Modelik T-34/85

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by pashlispaht, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. pashlispaht

    pashlispaht Member

    Model: T-34/85
    Publisher: Modelik
    Scale: 1/25
    Format: Unknown
    Designer: Unknown
    Parts Count: Approx. 1950 w/o individual tracks, 4685 with individual tracks.

    The T-34/85 was the Soviet response to the German Panther and Tiger tanks. The battle of Kursk during the Second World War revealed that the T-34 had finally met its match in these new German tanks. Both tanks were far superior in both armor and firepower and were invulnerable in a frontal engagement. Both were also capable of destroying the T-34 at nearly any practical battle range. In the wake of the Kursk battle, upgunning the T-34 became a very high priority. Several different 85MM guns were tried in a modified turret originally intended for the ill-fated T-43 "Universal" tank. Prototypes of the new tank were tested at the end of 1943. After abbreviated testing, Stalin ordered the tank industry to have the tank ready for production by Feb. 1944. Of course his demands were met by the deadline and the first units started arriving at the front in March of 1944. The arrival of the T-34/85 went a long way towards restoring parity with the new German tanks. Over 40,000 T-34/85's were produced by the USSR, with many more being built by satellites of the USSR. The T-34/85 has seen combat in nearly every corner of the globe, and has been involved in conflicts as recently as the 1990's.

    This is the first Modelik kit that I had seen. I also own the Modelik T-34, and the difference between the two kits is like the difference between night and day. The model was released in March of 2001, and appears to have been done with computer assistance, although the diagrams look like they could have been hand drawn. The parts are very well drawn, with crisp, precise lines, and they are very well marked with lots of symbols denoting special instructions. The model covers 14 very crowded pages. Of these, 6 are printed on very thin paper. There are also 3 pages of diagrams, and one page of written instructions in Polish of course! There are no photos of the completed model though. Color of the parts is very good and appears to be uniform. Printing quality is excellent with excellent registration.

    Level of detail on this model is incredible. I was impressed by the number of very small parts. However, this model does not have any kind of an interior; not even an engine compartment. Several particulars caught my attention. There appears to be several options for building a more complex version of this model. For instance, the radiator vents could either be represented by the printed default, or it could be cut out and a more complex wire grill made to cover a more detailed radiator compartment. The suspension appears to be functional, or could easily be made to function. Most impressive though, was the option to make this model with either a "belt" style track, or as individual links. Building the version with individual links adds over 2700 more parts to the model. This is because the web design on the face of each tread casting is recreated. But it would certainly make a very impressive display for the modeler with the patience to complete it. However, only the patterns and and instructions are given for these parts, and it is up to the builder to somehow make the thousands of parts required.

    My impression of the artwork is that there is room for improvement. The model looks like it came straight from a factory, or was modeled after a static display with no signs of wear-and-tear. There is no weathering at all, and the only kind of artwork is a eagle insignia on the turret. Pictures I have seen of this tank invariably show them with all kinds of unit markings and slogans and names and dedications in beautiful Cyrillic writing. This model would make a good subject for the person who likes the freedom to do their own weathering or artwork.

    Overall, I was pleased with the quality of this model. The level of complexity is such that a skilled beginner could construct the simplified version, but there is enough complexity to satisfy an advanced modeler. This model appears to be a worthy opponent to counter the fine German tank models offered by Halinski and GPM. I would certainly recommend this model to other armor modelers, and it is on my short list of kits I wish to build.

    Hope this review has been of help to anyone wishing to get this model!

    Instructions: B All sections appear to be addressed, however some of the diagrams are still confusing. Photos from the construction would be nice.
    Paper Quality: A
    Level of detail: A Not as detailed as a Halinski, no interior, but nevertheless very impressive. Very high parts count.
    Print Quality: A Good registration, solid color.
    Artwork: C Lack of weathering, very plain looking colors. But this could be an advantage for someone wishing to do their own weathering.
    Value for money: A
    Skill Level: Very difficult due to the high parts count. Nothing that looks insurmountable to the patient modeler. Some of the diagrams are a little confusing.
  2. charliec

    charliec Active Member

  3. pashlispaht

    pashlispaht Member

    Yes, the eagle is white. The number "241" is also next to it in white as well. I did some research and found that the eagle (called the "Piast" eagle) was the standard tactical insignia of the Polish People's Army. But I still think that I will do mine as representing one of the Russian units, or if I can find documentation, a unit from one of the Central Asian republics. My fiancee is Kyrgyz and it is always good to have your significant other's support of your hobby if you wish to continue it!
  4. charliec

    charliec Active Member

  5. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    I've always wondered why every T-34 model out of Poland seemed to have the name "Rudy". Then I came across this piece of trivia on the Web:

    "In Poland, the 1960s series "Four Tank Drivers and a Dog," has re-aired six times since 2001. Millions of nostalgic Poles continue to watch as the Polish infantrymen battle alongside the Red Army in their T-34 tank "Rudy," and make their way towards Berlin. The handsome Jan is in charge. He's in love with the Russian medic Marusia, his dog Szarik barks at Germans and, at the end of the series, the four heroes hang the Polish flag on the Brandenburg Gate. " - from,1518,344052,00.html

    Amazing what the Web can produce.


  6. Boris

    Boris Member

    Aaaaha , the nostalgy about this movie... I remember this movie. I saw it first when I was 7 years old.
    Actually on russian translation this tank was called "redhead". Is it a true meaning - I'm referring to a polish speaking guys here?


    You`re right Boris.Rudy is redhair or better simply red( like leader of music band Simply Red).
    Pashlispaht -designer of this model is Paweł Jaszczak.

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