Too Innovative Soviet Armour

Soviet Medium Tank T-43 mod.1943

OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. 72095

Designed from 1942 as a successor to the KV-1 and T-34(/76), the T-43 introduced amongst other things better armour, a larger three-man turret and a torsion beam suspension.  Meant to be superior, in terms of mobility and protection, to the newly introduced 75mm KwK 40 gun-armed German tanks, the T-43, equipped with the 76,2mm main armament of its ancestors, simply lacked the punch needed to overcome its future opponents.  Its turret, however, was able to house a bigger 85mm gun and instead of causing confusion and delays by introducing a whole new tank design, the decision was taken to mate the larger turret onto the proven T-34 chassis, giving us the famed T-34/85.

This 1/72 kit proposed by OKB Grigorov comes into their typical small but robust cardboard box and features 125 parts of which 33 are photo-etched ones.  Many of those PE parts are tiny and could prove to be tricky to use for many modellers, but greatly improve the final look and ‘finesse’ of the model. 

Options include the initial 76,2 gun (turned metal) and the 85 (resin), each with its respective mantlet of course, as well as a hollow turret and separate cupola and turret hatches.  Tracks are provided as long resin sections that will need to be bent to match the idlers and drive sprockets, as well as for representing the sag of the upper portions.  The quality of the resin casting is excellent, with just a tad of flash to remove here or there.  An instruction sheet is provided. 

This looks like an excellent representation of this Soviet tank and should not prove to be too difficult to those modellers with a little bit of previous experience with resin kits (resin tracks in particular!).

Review & pictures by Domi Jadoul.

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