Dragon Models releases for their T34 Russian Medium tanks have won many praises among modellers. SFTPMS looks into the t34/85 series kits.
Dragon introduced the T34/85 series tanks in the 1990s beginning with kit #6066 for the T34/85 Model 1944, followed by kit #3318 NVA T34/85M, kit #6203 T34/85 UTZ Mod 1944 and kit #8610 Chinese Volunteer T34/85. In 2006, Dragon rereleased the T34/85 series with their premium edition T-35/85 Mod 1944 (kit #6319) and T-35/85 with Bedspring Armor (kit #6266)
This first part of the review will compare kits #6810, #6319 and # 6266.
Kit #6810 has a similar parts count of 401 with the earliest released kit #6066. The difference lies in the decals either for the PLA marking or the North Korean 109th Tank Regiment in July 1950. Compared to the exhaustive notes and drawings in the excellent 'T-34 Mythical Weapon' book by Michulec and Zientarzewski, this kit depicts a T34/85 from 138 Factory post spring 1944. The obvious tell tale sign for the different factory production is quite vivid in the rear hull hinge at the back plate. The only anomaly is the hinged front fenders which are relevant for post WW2 T-34s (Note: kit #6066 had a similar details which may be incorrect as there were no wartime photographs seen with these fenders). The turret represented is a single hatch twin mushroom end 1944 138 Factory version. The road wheels are full 'spider' version produced in 1944-45 while the idler are standard relief opening types and sprockets are one of the 9 wartime variants without rubber parts. When released in 1996, this kit was the definitive T-34 kit.
Kit #6319 is the reworked kit #6810/#6066 with the introduction of Dragon's magic tracks, a metal turned barrel and a fret of photoetched parts to enhance the clamps, tools, grilles, et. The kit now contained 501 parts which builds up to the same makeup of the earlier kit in terms of variant, but with enhanced details.
Kit #6266 on the other hand, had a major reworked in a few departments, mainly a replaced front fender more typical of wartime varient, 1942/43 half 'spider' road wheels and double hatched turrets ala the early 1944 138 Factory built variety. The is also the lovely addition of the PE springbed details.
In the next segment, we shall look at kit #6319.
Reviewed by Loo Chee Keong for SFTPMS