OT-34 Mod. 1943 (No. 112 factory)

Published: August 10th, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Don Barry - IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $53.95
Product / Stock #: 6614
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Few weapons on the battlefield can instill fear and panic more readily than the fire-spewing armored flame thrower, especially in the form of a main battle tank. Germany, Britain, and the United States all used this fearsome weapon, and Soviet Russia was no exception. Very useful for breaking trench lines and reducing bunkers and machine gun nests, the OT-34 was used in several variants throughout the war. This version is based on the 1943 version of the T-34, with a raised commander's cupola. The turret casting molds were not uniform from one factory to the next, giving rise to many subtle variations in shape and texture.

This kit from Dragon consists of 25 sprues and more than 480 parts. Separately bagged "Magic Tracks" are included, as well as a nicely rendered photo-etched fret with engine deck screen and frame, and numerous pieces to build the fuel tank racks and straps, as well as tie-down brackets and end brackets for the hand rails. Also included is a clear sprue, metal rod for the external fuel tank racks, and a length of metal braid for making tow cables. Plastic parts are molded in standard Dragon grey styrene, and this reviewer found NO flash anywhere. Mold seams are quite fine, and ejector marks are faint and usually in invisible areas when assembled. Fit issues are non-existent. Very nicely done cast textures and welding seams are present where appropriate. A single sheet, tri-fold instruction sheet has assembly broken down into 10 steps, and includes one color scheme for finishing. The decal sheet is small, containing markings for one vehicle from the "Dimitri Donskoi" battalion in 1943. The decals are quite thin, well registered, and conform nicely with minimal setting solution needed.. I followed the steps in order, with the exception of assembling and installing the tracks in step 3, before joining the lower and upper hulls and adding all those breakable bits. Having said all the above, let's build.

As usual for armor kits, steps 1 and 2 cover road wheels and idlers, drive wheels, and suspension components. Included are the interior-mounted springs and housings, though totally hidden unless you are building this one destroyed. After painting these components, I built the track runs, each one completed and installed in one piece. Due to the design of the track and suspension, they can be painted effectively after installation.

  • Steps 3, 4, and 5 cover hull joining, and upper and lower hull details. I find that rolling a #1 X-acto handle over the engine screen and frame establishes the curve very nicely and evenly.
  • Steps 6, 7, and 8 cover main gun, cupola and turret assembly, as well as turret details. Building is very straight forward, with no issues. I used the photo-etched brackets, but remade the hand holds from straightened copper wire instead of cleaning up the plastic ones.
  • Step 9 is the most challenging, building the photo-etched fuel tank brackets. Again, roll the parts to be curved to establish their curve before assembling. These really should be soldered together in order to withstand the stresses of handling when attaching to the fuel drums.
  • Step 10 is the building of the tracks, which I did in step 3.

Painting started with a coat of Floquil Pullman Green, lightened with CNW green, which gave a glossy finish. I applied a decal from an old KV-1 kit to the forward portion of the turret. When dry, I "distressed" it, scraping and peeling parts of the decal. Next came a spotty coat of Tamiya white. When dry, a coat of Future was applied to provide a glossy surface for the kit decals, followed by a sealing coat of Future, to aid in applying and manipulating subsequent washes and filters using tube oil paints. Pastel chalks were used sparingly, mostly for the soot residue under the flame thrower nozzle. Finally, a coat of bottled Testor's Dull Coat was applied, then a light application of Rub-n-Buff Pewter on the track surfaces and idler/drive wheels.

Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of this build. It was very straight forward, with no fit issues or other problems. T-34 fans will love this kit, as it supplies numerous unused parts; wheels, turret parts, an 85 mm gun barrel, and scores of others. The only slow going was in the building and fitting of the etched fuel drum mounts, and these are supplied in plastic as well. I highly recommend this kit. Now to see how it gets along with the predominantly German collection in the display case. Thanks to Dragon Models, USA Inc. for this review sample. Happy modeling!

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    OT-34
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    OT-34
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    OT-34
  • OT-34
    OT-34
  • OT-34
    OT-34
  • OT-34
    OT-34
  • OT-34
    OT-34
  • OT-34
    OT-34

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