Thursday, 1 December 2011

Four T-34 'quick build' models compared - Part 1

I have built up a collection of four makes of these quick build models, all of which are variants of the Soviet T-34 tank. In this thread I want to illustrate the various qualities of these basic models so that anyone who might be interested - for whatever reason - can get an idea of exactly what they are getting. And so, without further ado let's move on to the first part of my review - the box shots...


Armourfast were my introduction to the concept of 'quick build' models. For a beginner like myself the idea of a stripped down, easy to build kit was very attractive proposition as it allowed me to practise - and make mistakes - without worrying about spoiling an expensive kit.

Armourfast have a particular philosophy about making their models, they prefer not to include a particular piece of surface detail rather than to do it badly. This is great if you fancy sprucing up their models into something a bit more accurate because you then do not have to remove the offending detail before re-applying your own improvements. These kits include the bear minimum that is needed to generally represent the subject.

Made in England, you get two models for around £7.50.


Plastic Soldier produce a range of models in 15mm, 28mm and 1:72 to compliment their tabletop war game system called 'Rapid Fire'. However, unlike Armourfast they not only provide 3 models in their box set but also include model variations - in this case the T-34/76 (Model 1943) or the T-34/85.

Plastic Soldier seems to be expanding into the 1/72 quick build arena - they now have two models of tank in this format now, the Panzer IV and this T-34 set. They are certainly the cheapest way to build an armoured formation for war gaming very fast.

Again, Plastic Soldier is an English based company (Hoorah!), and three models cost about £12.50.


I guess you could call Pegusus America's Armourfast, however they do make far more than just 1:72 wargaming models and seem to have a long track record making 'snap together' kits. They also tend to add more surface detail than either Armourfast or the Plastic Soldier Company, with some very nice touches like - in the case of the T-34/85 - the two-handed saw and tow hooks,

Based in California, you get two models for around £8.


Zvezda have not only been a prolific Russian scale model manufacturer but also has become known for their 1/100 scale vehicles which are intended for use with their tabletop wargame 'Operation Barbarossa 1941'. This 1:72 model is one of a new range of models they are marketing as 'My first model kit'. It has received a certain acclaim for it's innovative easy build construction method.

Made in Russia kit is the most expensive in the review at around £11 for just one model and should perhaps be seen as the 'missing link' between easy build models and conventional display quality kits.


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