…or, All You Wanted To Know About T-34-85 Turrets But Didn’t Know To Ask?

by Stephen Brezinski


The T-34 chassis had a number of upgrades and simplifications throughout its production run, but the turrets and wheels showed the greatest amount of obvious variety. The tank proved to be an amazingly efficient machine and, fortunately for the USSR in the 1940’s, was capable of upgrading as times and needs changed. This article will primarily be about the diversity in T-34-85 turret features and what these particular turret features mean to a modeler. In researching this story on the T-34, I looked at the most recent writings I could get hold of, as well as older, pre-glasnost information, some of which is, with no surprise, conflicting information. Part 1 I hope will be of interest to all modelers of all scales. Parts 2 and 3 cover only 1/72 turrets and detail sets.

The wheels and chassis of 1/72 T-34’s are covered well in Doug Chaltry’s review: Modeling The T34. Doug discusses the ESCI and Eastern Express T-34-76 chassis & turrets and delves into the AER T-34-85 hull & suspension. Resin turret conversions/upgrades are currently offered by LEVA Productions, Armo Models, and Al By.

As they say in American baseball, "You can’t tell the players without a program", and I hope that this article turns out to be a good "Program" of the T-34-85 in 1/72. With regret I cannot include 1/76, 1/48, 1/87 or 1/35 scale T-34-85 kits within the scope of this article. As more 1/72 variants are offered in the future I hope to update this article. For some people, getting a new after-market turret will mean an upgrade to a better one; for some it will mean a new variant for their collection. All the aftermarket turrets described in this article can be used with the ESCI, AER, Revell and Eastern Express 1/72 scale T-34 kits (with a little minor modifying at times).

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