Tuesday 23 April 2019

Kit Build/Review: 1/72 T-34/85, Revell

Revell are known for modelling excellence, and this kit conforms to that standard. Is it a re-boxed Esci model? I don't know. But it does have Esci-style patented 'link and length' type tracks. Not everyone's cup of char, on account of their fiddliness, they can be great, or a real headache.

Laying out parts for pre-build clean-up.

At the time of typing this, I've only just started making this kit, having been on a bit of a T-34 binge, building, in total (including this tank), ten T-34s over the last week or three. These have ranged from Armourfast and Italeri quick-build wargamers kits to more detailed offerings, such as this one, and two Zvezda snap-fit T-34/85. The closest to this Revell, in terms of detail, was the Trumpeter T-34/85 I bought ages ago, from the shop at the Muckleborough tank museum.

Like many 1/72 tanks, this starts with running-gear.

Also visible in these photos are a batch of scratch-built tow-cables for the simpler Armourfast T-34s, etc. I've made six, plus I have a seventh left over from (I think?) the Trumpeter kit. Below are a couple of pics I took even earlier, during the process of making the eyelets for these cables.

Making eyelets for tow-ropes.

Establishing a suitable cable length.

I couldn't get a suitable weight of cotton thread at any of our locals craft supply stores, and I didn't want to wait for an online order to arrive. So I went to a nearby fishing tackle supply shop, looking for rod-binding thread. They didn't have any. They did, however, have some suitable braid. RRP was a rather steep £5.95, but the guy in the shop, not wanting to empty his till changing my £20 note, let me have it for about £1.50! Which was all the change I had on me. Close inspection of the braid shows it to be just that. But at a glance from a distance it looks fine.

Making a start on the 'Lincoln-Length' tracks...

... using Tamiya masking tape to bind the parts together.

As ever with these types of track, it was hard work.

And done. For tonight, anyway...

Turret hatches up. Shame the driver's hatch wasn't open-able.

And that's that, for this evening, at any rate. A lovely model, even though the link'n'length makes things rather heavy going. That's my tenth T-34, of which nine were built over the Easter break. I still have several two-cables to add, and with the turret hatches open on this latest one I feel the need to detail the internal/undersides a bit.

I might even try and do that lot this evening, so as to be ready for undercoating and painting, next time. But I really ought to go to bed, what with my first days teaching since the Easter break being tomorrow.

Well, I went to bed, like a sensible adult (for once). That meant I didn't attach my scratch-built tow-cables until this evening. And I'm thoroughly pooped after my first day back at the goal face. Watching Jack Lesowski play Ali Carter on the BBC iPlayer, snoozing intermittently! But here they are, attached to the four Armourfast kits. I'm quite pleased with my detailing of these kits. The tracks are awful. But thankfully they'll be largely unseen.

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