The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank and the mainstay of Soviet armored forces throughout WWII. Although its armor and armament were surpassed by later WWII tanks, it is credited as the war's most effective, efficient and influential design. T-34 was the most-produced tank of the war, and the second most-produced tank of all time, after its successor, the T-54/55 series. T-34 and its variants continued to serve in many different armies in post-WWII era and was deployed in many post-WWII conflicts.
T-34-85 mod. 1944 tank as a war memorial in Kursk, Russia.
Because of all this, the T-34 is a very attractive subject for modelling and many companies produced plastic kits in all the different scales, covering all the different tank variants. Aftermarket companies followed with the plethora of upgrades and conversions. DEF Model recently released two sets of 1/35 scale burnt wheels for T-34, catering to those interested in modeling a damaged/destroyed vehicle. This review deals with T-34/85 Burnt Roadwheel Set (1) - Plate Type (DW30064).
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box measuring 11 x 8 x 3 cm, with the image on the front of the box showing the contents of the set fitted to a T-34 hull.
The box contains 15 resin pieces secured in a single zip-lock bag.
Upon closer inspection, the pieces look really good. The details are well defined and nicely delivered in gray-greenish resin, with no casting imperfections that I could spot. The casting blocks are thin and should prove easy to remove using side cutters and some fine grade sandpaper.
The set includes 10 identical wheels and 5 wheel hubs, just enough to make complete wheels for one side of the burned vehicle. The set depicts dished wheel, a solid steel wheel with the characteristic bolt pattern.
After the tank is hit, the tire is often burned off the wheel leaving ashes powder residue and exposing the characteristic groove pattern on the wheel itself.
Destroyed T-34-85 in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution, 1956. Note the combination of plate and spider wheels on the vehicle. Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org
The wheels in this set provide a great representation of the burned T-34/85 dished steel wheel. The bolt pattern is well replicated with the bolt heads nicely defined.
The wheel hubs look really good and should provide a slightly different look to the vehicle with no hub caps attached.
Assembling the wheels is easy. Two wheels are fixed and the wheel hub attached to the center opening of the wheel. The image from DEF Model website could help: link.
The wheels are designed to fit any 1/35 scale T-34/85 model on the market. And yes, these wheels will probably fit any model with the possibility of having to adjust the size of hole or axle a little.
T-34/85 Burnt Roadwheel Set (1)- Plate Type (DW30064) from DEF Model delivers 5 complete burnt road wheels as an upgrade for 1/35 scale T-34/85 kits. Perfectly cast and with loads of nicely defined details, I can highly recommend these wheels for all those interested in modeling a damaged/destroyed vehicle.
Additionally, combining these wheels with the second set of burnt wheels from DEF Model (T-34/85 Burnt RoadwheelSet (2) - Spider Type (DW30065)) should provide a nice variation of different wheel variants on a model, often witnessed on real vehicles.
A T34/85 tank knocked out in Taejon, Korea, on 20 July 1950 stands at testimony to the heroic action of Major General William F. Dean, Commanding Officer, 24th Infantry Division. Korean War Signal Corps Collection.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.