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Louis Gardner
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1/35 Dragon/DML T-34 85 Korean War NKPA

November 5, 2016 · in Armor · · 15 · 3.3K

Here tonight is another set of photos and a small article for your enjoyment. It was inspired by an artists rendition shown in the second photo.

My Dad was a Korean War combat veteran. He severed with the 6th Medium Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry, (and later other units as well). He crewed M-4 Sherman's and the M-26 / M-46 series of tanks while over there. He was also one of the US Army's "Frozen Chosen" that served alongside with the US Marines at the Chosin Reservoir, since he carried both an Armor and an Infantry MOS. He said he would rather be a "grunt", since they didn't shoot at you as much... Not many people know that the US Army played a part protecting the USMC's right flank at the Battle of Chosin. Mostly you read and watch TV shows showing what the USMC did there. God bless all of them...

I built this and a M-26 Pershing for him. He kept them proudly displayed in his home for a few years. After he died I took the models back.

He never spoke of his experiences until late in life. Then during his last few weeks he opened up to me about some of his horrific experiences. I know that some of us build our models to replicate historically accurate events. But we also must keep in mind that these events also had a human side to them.

All sides suffered. War is hell, and freedom isn't free. "That's all I'm going to say about that." to quote Forrest Gump.

Anyhow, this is the / kit. I built it pretty much out of the box. However, I did use a MV lens for the single headlight, and "Woodland Scenics" fine leaf foliage for camouflage.

The model was air brushed in Model Master "Soviet Armor Green", then dirtied up using chalks.

This kit goes together well, but be prepared to spend some time with it building the tracks. They are individual links, which in my opinion are the only way to go. This allows the builder to replicate the track sag as desired. It would be nice for manufacturers to include the one piece option for tracks in their kits too, since not everyone likes individual links like me.

There are some very small parts in this kit, so be prepared to break out the tweezers...but once it's finished you will have a very detailed and great looking kit.

My Dad told me that I did a good job on this one... You be the judge. If someone can translate what the message is on the wooden beam across the front slope I would appreciate that. You can send me a private message if need be.

Thanks !
As always, comments are welcomed.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

19 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Great piece of armor, Louis...nice work!

  2. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice model Louis, seeing this one makes me realize ... too this date, I never built a T-34 nor have one ... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ?

  3. Louis, Good looking tank, and a personal salute to your dad from me !.
    I've noticed that a lot of vets that wouldn't talk about their combat experiences, would as they got later on in life. You can speculate for yourself why, I'm thankful for every minute I spent with my father and grateful for him sharing so much of his experience with me.

    • I thank you Sir. I agree about combat vets. It's hard to get them to open up. Sometimes its best to let sleeping dogs lie... When I could sense pain from my dad I would stop and change the subject. Other times I felt like he just wanted to get some things off his chest that he had carried for years.

  4. Louis, your armor builds have all a very high standart and this one is awesome like the others.
    The "sack" of the tracks looks right, single track links are the only way to go for result like that.
    One thing i really like are the dents in the fuel tanks, very nice !

  5. Another great job sir, all these armor builds might be getting me interested.
    Interesting back ground info. And peaceful salute to your Dad.

  6. What a fantastic build Louis!

    Seems you and Bernard are vying for the title of 'most posted pics of armour' this weekend!

  7. I just took a photo of the Korean writing on the wood at the front. I'll stop by a Korean BBQ joint when I go to the VA this week and post the translation here.

    • Today I was filmed by a Korean TV crew and when I showed them the picture they said, "Um...this is a not nice thing about Americans."
      I told them that that was what I assumed because it was from North Korea and she reluctantly told me:
      "American Dogs Go Away From Korea"

  8. Thanks for finding out what the writing is on the wood going across the front slope of the T-34.

    It all makes perfect sense now ... I sincerely appreciate the efforts you made to find out what it said.

    Thanks my friend.

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