Eastern Express 1/72
T-34/76 Model 1943
The history of the T-34 is vast. Starting in 1940, the T-34 served in every major front of the Great Patriotic War on the Soviet side. Unlike western armor, Soviet armor didn’t follow a strict “flow” from one version to the next. In fact, it was common to see older versions of the tank serve side by side with the newest and latest versions from the assembly line. A lot of people – me included – consider the T-34 the most important allied tank of WW2. Without the T-34 I think the war would have ran a bit longer than anticipated.
The Eastern Express T-34/76 consists of 110 injected molded parts. While there are no schemes spelled out specifically in the instructions, there are around 16 different T-34’s catered for on the decal sheet, most of these consisting of nothing but different slogans for the turret.
The same people who originally mastered the SU-85 and SU-122 for AER/Toga mastered this kit. This is a good thing. The SU-85 and SU-122 are exceptional kits, and the T-34 continues the trend. In fact, there are extra parts meant for the SU-85 in the T-34 kit. The differences between the SU-85/122 kits and the T-34 lies in the sprue for the upper hull, turret, and various bits for both the new hull and turret. Everything else remains the same as for the SU-85, i.e. lower hull, tracks and running gear.
The tracks are, by far, the best plastic injected molded tracks available in any small-scale armor kit that I have seen. They’re link and length, which will result in accurate track sag between the wheels.
The T-34/76 Model 1943 contains the hexagonal turret with optional cupola. It’s important to study the machine you’re building to be sure the cupola was fitted or not. Not all Model 1943’s with the hexagonal turret had the cupola.
No longer do we have to try and track down the ESCI T-34’s. In fact, the Eastern Express surpasses the ESCI in level of detail as well as the tracks. This kit is highly recommended. Hopefully we’ll start seeing more conversion possibilities for these tanks. Although I haven’t checked, I bet those conversions already existing for the ESCI T-34 would work – conversions from Resin Master, Leva, etc.