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Michelle Edwards

ICM 1:35 T-34/76 (Late) With Tank Riders

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ICM
1:35 T-34/76 With Soviet Tank Riders

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History
The T-34 is a Soviet medium tank that had a lasting effect on tank design. From its introduction, the T-34 possessed a never seen before, combination of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness. It boasted a 76.2 mm (3 in) high-velocity gun that provided a substantial increase in firepower over any of its contemporaries; its sloped armour was difficult to penetrate by most anti tank weapons. When first seen in 1941, German general Paul Ludwig Ewald Von Kleist referred to it as "the finest tank in the world" and Heinz Guderian agreed the T-34's "was vast superiority" to existing German armour. Although its armour and armament were surpassed later in the war, the T-34 has often been credited as the most influential tank design of World War Two.

The T-34 was the principle component of Soviet armoured forces throughout the Second World War. Its design allowed it to be continuously refined to meet the evolving needs of the Eastern Front. As the war progress it not only became more capable, but also quicker and cheaper to produce. Soviet industry would eventually produce over 80,000 T-34s of all variants, allowing for steadily greater numbers to be fielded as the war progressed and more than making up for the loss of tens of thousands in combat against the German forces. It was not only the most-produced tank of the war, but also the second most produced tank of all time (its successor, the T-54/55 series taking the top spot). The T-34 suffered an estimated 44,900 losses during the war, it is also suffered the most tank losses of all time. Its development directly led to the T-54/55 series of tanks, which in turn evolved into the later T-62, T-72 and later still the T-90 that served with many of the world’s modern armies. As such T-34 variants were widely exported after World War Two, and as late as 2010 the tank remained in limited frontline service with several developing countries.

The box
It might seem a bit odd to start a kit review with the kit box, but like ICM airliner kits this is one of the best kit boxes I have ever come across. You lift of what looks like a conventional box lid to find that it covers a sturdy cardboard box with a ‘latching’ flip lid. Other manufactures please take note.

Sprue A

There is no sprue A but the tank lower hull are listed in the instructions as coming from sprue A.
Unlike some kits the suspension are not part of the lower hull moulding and are fixed later. The hull is detailed where required, but as most of the detail is on the underside it’s a pity it wont be seen.

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Sprue B

Once again there is no sprue B and the instructions list the upper hull as coming from sprue B.
The upper hull is very nicely detailed with the usual holes for the turret and engine.

Sprue C

There is two sprue Cs, C1 and C2 they hold most of the parts needed to complete the construction of the upper hull. All of the parts like the rest of the kit are flash free, nicely detailed and all the moulding is crisp.

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Sprue D 

Again there is one sprue D, strangely it is labelled D2, and has most of the parts for the construction of the turret. Of note is the moulding of the cast turret, it is very subtle and will save a lot of time stippling Mr Surfacer to get the cast finish effect.

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Sprue E

There are two identical sprues and are is the sprue everyone likes… Wheels, 54 in all however, 24 are not used for this kit. The wheels themselves, again like every other part in this kit a superbly moulded and detailed.

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Sprue F

Again we have two identical sprues. These hold the tracks, which are of the ‘rubber band’ type, however rather than being a single piece for each track they are divided in the two halves for each track. The track detail is very finely moulded and look like there will look as good as any other type of track, whether single link of link and length.

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Construction

Construction of the kit is completed in 60 stages, they seem to be in a reasonable order. However, like most armour kits you will be wanting to paint some parts prior to assemble and most experienced armour modellers will deviated from the the order of the stages in the instructions. 

Instructions

The instructions are in the form of the now standard, stapled booklet format, consisting of 20 pages the front and rear of which are printed on heavier gauge and glossy paper, in colour. A word of warning, some of the drawings show parts attached that are assembled in later stages.

The paints required are listed in Model Master colours, however as most are know and common colours alternatives will be probably be available from your preferred paint manufacturer.

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Decals

There is just one smallish sheet of decals to cover the six kit options and consist mostly of tank numbers and political victory/propaganda slogans. The decals are printed by ICM.

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Version Options

As previously mentioned there are six options that can be built with the supplied decals. 
These are:

T-34 from the 24th Tank Regiment, 46th Mechanised Brigade, Byelorussia, July 1944
T-34 from the 18th Guards Tank Brigade, 3rd Guards Tank Corps, Byelorussia, July 1944
T-34, Servestopol, May 1944
T-34, Summer 1944
T-34 from the 4th Guards Mechanised Corps, Romania August 1944
T-34 from the 10th Guards Ural Tank Corps, Ukraine, Summer 1944

Tank Riders

The kit is supplied with a separate sprue for five tank riders and container all the parts required including their equipment and weapons. The figures appear to be highly detailed. However I do have one small criticism. All the figures are wearing gloves ‘fish fur’ hats, and quilted jackets moving keeping with colder conditions rather than the summer of 1944 as provided for in the options.
The instructions for the riders are on a double sided sheet that is separate from the main instruction booklet.

The colour call out lists the codes for Revell and Tamiya prints.

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Conclusions

I can’t comment on the accuracy of the model as I’m no expert on Soviet armour. However, I’m very impressed with the moulding and the detail on all parts and I’m looking forward to building the kit.

My thanks to ICM for the review sample.
 

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