by: Jacob Hederstierna-Johnse [ ]
RES-IM, or Resin Improvements, is, for me at least, a fairly new AM company from Czech Republic. It seems that this T-34/85 exterior set is their third set in the line of detailing for the T-34 tank, with the other two sets being two types of wheels.
The box is rather small, but compared to the actual contends, itís the right size. It contains as follows:
1 small fret of PE produced by Eduard
2 small zip-lock bags with a total of 12 parts casted in a light sand grey resin.
1 part casted in clear resin
1 small instruction sheet
RES-IM has provided a full set of 3 normal size cylindrical external fuel tanks, and 2 shorter types for the rear armor plate, each of which are constructed with the cylinder in cast resin, and all the handles and mounts in PE. The resin tanks are excellent cast, and none of the small rims at the ends were damaged. They are totally smooth, so if you want them to look used/dented you have to make the damage yourself. Iíd recommend using a file or a small burr in a Dremel tool or such, and use it before you fit the PE parts. These fuel tanks seems to be missing a weld seem, which can be seen on the real deal.
Also provided are some smaller fuel tanks, which can be located on the rear armor plate. These tanks are in the same dimensions and fittings that of the ones located on the sides, just shorter in length, somewhere around 2/3 of the length of the side tanks.
The last ones are a bit of a puzzle to me, because almost all I can find in this shape on those locations are smoke pots or canisters. These canisters were not entirely in the same size as the side fuel tanks, and they had different detailing on the ends. I have stumbled over a technical drawing of a late 1944 T-34/85 from factory 183, which show such fuel tanks in this exact location, so maybe this has been some local and limited feature from this particularly factory. If anyone have better knowledge of this, please let us know, and Iíll gladly stand corrected.
A pair of exhaust pipes and armor covers is provided as well, and these are nicely cast, especially the exhaust pipes are molded hollow for realism. Unfortunately the pipes are missing the small seem, depicting the area where the pipe has been joined. The armor covers are cast very smooth, so depicting the realistic casted look, you have to treat the surfaces with some king of structure. I suggest using something like Mr Surfacer 500, which is quite easy to use.
A round towing eye is to be located in the middle of the downward sloped rear end plate, which supposedly is a feature only found on vehicles from the Factory 112. Moving to the front end of the vehicle, RES-IM has provided us with a head lamp, which is cleverly cast in clear resin, and has a small PE mounting bracket. Also a finely molded signal horn or siren, with a hollow cone is provided, and has a small PE mounting bracket, too. The only part for the turret is a small and very thin antenna mount, which has some very delicate detailing.
RES-IM has produced a nice AM set for the T-34/85, which supposedly fits all kits on the marked. The castings are sharp and the details stand out very well, and the PE seems to be in the usual high standards of Eduard. That said, Iím a bit disappointed in the amount of parts in this set. In my opinion there should have been much more in such an offering, than Fuel tanks, exhausts and a handful of nick-knacks. Iíd like to have seen in PE, such as tool boxes, front and back fenders, grills for the engine and air intakes, different straps for spare tracks and such. And what about some details for the turret?
This set retails for around 15 Euros, which is about 1Euro per resin part, and thatís a fairly hefty price tag, compared with what you get. And if you donít live in the Czech Republic, you also have to add postage. RES-IM should call this set ďPart 1Ē or something like that, lower the price and then they could release the other parts in forthcoming sets.