, 738, North Korean Army, 1950
  • T-34/85, 229, North Korean Army, 1950
  • T-34/85, 'Knocked Out 20 July 1950 Under the Supervision of Maj Gen WF Dean'

This kit will build up into an early or late T-34/85 which can be depicted as one of the Berlin assault tanks or one of the Korean War 'targets' right out of the box. WIth the wealth of aftermarket details available for the T-34/85 kits already on the market, this kit can also be built into an AMS modeler's dream. Either way, this kit provides the modeler with a nicely priced new-tool option which will be an easy build without compromsing detail.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!