Dragon 1/35 OT-34/76 Mod 1943 (#112 Factory)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The T-34 was the most numerous and successful Soviet medium tank of WWII. It incorporated sloped armor and had sufficient armor that the then current German tanks were not able to stop it except at close range. It led to the Germans developing the Panther, a tank that influenced tank construction world wide for many decades following WWII.
The T-34 was constantly being developed and refined, even as they travelled down the assembly line. There were a myriad of derivatives, one of them being the OT-34. An OT-34 (“OT” stands for Ogniomietnyj Tank) was a standard T-34 tank converted into a flamethrower vehicle by internally mounting of an ATO-41 or ATO-42 flame projector in the place where the hull machinegun was normally placed. This position meant the main gun in the turret was unaffected and could still be used as normal. More than 1500 such T-34s were transformed into flamethrower tanks after design work commenced in November 1940. The OT-34 could shoot a jet of flame to a range of 90m. Fed by a 105-litre fuel tank, the ATO-41 could fire ten short bursts, while the improved ATO-42 introduced in 1942-43 had a range of 130m.
Dragon has added another interesting variant to their rather long list of T-34 tanks. This one has incorporated all the various updates of the earlier kits along with newly produced items to make the flame thrower variant. Thanks to the addition of their very nice Smart Track individual links, this kit has a total of over 350 parts, making for a nicely detailed armor kit when you are done. As usual, the list of goodies is long so from the Dragon new kit announcement, here they are:
- New OT-34/76 accurately presented w/well-defined details
- Photo-etched fuel tank brackets
- Photo-etched rear fuel tank brackets
- Front fender parts w/sharp detail
- 3-directional slide-molded cupola w/interior detail
- Cupola hatches can be assembled open/closed
- Turret top plate newly designed w/accurate detail
- Turret hatch w/weld detail can be positioned open/closed
- Hull side w/casting mark realistically presented
- Soft-edged hexagonal turret made by 3-directional slide-mold technology
- Turret w/realistic cast detail
- Realistic-looking asymmetric mantlet w/bolt detail
- Mantlet rain cover included
- Mantlet w/cutting-seam detail
- Round-shaped trunnions w/cast detail
- Bolted connecting plate for mantlet
- Accurately depicted soft-edged cast-turret bottom in maximum detail including ribs on turret ring, molding seams and casting-gate seams
- Slide-molded gun barrel included
- Turret interior detail including the gun w/breech assembly
- Engine-deck plate and rear hull plate have full detail
- Fuel tank w/photo-etched brackets
- Handles on hull sides
- Realistically represented road wheels
- Detailed suspension system
- Suspension arms realistically created
- One-piece lower hull offers easy assembly
- Two types of storage box provided
- Turret rear plate has ID mark used during factory production
- Optional photo-etched parts for engine-cover grills available
- Engine-deck louvers finely represented by photo-etched parts
- T-34 Magic Tracks w/refined detail
Interestingly, there is only one markings option with this one. I have to assume that the tank was used with many units, but the kit singles out tank battalion "Dmitri Donsoii' with one in winter whitewash, complete with patriotic slogan in red. The instructions are superbly done showing where modifications might need to be made to incorporate the etched parts, for example. Since the T-34 isn't a complex tank, the instructions are shorter than one would find in, say, a Panzer IV.
Another superlative piece of Soviet armor from our friends at Dragon. It is sure to provide hours of building enjoyment and will result in a very nicely done and detailed model.
Dragon PR releases.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop.
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