Seeing some of the other similar posts lately, I thought I’d share my production for 2021. Working from home a couple days a week this past year saved a lot of miles on my car lease and created a little more time at the bench. Started out on a Russian T-34/85 theme. Wanted to check out the Rye Field Models T-34/85 Factory 174 kit. Nice detail and fit. I did use a DEF Model barrel. Plain 4BO paint. I used Tamiya XF-81 Dark Green RAF this season based on some recommendations I saw online. I’m happy with the color.
I had the AFV Club version of the Factory 174 T-34/85 in the stash for many years, so I dug it out to compare to the RFM. Looking at the sprues, I would have guessed it was a Trumpeter kit. Nothing like any other AFV Club I’ve built. It came with an interior, but I passed on that. It includes an aluminum barrel and rubber band tracks. I replaced those with an extra set of DML magic tracks I had. Ruffed up the turret using AK Easy Cast Tetxure medium.
I was in full T-34 mode now, so I went on the Miniart T-34/85, Czechoslovakian production. I’ve always wanted one of these for my collection. This is the non interior version with the Egyptian crew. They capture all the details of the Egyptian variant nicely. The Miniart has nice detail, but I feel it’s over engineered. The tracks feature nice detail, but had to sand between each link to get them to fit. A PIA for sure. Used a Magic Model barrel. Painted in sand for Egyptian forces in the 1956 war. Fun to put a big MG on top of a T-34.
I had an old DML kit, #6066,their first T-34/85, and an Anibus Creations resin turret sitting in my stash forever, so thought it a good time to do a Frankenstein bash. The turret is the Eight piece alternate casting and it’s an old school heavy solid piece of resin. These turrets were used at Factory 112, so I found some 112 parts in the spares box to do the transmission hinges from an old DML build and modified to fit. There was a spare set of plain dish road wheels in the Miniart kit, which fit the DML hull with slight modification. Also had extra fuel tanks from the RFM kits. Everything just came together.
Well I was having so much fun, I thought one more T-34. Like eating candy. The Dragon T-34/76 with Stamped turret and commander cupola. But I thought enough 4BO, need a little variety. So I built as a Beutepanzer. Nothing special aside from correcting the drivers hatch location.
I had actually planned on starting the season with the new Tamiya KV-1, but did the T-34’s first. Typical Tamiya fit , except for one major boner. The idler wheel is way undersized. I replaced it with a Trumpeter idler and also had to modify the idler arms too.
So now I have the KV books out, decided to go with the Trumpeter KV-8S Flame tank. The Trumpy KV’s are nice, but they do have some issues between kits. The 4BO Green website helps you sort all these out. No big problems with this kit.
The KV-5 was a paper panzer. I saw a Takom kit built up at AMPS years ago and thought it was cool looking. Once Trumpeter came out with a version, I picked it up. I swapped the idler from this kit with the Tamiya kit. The drive spocket in this kit was smaller too, so the Tamiya idler looked balanced on this kit. See, it pays to have a big stash! A camo job to break up the monster a little.
From one monster to another. This is the Takom SMK heavy tank. It didn’t have a long service life, so kept weathering muted. The fit of the kit was nice. I like Takom kits in general. I did use some RB Models barrels.
So that wrapped up the Russian front production for the year. It was fun, but it was time to move on to other areas. Part two to follow. The RFM kit is my new favorite T-34/85. Inexpensive, simple, nice fit and detail. What’s not to like. I hope they crank out more variants. Based on extra parts on the sprues, I expect a 1960’s remanufacture and/or a Polish production vehicle. One note on my building method. I construct kits all winter long, then in the spring, once it warms up here in Michigan , I break out the airbrush and start painting outside. Then weather, detail, etc through the summer. Kind of production line steps. Usually have everything completed by December, that’s the goal anyway. Then start over again. I find I finish more kits this way, which I need to do to justify the stash.