Kit Preview : 1/76 Vacucast T34 Model 1941 Rebuilt
About the manufacturer
Now defunct Vacucast had a line of 1/76 conversions, buildings and models. RP Hobbies still has some stock in Texas.That's where I bought mine (online that is).
About the vehicle
I don't know much about this T-34. There is a a description in the instruction sheet below.
About the kit
The hull matches well with the Fujimi and Matchbox T34's. The grille pattern on the rear deck is so fine it will disappear under a coat of paint.
The left track assembly is OK but the right one was badly molded. I'm not sure if it is systematic or I was unlucky. Some of the holes needed drilling. Some of the wheels are miscast and not completely round. Overall a poor job. I cleaned up as much as I could. It got worse when I realized prior to priming that most of the bolts were missing; there were holes instead. You can see that on the parts photo (the left track is on the bottom, to the right of the hull: you can tell I didn't know much about T-34s). I suspect Vacucast forgot to plug the holes. In any case I did with 10thou plastic rod. They are Ca'ed, cut and finally coated with liquid cement to soften the shape.
- The tracks had to be straightened using hot and cold water. I heated water in a coffe mug for 1minute in the microwave, dipped the track, then rinsed under running cold water. Repeat if necessary. It was surprisingly effective.
One of the exhausts were broken so I replaced both with plastic rod.
- The hull MG had no barrel. It was rebuilt using plastic rod.
The metal gun/mantlet needed much sanding, especially the mantlet. Sight holes were drilled and a MG added.
The mantlet left a 2mm gap with the turret. I couldn't find that anywhere on photos of built 1/35 models so I filled it with plastic card.
The turret looks good apart from the oversize weld seams on the sides. Three lifting eyes made from 8thou brass rod were added.
The hatch wass too long and distorted. The rear was sanded until the round bump on the right side came to the edge. The hatch surface was really grainy: it had to be sanded substantially.
Broken track pieces and bubble holes were filled with soft wax, then coated with CA. They show up in dark red on the pictures. I used Babybel wax.
A couple shots of the completed model. This is my first attempt at using Mig pigments. Unfortunately the lighting is too dark and the pictures are pretty unimpressive compared to the actual model.
Overall an interesting variant of the ubiquitous T34.
Here is a link to pictures of the completed model: