The T-34 in 1/35th

T-34s saw combat service in the Balkan Wars of the 90’s. Unless there is some combat service of them some African war afterwards, that is likely the most recent combat service for the type.

While doing PT in the famed “Kabul Boneyard” which isn’t even in Kabul, a friend and I discovered a T-34/85. The engine cover was missing. I was standing on the flapper inlets trying to make them move when I noticed an anti-tank mine on the other end of it, Pretty much a daily occurence there in 2002. Our entire compound (KMTC) had “UXO” spray painted everywhere.
At any rate, we unassed the tank and contnued looking around. My friend, Major Rob Redding, later found two FT-17’s not far from there. I’ve heard that the T-34 may have been used into the mid to late 90’s in Afghanistan.
I photographed the one we found. Maybe I can find it.


For T-34 action in the 1990’s in the Balkans, Yves Debay did some fantastic work.

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Excellent if you can find a copy.

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Has a Croatian T-34/85 w/a .50 Cal M2 if I recall correctly.


The Croatians cobbled a lot of stuff into their T-34s to make them battle ready, American M2 Brownings, T-54 roadwheels, Rubber matting… You name it.

T-34-85 in Yugoslav Service - Tank Encyclopedia (


You will have many kits to build but there are (with the exception of the 8 piece casting block one, but available in resin) all the 85 variants in new Zvezda, RFM and Miniart on the market. For the Small turret 76s dragon has the short barreled one and the early 41 from factory 183. They also have the 2 STZ variants. The 112 you can have the early one from dragon and late ones from border, dragon and AFV. For the hexagonal turrets you have decent once in the new Zvezda or maybe Academy, but the early hexagonal turret is only available in Resin and soft edge from Dragon or resin or sanding the hard edge one.

For reading check out T-34 Shock as it is describes what changes happened in which month and there is this blog T-34戦車大図鑑 The best reseach of T-34 with a lot of variants (well sometimes he is overconfident in the accuracy but collection is impressive)


“T-34 Mythical Weapon” is a terrific photo collection, but beware of the text, much of which is unreliable.

One strength of this book though is that it is very good on distinguishing various factory differences. There are more recent references that get a lot of that wrong; Mythical Weapon is strong on the factory variations bit.


“T-34 Shock” is extremely unreliable as a source.

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Thank you, Dan I appreciate the heads up. Any specific book you really like and recommend?

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They have fought in Yemen.

One photo illustrated a T-34-85 in what can only be German World War II-inspired three-color camo.


Like this?

Or this?


He’s so going to need a bigger leash for that!


You can literally see the hole on the side of the turret for the pull cord on both photos.

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First photo. But it was a T-34 in a street and the colors were more pronounced.

Of course, that’s a lot of dust there too…

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Found it!



Has to be the tank. The photo I saw was of the port side.

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Care to elaborate? Especially how are the technical drawings and description of the T-34 batches unreliable? A few examples maybe?

Well, with Mythical beast I myself know that on page 102 they mislabeled a 174 tank as a 183. The same is present at page 102 when they mislabeled a 174 rebuilt tank of 112 origin with a pure 112. And they keep labeling that cast turret on 112 as the112 turret but it was not produce at Gorky and it was also used at 174, albeit with different pistol port configuration, different grab handles, recoil mechanism cover, periscope, etc. But they are not aware of these differences.

I assume you are asking about “T-34 Shock” but I am not 100% sure from your comment.

I think the fundamental flaw with ‘Shock’ is that it is based wholly on photo interpretation, and those photos are almost all German. There is no research based on factory records and frankly nothing at all based on Russian/soviet sources. So the authors make a lot of mistakes because that’s their start point; neither reads Russian, and neither engaged a russian-speaking assistant to correct that problem.

I am certainly not the first person to point this out. The book has been around for a few years, and while I commend the effort and enthusiasm, the research has dozens of obvious and fundamental errors.

On the positive side, it has a nice photo collection, and most of the photos are previously unpublished. Just ignore the text.

“T-34 Mythical Weapon” is both better and worse. I think it is far better on identifying variants. It has other big problems but I think fundamentally it gets the variants correct. It is a much bigger book with far more photos.

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Specifically what are the list of “issues” with T-34 Mythical Weapon that makes it “worse” in some way?

I would also like to hear your thoughts on The T-34 is not as good as you think it is - It actually sucks by Lazer Pig.


He was talking about the book.

As a modeler I am not particularly interested in text. But I would not say that the technical drawings in Mythical Weapon are more accurate. Take for example the summer 1942 STZ built drawing from page 450 and you could play a game of Where’s Waldo with the tank recovered from the Don River T-34-76 STZ, 1942, PatriotPark. TAJ Walkarounds. (well the tank was recovered some 10 years after the book was published)
And the other flat 76 turret diagrams are better in Shock.(at least in general shape). Same goes for the early Hexagonal turret.

So again, could you please provide a link with concrete examples of vehicles being misidentified in Shock?