Cyberhobby 1/35 T-34/76 (Mod 1940)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Orange box kit|
The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank that had a profound and lasting effect on the field of tank design. Although its armour and armament were surpassed later in the war, it has often been credited as the most effective, efficient and influential tank design of the Second World War. At its introduction, the T-34 possessed an unprecedented combination of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness. Its 76.2 mm (3 in) high-velocity tank gun provided a substantial increase in firepower over any of its contemporaries; its heavy sloped armour was difficult to penetrate by most contemporary anti-tank weapons. When first encountered in 1941, the German tank general von Kleist called it "the finest tank in the world" and Heinz Guderian confirmed the T-34's "vast superiority" over existing German armour of the period.
The T-34 was the mainstay of Soviet armoured forces throughout the Second World War. Its design allowed it to be continuously refined to meet the constantly evolving needs of the Eastern Front: as the war went on it became more capable, but also quicker and cheaper to produce. Soviet industry would eventually produce over 80,000 T-34s of all variants, allowing steadily greater numbers to be fielded as the war progressed despite the loss of thousands in combat against the German Wehrmacht. Replacing many light and medium tanks in Red Army service, it was the most-produced tank of the war, as well as the second most produced tank of all time (after its successor, the T-54/55 series). Its development led directly to the T-54 and T-55 series of tanks, which in turn evolved into the later T-62, T-72, and T-90 that form the armoured mainstay of many modern armies. T-34 variants were widely exported after World War II and as late as 1996 were still in service in at least 27 countries.
This particular kit is part of their Orange series which is basically older kits that have some sort of extra tossed in there and offered at a lower price from their standard Smart Kits. It is a good idea as many modelers are saved the sometimes higher prices that sellers want for older kits. Such is the case with this one and it helps that the T-34 in all its variations is a popular subject.
Dragon/Cyberhobby has been redoing its box design, which is something that model companies do from time to time to help keep things fresh. However, in my mind, they have taken a step back with this one. You see, you don't get a real box with a separate top and bottom. Many of us build our models using boxes to hold all the various bits and pieces. This box is one of those horrible end opening contraptions that make the modeler find another container to hold all the bits until they are ready to use. I know why they do it (it is cheaper), but it doesn't mean I like it and I hope they reconsider.
That aside, there is really nothing new about this kit other than the very nicely done Gen 2 weapons that are included with the kit. I'm not sure how useful those are for most builders, but it is nice to have them. This kit is the initial version of the T-34 and includes a set of individual track links. These allow a proper sag to the upper run of tracks. The inside of the hull has large angled rectangles that are, apparently, the housings for the shocks for the suspension and could probably be left off if you want to as there is no interior detail.
No photo etch with this one, but it really is not needed. There are various hatches that could be left open if you wish to put a figure in there. The large upper turret hatch will need to have something masking all the empty in the turret if you leave that one open for the tank commander. Turret is in right and left halves and there is some breech detail for the 76mm gun.
Instructions are on a smaller folded sheet of paper than what you are used to seeing. The painting guide is on the back of the box and offers three camo options, all from 1941. The box art vehicle is the only one with markings. A second, unmarked vehicle is painted the same while a third is in overall green. The multi-color camo guide is the left side, front and back so you are on your own with the right side and top.
These orange series kits really are nice for those working on a budget. Not surprisingly, as the cost of their Smart kits has escalated to nearly $100, the Orange kits have followed suit in terms of a higher SRP. Regardless, this is still a kit that I think will appeal to many and should sell well.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page Back to the Review Index Page Back to the Previews Index Page