Stalin’s Work Horse

Soviet Medium Tank Mod.1942 T34/76

Zvezda 1/35, Ref. 3686

No need to introduce the T34, widely regarded as the best armoured fighting vehicle of the Second World War.  The so-called Model 1942 introduced many refinements and simplifications to improve upon the performances and operation of the earlier variants while at the same time facilitate mass production.  Amongst those changes, we can find better optics for the driver, welded instead of bolted on glacis, simplified rear end, circular transmission access hatch, wider tracks, thicker side armour plates, handrails here and there and much, much more.

It’s a very nice kit of the T34/76 Mod.1942 that Zvezda are offering us here.  Made up of 271 parts, the completed model will have a length of 19.4cm.  Two large plastic bags bring a total of ten sprues, eight of which molded in green plastic, the two other in black (for the tracks); with this we can also find in a small zip-lock bag, an extra small sprue with the clear parts, such as the headlight glass, a bit of netting to replicate the intake grilles, a length of nylon thread for the towing cable and a decal sheet.

Some of the parts are not meant to be used with this particular T34 variant, but those are clearly pointed out in the instructions.  Those are printed in black and white and include the historical background and usual warnings/advices in several languages. 

The parts are well molded with no apparent flash; the hull is typically made up of 6 parts, but the gun barrel is a single item.  Five of the sprues ‘deal’ with the running gear, with each wheel consisting of three parts; the tracks come in sections of different length plus some individual links.  Interestingly, the rounded corners of those sprues are meant to be used as templates for the positioning of individual track links around drive sprockets and idlers.

The decal sheet offers markings for three tanks, two in Topside Green overall featuring the patriotic slogan ‘Stalin’ or Sergeï Kirov in 1943 , the other wearing a whitewash coat and the slogan ‘Leningrad’ in 1944.  Codes and unit markings are included. 

All this comes in a sturdy blank cardboard box and full-colour, attractive sleeve.  Yummy!

Review by Daniel Clamot.  Pictures by Zvezda and Daniel Clamot.

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