Work in Progress

Huibs T34 tank project

Posted by huib on 08 Jan 2021, 22:39

On a Dutch modelling forum I am involved in a big Soviet Union project. For this I choose to build a series of different models of T34 tanks in 1/76 and 1/72. Starting with the old Matcbox kit:

TheKit

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This Revell kit of the T34 is in fact a re-issue of the old Matchbox kit from 1976. So old stuff, which I always fancy. As often the boxart is quite wrong for what is inside the kit, and the text Modell 1940 is equally wrong. But never mind, I did my research and will make a lot of changes to the kit anyway.

And of course, what I liked as a kid very much about the Matchbox kits, whas the small diorama that is included.

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Contrary to the original Matchbox release, the Revell re-issue is in one colour of plastic, a dark green.

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The other sprue, including the diorama base.

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The rubber band tracks have ugly extractor marks, which will be difficult to remove. And the decal sheet is rubbish. These markings are for later tanks. Most early T34's had no tactical markings at all.

Well, let's start.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 08 Jan 2021, 22:44

Headstart

Made a start immediately to try out the following idea:

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The upper hull of the kit. Not bad, but can be enlivened a bit.

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Made a start drilling out the ventilation grill on the engine deck.

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After a bit of filing and cleaning up I prepared a piece of alu mesh (intended as fence for model railroads).

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And glued the mesh in the grill.

Now on with the rest of the hull.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 09 Jan 2021, 00:45

There are few greater pleasures in life than watching huib turn a crummy mass-produced plastic model into a museum quality work of art. Say on!
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Wiking on 09 Jan 2021, 01:22

Good start.
Now the engine can breath.
And the option to use effective a molotov coctail are now so much higher.
:mrgreen:

You build the model but I am frighten for the rubber bands.
Optimist call that pices for real, as tracks.
:yeah:
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by huib on 09 Jan 2021, 15:20

Thank you, guys!

Hull

After my experiment using the mesh succeeded, I continued working on the hull.

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First I removed some detail, filled some holes and sanded everything smooth to create a tabula rasa for changing this T34 from a Model 1942 into a Model 1941.

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The lower hull parts. Revell tried to erase the Matchbox origin from the kit, but with a little effort it's still readable. Some ejector pin marks around the suspension have to be removed.

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The hull after adding detail:
- Drivers hatch and optics replaced by an earlier type.
- Ealier model towing eyes
- Two headlights on the glacis instead of one headlight on the hullside (the filled gap of the original position is clearly visible on the photo.)
- Four long range fuel tanks on the hull sides.
- Antenna mount on the left front hullside
- Peephole and rivets on the machingun cover, and the barrel drilled out.
- Fenders thinned down on the front.

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And from behind:
- handgrips from iron wire on the engine cover and the differential cover.
- new exhaust pipes
- thinner mudguards on the back
- spare track links on the fenders

Now to continue with the turret.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 09 Jan 2021, 16:20

Wow ! Very fast build huib.
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 10 Jan 2021, 23:00

If you were going to model smoke emanating from the exhaust pipes, what technique would you use?
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by GumSmith on 11 Jan 2021, 15:40

Hi huib,
another interesting project with lots of nice details. Will follow it.

cheers Oke
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Posted by Peter on 12 Jan 2021, 13:05

Another great project Huib. :thumbup:

And you are lucky you have the decals. I bought two of them and of both the decals were missing. And when I contacted revell they said that they were no longer availeble. :(
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 12 Jan 2021, 16:24

Thank you, guys!

Bluefalchion wrote:If you were going to model smoke emanating from the exhaust pipes, what technique would you use?

I will use some artists pastel chalk on this model below the exhausts.


Peter wrote:And you are lucky you have the decals. I bought two of them and of both the decals were missing. And when I contacted revell they said that they were no longer availeble. :(

And I will not use my decals! :oops:
They are not correct for a model 1941 and in yellow instead of white.
Do you want to have mine?
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 12 Jan 2021, 16:40

Turret

To continue with the turret:

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These are all the kitparts involved.

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As I want to open the huge turrethatch, the interior needs a bit of work. Luckily the T34 turret was not very busy from the inside.
- Detailed the inside of the hatch
- Built the breech of the gun
- Added vision slots and pistol ports on the inside
- Added some detail to the gun mantlet
- Drilled out the barrel.

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Than the interior was painted and weathered. As the turretfloor is closed with this kit I simulated the turret ring by painting a black disc. After adding some crew that should be sufficient, I hope.

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The turretparts glued together. Some filler was needed around the seam.

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Made a scribing template from a piece of plastic card, to scribe the weldlines in the turret.

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The turret fully detailed:
- Corrected the profile of the turret front a bit
- Scribed the welding lines
- Added welded on plates to the turret ring
- Melted in vision slots with a heated srewdriver
- Added the plugs to the pistol ports
- Added three lifting eyes from 0,3mm iron wire
- Replaced the periscope after it broke off in the process
- Filled the hole for the machinegun in the turret roof.
- Drilled three holes in the gun mantlet for the optics and the machinegun.

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Picture from behind. The hatch is temporarily fixed with a blob of Blue Tac

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The turret on the hul for a general impression.

Now on with the wheels.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 12 Jan 2021, 21:32

A lot of white pieces on dark green.

huib wrote:
Now on with the wheels.

Let me guess you make round ones ?
:-D
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 12 Jan 2021, 22:20

Super stuff as always.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Peter on 13 Jan 2021, 18:03

What I really like is your eye for details! What you make of a simple plastic kit is just wonderfull! :thumbup:

PS: Yes I can use those decals, but when it is to much trouble it is no problem.
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 15 Jan 2021, 13:02

Thank you very much, guys!

Something overlooked

I was looking at some pictures and other reference material, when I discovered I overlooked something.

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The access hatch for the differential of this model T34 shouldn't be round but rectangular. :drool:
OK, let's do it.

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Removed the handrail and sanded the hatch flat. (Sorry for the blurry pic)

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Scratched a new hatch.

Now really on with the wheels!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 15 Jan 2021, 14:57

Good observation Huib! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 19 Jan 2021, 12:30

Thank you, Peter.

Wheels

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Lot's of wheels for a small tank. I was looking at these roadwheels....Ugly :xd:
Indeed I read in several reviews that these road wheels are amongst the worst parts of this kit.

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Now I also read that the old Fujimi kit of the T34-76a, also in scale 1/76, has very decent wheels that can be used on both sides. That offers some opportunities! Moreover as it wasn't difficult to obtain that old kit. (This T34 project is running out of hand already :drool: )
Here you see a Matchbox wheel next to a Fujimi wheel. The Fujimi wheel is much more realistic.

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So, what have I done: the front of the roadwheels is Fujimi, the back and the hub are Matchbox. This way I can improve the Matchbox kit and still retain the Fujimi kit buildable.

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Ready for paint!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 19 Jan 2021, 13:22

So in fact you are making one tank with two kits. Sounds to me that your sparebox is growing again. ;-)

Now the most interesting part is coming, the paintwork! Always curious how someone can paint a model from almost nothing to an excellent painted model with all details. :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Bluefalchion on 19 Jan 2021, 15:51

Well actually he swapped out part of the wheels so that he can still make both kits. Which is a practice I wholeheartedly approve of.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Wiking on 19 Jan 2021, 16:52

So far so good.
Painting will be also more or less easy.
:yeah:

But the RUBBER BAND (I remember that Revell use a softer rubber) is waiting for you... wish you all the luck you need for this operation.
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Wiking  Germany
 
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