Sunday, 12 February 2012

Armourfast T-34/85 build - Part 5

Moving on to the basic work on the turret it's worth mentioning the problems with the Armourfast T-34/85 turret:-

1. It's slightly too wide (by a few millimetres), this is most noticeable at the rear of the turret...
2. The flattened triangular area on each side of the turret is exaggerated...
3. The front profile is too acute, coming too sharply down from the roof to the gun mantlet...
4. The gun mantlet is the wrong shape, and the gun overly off-set.

There were several types of T-34/85 turret made by different Soviet factories during WW2, each had it's own distinctive production technique which produced a specific finished turret design. The Armourfast turret appears to be one of the 'flattened style' turret types, this refers to the triangular area on either side of the turret.

The Armourfast turret could be modeled after either the Zavod Factory Spring 1944 turret, or the Summer 1944 turret, or the final prodution 1945 production turret (which confusingly appeared in late 1944). Each of these three turrets displays the flattened triangular facet. However, the rest of the Armourfast turret's features are simplified  to a point that it makes zeroing in on exactly which of these turrets it is really supposed to be nearly impossible.

Above: Top is a drawing of the Armourfast T-34/85 turret profile showing the 'thin nose' and flattend area. Below this is what I did to the turret...

...As it happens I decided to completely ignore the above and go my own way!

As the Armourfast turret is too wide and the flattened area exaggerated I began by sanding some of the width off. This smoothed off the profile and as a result my turret was now closer in shape to one of the other variants of turrets that were made without the flattened area - specifically the Summer 1944 'Angle-Joined' version...

Aside from this rounding out of the sides I built up the nose of the turret so that the drop from the roof to the gun wasn't so acute. Using Milliput putty I rounded off the nose and added a replacement resin mantlet made by CZECH MASTER (which comes with a nice turned aluminium gun). As you can see from the above photo this means I had to make a new mantlet cover from a rectangle of brass sheet.

I also, used Milliput to create the 'Angle-Joined' weld marks around the bottom of the turret and some weld marks around the bottom of the commander's cupola.

Finally, I trimmed off the bearly discernible Armourfast turret periscopes and replaced them with some neat Czech Master resin ones.

NEXT: Finishing off the turret and adding the commander.

By the way, if you want to look a bit more into the differences between the T-34/85 turret types try out this link at The T-34-85 in WWII: A Closer Look by Ray Peterson

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