The T-34/85 had a huge production run and I am wondering just how many MiniArt intend to cover. This release is packaged in the usual method of a cardboard tray, with a card lid. The contents inside packaged in a single plastic bag, with the photo etch protected by a card sleeve along with the decals. The clear parts are packaged in their own sleeve but within the main bag. An examination of the contents reveals good access for removal, no obvious moulding issues but as always with MiniArt there is the risk of damage to the finer moulding during removal.
The moulds used for this release are a mix and match for the kit range as a whole - that includes both interior and standard kits. Due to this the model is very detailed, but has some areas that may catch you out. The hull is made up of various flat panels but without an interior to support the various panels - it does mean that the modeller does need to take greater care with part placement. Assembly is aided via the inclusion of the firewall between the crew compartment and the engine bay. With the interior kits being the same moulds, you do have a considerable amount of detail both inside and out, which may or may not benefit you during assembly. The suspension arms are separate, but fixed in location for a vehicle sat on a flat level surface. One of my dislikes is that the pin that inserts into the wheel is a separate moulding from both the arm and the wheel, which I feel gives you a weak sport in the model.
Vents on the engine deck are very detailed, but the main vent at the rear being a two piece photo etch assembly would have benefited from a former. There are a number of small photo etched parts used in this release for clasps, clamps and supports which add a very nice level of detail - but that maybe beyond modellers who are not comfortable with photo etch. The towing cables have been provided with separate eyes with the modeller providing a cable of their own choice. The individual track links in this release I have found to be difficult to work with unless cleaned up to a very high standard, which is a pity as the detail, is good. The turret of the model has shims that need to be added on both sides, and some drilling to open holes needs to be done prior to this application. Unfortunately MiniArt has not provided a drill size for this procedure. The periscopes are provided in clear plastic, with the cupola and hatch detail being good inside and out. A small amount of interior detail is included in this release, which means that if the hatches are open there is something to see. I am also very pleased to see that the barrel is a single piece moulding, which I always feel is a benefit to the modeller.
The finishes for this release are as follows:
10th Tank Corps, Red Army, East Prussia, 1945
4th Guards Tank Corps, Red Army, Spring 1945
Captured in the service unknown German unit, East Prussia, Spring 1945
This release from MiniArt is another fine representation of a T34/85, but due to all the very specific identifiers of production T34s I have avoided that subject. The cast detail is reserved, but very nicely done, and if you have not had one of MiniArt’s T34s this will be a nice introduction. The tracks have nice detail but require careful clean up or they can be a pig to get together.