Tamiya- T-34-85 Russian Medium Tank
For the First Look review- check here: http://amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14665
Construction begins with the assembly of the lower hull sides to the bottom and the cradle for the included cylinder weights. The suspension arms for the road wheels are already molded on the hull sides, so the only thing to add here are the arms for the rear idlers and the sprockets.
Next up is the front hull plate, and then all of the road wheels and link and length tracks. Everything here goes smoothly-- the only link parts are those that go around the rear idler and sprocket wheels- so just a little Tamiya Extra Thin and then forming them around the wheels after a few minutes to set and everything goes swimmingly. Step 7 starts up work on the upper hull- with the addition of the rear plate and top deck grating. Attaching the upper hull to the lower also involves the fiddly bits- the exhausts, saw, horn, driver's hatch and periscopes, hull MG, toolboxes and fuel tanks. At this point I was handling the hull to check things over and noticed some extra ventilation with the missing sponsons....this is hardly noticeable when you've added the wheels and tracks, but it is worth noting.
Step 13 starts construction of the turret and main gun. It's typical Tamiya fit, although getting things to align will take a little finagling. The gun barrel is a one piece, with just the addition of the end of the barrel. After adding some hatches, grab handles, and other bits the turret is complete.
The included half figure of the tank commander is quite nice and fits well as do all of the newer Tamiya figures. If you use him, he is posed with his hand atop the cupola hatch. Construction is completed with the tow cables (included string), spare track links, and shovel.
Painting and Weathering
I used Vallejo's Soviet WWII Camo Colors set for the paint- specifically the Russian Green for the main coat after a primer of Krylon gray. There is a nice cast texture on the turret which shows up nicely under paint. Weathering was done with Tamiya Black Panel Liner as well as AMMO weathering pigments. In the process of moving up to the photo area of my shop, the tow cables were dislodged so I will have to retrace my steps looking for them.
Tamiya has a nice little kit here in their new 1/48 scale release. The scale has become less popular it seems, but I am glad to see Tamiya still releasing them. I would love to see more and I hope they continue the trend. There were no fit issues at all and the details really pop after some paint and weathering. I would have liked to have seen some more variety with the markings as there are loads of examples to choose from out there-- the two included ones were nice enough, but again some other options would have been welcome. Tracks were a breeze to assemble and look great-- Tamiya has done it again!
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders-- a real straight-forward and enjoyable build all around to add to the Red Army collection.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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