Early T-34s tend to be underrepresented in modelling, so it’s really nice that UM has taken care of them. I bough this kit in the beginning of the year because I only had mod. 1943 in my collection.
I’ll start with the PE and the decals (click on an image to see it full size). PE is really crude, especially the net over the engine. There are also the bolt-on armor for the MG and the ubiquitous tandem lumber saw.
Decals for two machines:
– red star + white 25 from 11th mechanized corps in July 1941;
First thing to do is to get rid of the molded-on tools. Considering the absurd ideas to make the hammer our of 3 layers of PE and the jack out of 9 layers – some tools were replaced with items from the Attack’s set “Implements and tools”, and I kept the jack almost stock. For the time being I glued on the retaining PE clasps and straps for them and the tow cables.
Aside from the molded-on tools and the symmetric turret there are few other issues with the Revell kit:
– directly sticking the spare tracks to the turret walls – there are brackets for this on the actual machine – I used PE items form the Part set.
– the gun that is very crudely molded in one piece together with the muzzle brake – replaced it with RB Models item 72B26 turned aluminum barrel with bronze muzzle brake. Since the barrel is turned there are visible traces from the lathe on its surface – I sanded down with 800 and 2000-grit sandpaper.
Years ago the Poles from Part have released 3 PE sets to improve the molded-on details of both Revell’s Braille scale Tigers. The three packs basically have the same main fret and mesh set, plus a third metal sheet that holds details specific to the version – P72-092 for the Ausf. H, P72-093 for the E, and P72-094 for the H1.
I got myself a set for the late variety, and here it is.
As you can notice there’s heaps of tiny detail, some so small really you will not even bother remove it from the metal sheet. There’s useful stuff like all the tool retaining straps and clasps, the side mud flaps, the exhaust heat shields, the ammo belt and can for the commander’s MG, as well as the mesh screens that are SO missing from the Revell kits.
The Tiger tank needs no introduction, so I’ll get straight to the model kit.
The Revell offering has been around for more than a decade – it was the first MODERN rendition of this important machine after the Hasegawa and Fujimi (which is 1/76) offerings. Technology advances have made the inclusion of much better detail possible, so at the time of release the model was what we call “state of the art”. After the very early H model came the late Ausf. E, with the appropriate changes – new wheels and different right turret half.
Earlier this month the long-awaited Zvezda quick-build IS-2 finally reached the local hobby shops, so I was quick to grab myself a copy. It’s close to an year late and I was anxious to see what do we actually get.
There are a hull tub (discussed lower), two grey sprues with parts for the hull and turret, a black one for the tracks, decals for 1 main variant (as on the box top) and additional generic numbers.
The first sprue shows the upper hull and most of the suspension and running gear parts. Yes, just as advertised the set does represent the later war production variety, the IS-2m with the “straight nose”, so it supplements rather than replaces the Italeri kit. As opposed to the Italeri kit, the cooling louvres here are molded angled, with spaces between them, so you can see through the grid.
As one would expect from a 40-year old molds – this kit does not fit perfectly, so here’s a list of recommendations.
– Dry fit the cockpit. The instrument panel does interfere with the pilot’s legs. Unless you are doing some detailing inside – the figure is your best option to distract viewers from the spartan interior.
– There are gaps between the upper wing halves and the fuselage, and at the rear of the lower wing/fuselage join.
– You are in for a re-scribing session once the propeller and the engine cooling fan are in place. There are two locating pins that do help, but some sanding is still required.
Now the Raiden (or Jack as it’s more familiar to the English speakers) might not have been as popular as the Type 0 (A6M), yet to me it represents the change in Japanese philosophy of building military aircraft. The J2M was not transformation of a different type of aircraft, was designed with a powerful engine from the outset, wasn’t supposed to carry 7,7 mm guns and many more firsts. It’s also my first ever Tamiya kit 🙂
I’ve been looking for a 72nd scale model for a while, but Hasegawa’s kit was hard to find and not really worth the price asked. So when this “second-hand” kit showed up for about $10 I didn’t give it any second thoughts.
This build is special for me. The kit was purchased, started and completed in just one month, which is a first for the past 20 years or so. I wanted to postpone the clash with it, but I could not resist.
The first thing you should know is that you need to forget most of the modelling stuff you’ve learned over the years. Since the model is a fast build/snap kit:
– DO NOT DRY FIT PARTS, or keep it to a minimum. Fit’s so tight on some parts you won’t be able to disassemble what you put together.