Kit Preview : 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready T-34/76 1940 with welded turret
About the manufacturer
Cromwell's Combat Ready range combines simplicity and an excellent level of detail. Unfortunately the individual models are a bit of hit and miss. If they are accurate they are near perfect, otherwise they are cast-offs as one piece hulls don't lend themselves well to modifications. The bad kits are not really bad just not to scale.
About the vehicle
The T-34 tank series define Soviet armor in WW2. 57,000 were built during the war. Only the M4 Sherman has comparable production figures (about 50,000). On the opposing side a mere 6000 Panthers and 8500 Panzer IV's (all models) were built during the war.
The Wikipedia entry on the T-34 is a good place to start if you want to learn more.
This model represents the first version of the T-34, with the shorter L-11 76mm gun. The chassis can be identified as an early build by the rectangular engine access hatch, rounded hull front, and rubber-rimmed front idler. Cromwell also do a model with a cast turret.
The kit is a very simple one: complete hull with running gear and turret. The turret has a metal insert in the gun, which is already drilled out. The casting is beautiful and everything looked perfect until I put it alongside my other T-34s. The hull is about 4mm short, mostly due to the engine deck being too short. The width is spot on. The turret might be a bit small at the base but it doesn't jump at you. The front idler is also on the small side, as for the Fujimi T-34s. Apart from the turret, the only difference with the cast turret kit is some extra stowage on the left side of the hull. This is a more recent CCR casting with the ready-to-go underside, not the early type with a solid block between the tracks. The casting with gray resin seems to be also sharper, without bubbles or imperfections but that may be an impression. Those early tanks had no radios save for the platoon leaders and up so the lack of an antenna stub is all right. I actually added one on the cast turret model.
This looks to be a real gem. I will add the three lifting eyes on the turret to be consistent with the other T-34s. Other than that it looks like all it needs is a paint job.
Reviered on Sep. 8, 2009.