Following on from their earlier Modelling Manual on the T-34, which had its good and bad points, Osprey Publications have produced an entirely new publication, covering some of the wide variety of 76mm-gunned versions of the T-34. Hopefully there will be a companion volume on the -85 to follow. Unlike the other volumes in the Osprey Modelling series I have read, this one is by multiple authors.
Following a short introduction, the main content of the book consists of four build articles, each by a well-known modeller. All are based on the newer Dragon models and are classed as advanced level with photo etch, resin and other after-market enhancements. Mike Kirchoff’s build also includes a high level of scratch-building in recreating the interior of ‘Sniper’, a model which has featured on Armorama.
The build articles cover 17-19 pages each and are a sensible balance of text and photographs. Photographs are well-chosen and printed at a reasonable size, no more than six to a page, in the format common to this series. Some topics, such as soldering photo etch, appear in more than one article; sensibly Osprey have covered it in detail only once, avoiding repetition and allowing more ground to be covered. Branded products have been used and feature in the photographs, this is not a problem as the articles are, above all, a personal reflection of the individual modeller’s approach. Each article has a detailed section on painting and finishing, illustrating the wide variety of techniques used – there’s no dogma about the right way to finish a model here.
The diversity of approaches used is, for me, one of the most interesting features of the book; each author takes a different approach to replicating the original tank in model form. Although the text is coy about the actual references used, they clearly range from scale drawings, through extensive photo sets (‘Sniper’), to inspiration from a handful of views (the two captured tanks). Two of the models feature the interlocked plates of tanks built by Factory 112, and each author tackles representing it in a different way. Painting and finishing also describe and illustrate a wide variety of techniques including washes, filters and chipping, and again no two models follow the same approach.
The Bibliography is brief and includes most of the more significant publications that have appeared in recent years, including T-34 Mityczna Bron, and the T-34 series by AJaCKS, as well as Osprey’s own works. One omission that does stand out is the absence of any mention of web-based resources; this is a real shame as material on Sniper and the two captured tanks can be found relatively easily on the net. The kits and accessories section lists only kits, with only a brief mention of aftermarket offerings. Finally, unlike the earlier Modelling Manual, there are no scale drawings or photographs of preserved T-34s.
Osprey have atoned for the somewhat uneven Modelling Manual with another fine work. I would have liked to see some F-11 gunned tanks and a multi-tone scheme to offset the 4BO with or without whitewash here, but that’s only a minor quibble, what we have here is more than worthwhile. Something to inspire anyone interested in modelling the T-34, and I look forward to a volume on the T-34-85
185mm x 249mm
Colour photographs throughout
T-34/76, Factory 112, 1942 – Jorge Alvear
Early T-34/76 Model 1943 'Sniper' – Mike Kirchoff
STZ T-34/76, Italian Army – Adam Wilder
German T-34/76 747(r)-3, Western Front, 1944 – Mig Jimenez
Bibliography and further reading
Kits and accessories
Recommended. The latest in the consistently interesting Osprey Modelling series is a compilation of four articles by well-known modellers tackling a range of T-34-76 variants, including one recovered from a swamp after nearly 60 years. Coverage isn’t limited to Red Army tanks either, with a colourful Italian-owned tank and a beute T-34 with improvised schurtzen.
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About David Maynard (Drader) FROM: WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
From south Wales originally, I became an archaeologist by chance and have continued being one for about 20 years. Which is a lot of mud shifted. The nursing home where I was born is now part of the Celtic Manor and, by a nice bit of irony, I did the archaeology for several of their golf courses. I h...