I’ve recently gotten the urge to build a T-34/85 for the first time and need help on what kit to purchase. I would prefer the ones seen in Berlin 1945 possibly w/ the bed spring armor. I was looking at the Dragon #6266 or Rye Field Model #5083 w/ PE set they make if doing the bed spring armor and the MiniArt kit(possibly full interior) if doing just a standard late war. I plan to build out of the box and just want a simple straight forward build so I can focus more on the weathering but still want a decent level of detail. Any and all feedback is welcome as I’m completely out of my element on this subject and with building MiniArt or Rye Field Model kits. Thanks
Bryan, as with any Best Kit question, ask four people and you’re going to get ten different options & opinions
I’ll share my experience and ten cents worth.
Tamiya T-34-85 from the 1980’s is the easiest build. It’s also the most lacking in out of the box details. With aftermarket tracks, it could look pretty good. I’ve built several but it’s not a kit most folks would be happy with these days as it shows it’s age.
Dragon T-34-85 from the 1990’s. Many folks love this kit but after buying four and building two of them, I think this kit sucks. It’s OK, the details are soft and rounded as it lacks crisp molding. All four of my kits had about 12 sink marks in the outside face of each wheel. What’s a ~120 sink marks to fix between froends? Replacement wheel set was required and an added expense. This is an old kit from the later 1990’s and shows its age in my opinion with with Dragon tossing in photo-etch to tart up the old dog. The sink mark issues with my kits should be fixed in new kits…maybe. Luck of the drawn and depends on when the kit was popped.
Your mileage may vary.
AFV Club T-34-85 In general I’ve heard its a good kit. However, never built or purchased this one as the AFV Club’s take on the T-34 wasn’t of interest to me.
Ryefield Model’s T-34-85. They have several etc. While the parts do require careful clean up and kit tracks sort of suck being link & length style, this is a fantastic kit in my experience. Near perfect fit, easy to build IF the parts are carefully deburred and cleaned. Lots of options. State of the art crisp sharp molding and reasonable price. The kit is qell engineered and made an RFM fan out of me.
I was so impressed after building one, bought three more. Two were given away as presents to model building friends. One’s in the stash.
That’s my take. Many others will have other equally reasoned opinions.
Good luck on your T-34-85 quest!
Any of the Miniart offerings are great
Andy’s Hobby Headquarters currently has the Meng T34/85 Upgrade Set on sate for $12.95 US.
I built the Tamiya kit Wade mentioned. Easy, simple, soft on Details; but it’s a nice kit once completed.
With those as your requirement, RFM is the way to go. Miniart kit while nice, imho like many Miniart kits is well detailed which while that gives it high marks in that category, that also means it scores lower on the simple build category. I think the Academy/Airfix reboxing has the potential as next level option as on the level with Tamiya but the scores are a little higher in both categories.
Even when adding in the extra pe set for the bed spring for the RFM, many times Academy costs a little more.
HTH and look forward to seeing the results.
I build a few T34.
Border is still in the Box, so no quote
Dragon was long time a good thing to build, as newer the kits get, as simpler it gets with the parts. And misseng etch parts.
AFV is my favorit, old but with full interior
Miniart, a pain to build, with many little pieces and for me over complicated.
RFM ( I have the 5030), nice clean build, I really liked it.
ICM, hmm i bought it looked in the box and sold it again
So this is my 2 cents of knowledge
Now that’s a kit review! Instant classic!
RFM is becoming the go to manufacturer if you are looking for the compromise between detail, fit and not excessive number of Parts. Miniart is the king of the little parts and detail
@Vladyslav did a very thorough review and build of the Ryefield T-34/85 Model 1944 Factory 174 kit that you should really read. He does a very detailed build; from assembly to painting to weathering. I highly recommend it.
Just be very careful of tanks with “bedspring” armor. Some are misidentified as factory 183 as the k-23x tanks but are instead 112 with a rare turret type not available in plastic (see discussion T-34-85 with Bed Spring). but some are clearly 183 https://vn-parabellum.narod.ru/picturres/t-34_apron-4.jpg (I guess with a big cupola).
I would go for -5083, 5040, or even 5059 (if you are comfortable to paint markings by hand) if you want Berlin. 5083 depicts a very late model more relevant for Manchuria.
For Berlin, Miniart 35306 seems the one to go for.
Has anyone built the newish Zvezda T-34/85? I’ve built one of the /76s and am building another. Easy builds. But I haven’t built the /85 from them.
RFM all day for a “proper” build but without the brittle plastic and stupid parts count of the Miniarts.
Tamiya more of a weekend build, depends what you want I guess.
I’m building the RFM at the moment and it is a really nice kit. You can’t really go wrong with Rye Field; they are great quality all rounders.
I agree with Chris; Tamiya is always a good choice for a quick build; RFM is best for solid model with great details.
Isn’t “sort of suck” a bit incongruent with the rest of your statement? It sounds like the kit tracks were likely excellent but just not your preferred construction style. Hard to really blame RFM for that when you could find plenty of people who would choose them over individual plastic, vinyls, workable plastic, or workable metal.
Just to clarify, there is no easy way to build this variant as it is factory 112 one for which you’ll need to modify a bit
also these kind of tracks from either PanzerArt or Chino
So what I said was that easier path would be to go for
Neither did I build it but I doubt is anything really bad about it. The only thing that seems off is the SU type tool box and the late/after war? type smoke barrels on the back plate.
Thank you everyone for your great feedback I’ve decided on the RFM kit
Bryan, I hope the RFM proves a fun and enjoyable build! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing the build.