Sunday, 6 April 2014

Four T-34 'quick build' models compared - Part 6

Number of parts: 14

In the tradition of Armourfast quick build models the manufacturer has chosen to dispense with much of the surface detail rather than adding badly done and grossly simplified protrusions. This results in a very 'clean' and spartan surface.

Like the Plastic Soldier Company T-34s this model comes with fuel tanks (2), cupola MG and engine deck. But also adds two stowage boxes, driver's hatch, exhausts and a head lamp. [Though it should be noted that 2 fuel tanks is correct for a T-34/76 (M43) the norm for a T-34/85 was 3.]

The external fuel tanks come in two halves which must be glued together and there is a rather obvious seam as a result that will require filling and sanding. The rest of the parts are, like the hull itself, simplified and a bit lacking in detail.

You should note that while a separate driver's hatch is supplied that there is no actual hole in the front of the hull. Therefore if you want to model this hatch open you will have to cut a hole to the correct size yourself.

Quality of detail...
What detail there is is passable but one aspect stands out as obviously bellow par - that is the five rear ventilation ports at the rear of the separate engine deck component. These are hideous and are just five stippled rectangles. I mentioned this issue when I looked at the PSC T-34 engine deck and I maintain that I would have preferred it if Armourfast had chosen to represent these vents in a similar way to the PSC ones.

Part of the simplification of the hull's surfaces are the absence of any of the T-34's panel lines and while you can put back in some of the missing surface 'ornamentation' there isn't really a way of reconstructing these missing seams and recesses.

That said, this model is what it is - a quick build kit designed for table-top war gaming, and as such the minutiae of accurate detail is not required.

In conclusion, I would have to say that I prefer the Armourfast hull over the PSC one. Should you wish to 'accurize' this model it is far easy to do when you can add extra features - such as grab rails and so on - if there is no badly attempted 'nubs' there to begin with. It is fairly faithful to the general layout of the T-34 and the scale sizing is acceptable (again, unlike the PSC model which has a few over-sized elements on the hull). Though the Amourfast is over-scale, by my measurements it's a couple of millimeters over all way around (as was their turret).

Overall a very pleasant rendition which is only let down by the terrible rear vents.*

Above: The completed Armoufast hull, if anything it is perhaps a little too bear and could
use some texturing and weld seams to give it some character.
* Note: There is a photoetched accessory pack made by Hauller for the original HaT version of this model that is available quite cheaply on eBay if these vents really bother you.

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