DRAGON MODELS LIMITED (kit no.
6185) T-34/76 Model 1941 German Version in 1/35th-scale injection-molded
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
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.
Frank V. De Sisto
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details
see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.