UM 1/72 T-34/76 (1943) cast turret
|$10.98 ($9.96 at Squadron)|
|Scott Van Aken|
"In June of 1943, production of the new T-34/76 tank was started. It differed from the earlier models by having a new body, chassis and turret in addition to other internal changes. It used the 76.2mm F-34 cannon along with two 7.62mm DT machine guns. Frontal armor was 45mm thick and the tank weighed 30.9 tons. Its 12 cylinder diesel produced 500hp and gave the T-34 a top speed on smooth surfaces of 55 Kph. In total, 33,805 T-34s were produced with the tank improving continuously while in production. Many consider the T-34 to be the best all around tank of WWII." History section paraphrased from the instructions.
Here is yet another T-34 variant from the factories of UM. I would have to think that this is has to be at least the fifth company to produce a 1/72 T-34. However, UM had done a number of variants that I do believe are, so far, unrivaled. Molded in a dark green plastic, the overall detail level is quite good. The molds have remained flash free, though I did notice that several of the thicker parts are suffering from sink areas on them. I should point out that in the image of the parts, I've shown only one of the two sprues for the road wheel rubber bits and for the road wheels/tracks.
The kit has tracks in plastic that are either long sections for the straight bits, or single links to go around the idler and sprocket as well as for transitions at the bottom. I particularly like the idea of vinyl for the rubber parts of the road wheels. It seems like a very good idea. As you might suspect, there are several bits on the sprues that are not used for this variant. There is also a small etched fret for the engine cover screen, the front of the hull mounted machine gun opening and what looks like a two man saw. The tow rope is made out of vinyl, so painting it may be a challenge.
Instructions are quite good, providing Humbrol and generic paint references. The construction sequences are a tad busy, but otherwise not too bad. The turret is able to rotate and the gun to elevate and depress. Markings are provided for no fewer than 6 tanks, all in Russian Green. The units are given in English for four of these; all in the 1943/44 time frame. As is the norm with UM, there is a full color exterior painting guide on the back of the box.
If you like Soviet WWII medium tanks, the UM either has or will do every variant ever created. The kit itself seems to be a rather straightforward build, but I'd get some magnifiers for this one as there are some pretty small bits involved! Though I've built none of the 1/72 T-34s, it would be interesting to see how they all stack up against each other.
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