Sunday, 6 April 2014

Four T-34 'quick build' models compared - Part 8

Number of parts: 20

Above: The Zvesda hull components. You might wonder what that big cone shaped contraption
 is in the middle - that's the device which attaches the turret to the hull. Also, you will
notice that the driver's hatch is moulded shut, which is quite disappointing.
I've been looking forward to looking at the Zvesda hull and it's components, from the moment you get them out of the box you can tell these are quality parts. But then again they should be, at £11 it is by far the most expensive quick build on the market (by comparison the Pegasus T-34/85 works out at £4 a tank).

The Zvesda raises an interesting issue - why would you pay £11 for a quick build, however pretty it is, when you could buy an equivalent Dragon model for the same price? It also begs the question, just who is this model is aimed at?

This model has 20 parts, some of which are very small, so I wouldn't say it's a model suitable for young beginner modellers. And if you are old enough to appreciate the fine quality of the Zvesda moulding and it's nice parts then I would say you are old enough to attempt a Trumpeter kit.

Anyway, the Zvesda T-34 hull component is very nice and the snap together method is clever. BUT - it does require glue for things to fit together properly, I don't care what the instructions say. In fact this is the one model in this comparison that I haven't assembled because some of the parts need to be permanently glued in place - and I don't want to do that yet.

One thing that is worth mentioning is that of all the quick builds Zvesda has managed to recreate a reasonably accurate engine deck. The rear vents, which have been fudged badly on all the T-34s in this review, have been nicely formed with a delicate mesh pattern. This makes me wonder why none of the other quick build manufactures can do this part as well ask Zvesda has.

Other components that make this model stand out from the rest of the herd is the dainty tow hooks and tow cables, the crisp exhaust pipes and the spare tracks. It's a nice package.

But, I do keep coming back to the question - is it worth it though?

For my part the answer is this - I will be buying a few more T-34 models over the next few months and despite the fact I love the look of the Zvesda I will be buying Dragon. Zvesda's price and number of components means that it strays into the domain of the display quality model, something like the Pegasus quick build makes far more sense for war gamers and beginners.

Next: The all important tracks!

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