Sunday, 6 April 2014

Four T-34 'quick build' models compared - Part 12


Well, here’s the last of the real quick build (if we agree that the Zvezda isn’t really a quick build) and it’s clear to see that the Pegasus T-34/85 has the most surface detail, out-doing either the PSC or Armourfast. It also includes the most additional component parts including optional open or closed commander’s hatches.

However, as mentioned in the earlier detailed summaries the surface detail included in this model – such as vents, grills and panel lines – are a little fuzzy and some of the larger detail is little more than ‘bumps’ (such as the horn). Still, this is a quick build after all.

This actually leaves me with a bit of a dilemma. The Pegasus T-34/85 is obviously great value for money and it also has a certain degree of technical accuracy that the other two quick builds don’t have (the turret is particularly nice), but do you need all this extra detail for a quick build war gaming model?

This question is central when trying to decide which of the three review quick builds is the best. Were is down to value for money and accuracy alone I would have no hesitation in saying that the Pegasus T-34/85 is the best of the three (atrocious tracks aside), but they aren’t the only factors that are important here.

Above: One part that I did feel I had to replace on the Pegasus T-34/85 was their terrible
rendition of the 85mm gun. It was spindly and badly moulded, so I exchanged it for a very
cheap turned aluminium one I found on eBay (if cost were a consideration I would
have made one from some plastic tube).
From a purely wargaming model point of view the Armourfast T-34s make a lot of sense. They have just enough detail, that is crisply done, to pass for the tanks that they are supposed to be, but on the swing side don’t include a lot of superficial extras that don't really add anything to a game.

So in a way it’s a split decision – if you are purely interested in a war-gaming pieces that you don’t have to spend too long making and painting then the Armourfast T-34s are ideal. But if you are into the history of the weapons and really enjoy the modeling the Pegasus is the way to go

…Then again, if you want a early T-34 (Model ’40 or ’43) Armourfast is the only option, so my personal preferences for quick builds would be…

Early war T-34s: Armourfast
Late war T-34/85: Pegasus

Above: I don't know if you can make this detail out but as if to confirm that Pegasus has leanings
toward the more modelling minded war gamer they have actually included little markers for
extra detail that they haven't included. There are tiny circles moulded on the side of the hull
that indicates where you can add the infantry grab rails if you wish.
The only sure thing I can say is that either of these makes is far superior to the Plastic Soldier Company offerings.

So there you have it, are you a war game player that needs a simple and easy to make representation of the T-34 or are you a war gamer who is also into the modeling and history of the vehicle? Well, the good news is there are excellent options which ever you are.

NEXT? Well...I guess I should paint the little army of T-34s I have now!  :D

(NOTE: I am not showing the Zvezda 'quick build' complete as I feel I have to withdraw it from this comparative review. After examining it closely I feel it's definitely more of a display model that's designed to be easily built. Combined with the high price this model then falls out of the range which we should consider as being 'wargame quality' T-34s.)

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