Today Martin takes a detailed look at all the parts on a T-34’s many sprues.
Having built many T-34 and the associated varients such as SU-122, SU-85, SU-100 from the excellent Battlefront plastic kits, I realised, after a good search of the Battlefront web site, that there was no concise guide to exactly what all the parts are. There are assembly guides for differing models such as the T-34/76 or the T-34 (early), but no definitive explanation to what all the parts are, or are for, in one place.
So, after raising this at the Open Day, I thought the least I could do was give you my guide to the parts on the current production T-34 plastic sprues and what they can be used for
Sprue BM24 – Hull and turrets
On this sprue we get a mixture of the obvious bits like the hull top and bottom and all the standard parts, a turret for the majority of the T-34/76 series and the T-34/85 as well as the flame thrower for the OT-34 flame tank.
Sprue BM12 right side – Tracks
Pretty self explanatory the T-34 in its varients all use the same plastic track unit as do all the tank hunters and self propelled guns based on the T-34 chasis. One day we may see Battlefront produce a varient of this sprue with steel road wheels on it, who knows.
Sprue BM12 left side – The interesting bits
This is where the benefits of platic shine through and offer the modeller in you loads of options on how to vary the look of your T-34’s. After all, making 20 or more identical kits can be a bit boring to do and you don’t need to be an expert modeller to add on some extra bits or swap parts around if you know what they are.
By using combinations of these parts it is possible to model almost any variant of the T-34 from the angular mantled guns of the early production T-34/76 and 57, through the main production series T-34/76s and on to the final WW2 period T-34/85 variants. In fact, at any given time in the Red Army it would have been possible to find tanks exhibiting almost any combination of the possible ways to assemble this kit; a lot of the time it just depended on which factory a tank came out of.
Sprue BM124 – A Turret
This final sprue is the earliest design for the mid war period and was released to replace an older resin casting as part of the Enemy at The Gates launch. It represents the first production turret and was equipped with both regular 76mm and, more rarely, 57mm guns.
The earliest T-34 variant to see action was the obr 1940 model, which had a smaller 76mm L11 gun that is not on any of the sprues, but you could always cut down a standard 76mm gun by a couple of milimeters to make this Early War period model if you so desired.
Hopefully this quick guide enables you to understand what all the parts are and now you can create some variety in your massed T-34 batallions armed with a bit more information. You can see there is much more you can do than simply follow the assembly guide for a single model without spending hours on research (unless you want to).