by: Darren Baker [ ]
This release of a T34/76 Late 1943 Edition by ICM is an odd one in so much as Revell of Germany have also released this ICM kit under their own label at the exact same time with alternate finishing options. Due to this situation I will be writing a review of the ICM offering and covering the finishing options that are available from Revell of Germany, this way you the modeller can decide which finishing option you want or even whichever is the cheaper option in your geographical location.
In the case of ICM this model is packaged in a single plastic bag, and has foam sheeting over the more delicate sprues. This is then packaged inside a sturdy flip top cardboard box with a separate card top cover. This should protect the model against most damage likely to occur in the postage system. The Revell of Germany offering is packaged the same way inside the box, but only has a card end opening box to protect it. The contents break down as follows regardless of whichever offering you purchase:
5 dark green sprues
An upper hull
A lower hull
2 vinyl sprues
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
First impressions are very good as the mouldings are all well formed with no obvious issues jumping out at me. There are some flow lines in some mouldings, but these do not seem to have caused any obvious damage to the finish of the parts. The tracks being vinyl usually have issues, but I can only detect very slight deformation at the points where the gates and parts meet.
Due to being picked up on my reference as I do not have the latest information, I am going to stick with my general opinions of this model as I do not want to give anyone false data. The wheels and undercarriage have some nicely moulded detail, ICM having put a lot of effort into the wheel detail. The only thing I wish that ICM had done was to supply the ability to set the road wheels as if on uneven road surfaces. The upper and lower hull has been very well moulded with the fit between the two pieces being very good. There is a small raised bump on the underside of the lower hull where the moulding stub was and that will need to be sanded down or cleaned up, remembering that ICM has provided some moulded detail there as well.
The design of the upper hull is such that it will make the addition of photo etched upgrades to your model easy, the various vent detail has been supplied as separate parts and so can easily be replaced. The engine access panel has also been supplied as a separate moulding and so an engine could be added and displayed. Inside the hull ICM has supplied seats for the driver and machine gunner, there are also the tillers supplied for the driver. The machine gun for both the bow and turret have been supplied as full moulding rather than just a barrel, but the barrel could be improved by a little drilling out of the barrel.
The turret has some nice detail present, especially where the breach of the gun is concerned which is included along with the full machine gun. The hatches can all be displayed either open or closed depending on your requirements. This model does include my new pet hate when it comes to new kit releases, a barrel that is two piece and split along its length. Yes I know we managed for years with this issue, but for the love of god why do we still have to suffer this in the modern age.
The vinyl rubber tracks have some nice detail on both the road surface contact side and the wheel contact side. The hollow guide horns have been well replicated and do add a nice touch to these tracks. The points where the tracks connect to the gates on the sprue do have small and slight deformations, but if these are placed on the inside of the run it should not be easily seen or detected.
ICM has supplied six finishing options for their offering of this model which are;
T-34, 24th Tank Regiment, 46th Mechanised Brigade, Byolorussia, July 1944
T-34, 18th Guards Tank Brigade, 3rd Guards Tank Corps, Byolorussia, July 1944
T-34, Sevatopol, May 1944
T-34, Summer 1944
T-34, 4th Guards Mechanised Corps, Romania, August 1944
T-34, 10th Guards Ural Tank Corps, Ukraine, Summer 1944
Revell of Germany offers two finishing options in their release of this model which are;
T-34/76 ‘106’, 30th Guards Tank Brigade, Red Army, Leningrad Front, 1943
T-34/76 ‘17’, Unknown unit, Red Army, Stalingrad, Winter, 1943
With both offerings of this model being identical in content other than the decals you will need to decide if you want a specific finishing option or whichever offering is cheapest. The overall finish should be pleasing and with a little work could be lifted further. Two improvements I would suggest is a metal barrel and replacement of the vinyl plastic tow cables. The tracks could be improved via the addition of resin or metal tracks, but the supplied offerings are fair.