Monday, 14 January 2013

T34/85 Medium tank, Warlord Games

"Arguably the best tank of World War II, the T34/85 with its new turret and upgraded weaponry added to the sloped armour, saw extensive action during World War II and long afterwards. This iconic Soviet tank performed well in Korean and Vietnam wars as well as the battles in the Middle-East and even the Bosnian war of the 1980's."
 
Well that's what it says on the box anyway. It was definitely the best medium Soviet tank of the war. This 28mm WWII Soviet medium tank is available from Warlord Games (currently £20) with which I plan to use to smash my mate Ade's forces into smithereens when we play Bolt Action games (this is a vain attempt at psychological warfare as Ade is a far better player than me).

The main body and turret of the tank are resin with the tracks, barrel and commander/hatch in metal. The kit comes with various different commander figure options including just the hatch which can be modelled closed which is a nice touch but the scale of games I intend to play are limited to only one tank by the Bolt Action rules.
 

I had a couple of issues with the model itself, but nothing I couldn't fix. Fortunately the metal tracks are designed with handed locating pins which ensures that you can't fix the tracks on backwards. Unfortunately with this particular model the resin body appears to have warped slightly which meant I had to carve away some of the resin body to make the tracks fit. This still left a gap which ran the length of the tracks but I used greenstuff to fill the gap and to act as a glue as the contact wasn't good enough for the superglue to work properly.

 
The hole in the turret for the barrel was also slightly too large so I used some more greenstuff to fix this in place.

The tank was completely painted with Russian Green (Vallejo 894) then given various washes of green, brown and black ink. A highlight was then also applied. The slogan was painted on freehand.
 

I could have left the model in the factory fresh state but it was at this point I went to work on it with weathering powders. In this case I used MIG weathering products (there's also new sets available from Humbrol). I had bought these years ago, put them into a drawer and promptly forget all about them so this is the first time I've ever actually used these products in anger. So far I've been impressed by the results.

If you've never used these before they are really simple to apply. Put a small amount of the powder into a suitable dish/plastic container, add a little thinners or white spirit/turps and then brush the mix on to the model. Then leave to dry. It really is as simple as that.

For this I was testing the following MIG pigments:
Rubbel(sic) Dust P234
Industrial City Dirt P039
Brick Dust P023
Standard Rust P025
 

The white spirit evaporates leaving the powder in place. If you don't like it you can either wipe it away using a cotton bud (cotton swabs/Q-tips for our American cousins) dipped in white spirit/turps or you can just rub it off. However there is a chance you'll remove the base paint but it's easy to touch up with original colour. Building up various layers helps with the overall look. Once you get more confident you can even flick the mixture onto the model to give even more realistic results.