Home > Reviews > German WWII > DRAGON MODELS LIMITED (kit no. 6185) T-34/76 Model 1941 German Version in 1/35th-scale injection-molded styrene plastic


DRAGON MODELS LIMITED (kit no. 6185) T-34/76 Model 1941 German Version in 1/35th-scale injection-molded styrene plastic

by Frank De Sisto

Contains: 478 parts in injection-molded styrene plastic (including eight clear), two lengths of twisted brass wire, 41 parts in photo-etched brass, one turned aluminum gun tube, two markings options and eight pages of instructions in 21 steps. Price: $34.95 USD.

The Germans captured a number of Soviet T-34s during the many stages of Operation Barbarossa, the Model 1941 being often seen. DML has provided parts to give the stock T-34 a “Teutonic look”. So, this kit includes a Pz.Kpw. III-style vision cupola and a modified T-34 turret roof hatch to accept it. The cupola features clear vision block inserts for the interior, as well as a choice of opened or closed outer vision slits. There are also various racks, bins and tools as seen fitted to German-manned T-34s. Finally, there is a German jack and a Notek head and tail black-out light, for that last little detail touch.

This kit, like the preceding Model 1941 kit, represents a significant upgrade of the entire DML T-34 series as it provides for a separate engine air intake cover, which has been re-worked to accommodate the included photo-etch screening and framework. Other etched bits are also provided for such things as belts and buckles for the external fuel cells (which are not used in this kit). For those modelers uncomfortable with the use of photo-etched parts, the original solid plastic intake cover is included. Also included is wound copper wire, instead of the more traditional nylon string, to represent the tow cable commonly seen on most tanks. New for this kit is also a turned aluminum F-34 76.2mm gun tube.

Since the vast majority of the parts come from the previously-issued Model 1940 and 1941 kits, many modelers will be familiar with them. For those who are not, some details are in order. The individual link tracks are of the so-called “plate” style and are accompanied by separate ice cleats. The suspension consists of early pattern dished road wheels with perforated rubber tires, early drive sprocket and early rubber-rimmed idler wheel. The hull features the round-nosed rear plate, rectangular transmission access hatch, and early side and top grillwork. The small access plates and fittings around the turret race are also different from the T-35/85 kits. The glacis plate includes the early driver’s hatch, early bow machine gun mount, twin headlamps with separate clear lenses, early tow couplings, rounded nose fillet, rounded and extended mud guards and early lower bow plate. Overall, the detail can be considered to be quite excellent. Fit nearly everywhere is outstanding, with the front turret plate needing attention, where it meets the lower turret sides, at the turret race. The small access hatch on top of the engine deck does not quite fit the opening provided. This may due to this part being from the original kits, and the upper hull in this kit being new. There are no visible ejector pin marks anywhere on the vehicle, except for the interior of the turret’s main hatch. This is a non-starter if left closed; otherwise it should not prove too much of a problem to clean up. Elsewhere, there are two pin marks on the inner face of each track link. These can be laboriously cleaned, or ignored. Or, the modeler can avail himself of the various after-market sets for this type of track, notably Friulmodel’s set, ATL-38. Likewise, there are no sink marks visible anywhere on the finished kit.

The instructions are in the newer photographic style and are quite clear and easy to follow. Painting notes are keyed to Gunze and Testors colors. The tiny Cartograf decal sheet provides German national insignia as well as shaded backgrounds for them, as the color schemes provided for in the kit are in overall winter whitewash.

The turned-aluminum gun tube, etched screens and wire tow cables make this the best-equipped DML T-34 kit of them all. The kit can also be built as a standard 1941 production vehicle, so for those who only model Soviet vehicles, but who may have missed the earlier release, this kit will be quite welcome. For others, to whom modeling German vehicles is the “be-all and the end-all”, this kit will definitely satisfy.

Highly recommended.

Frank V. De Sisto

DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.