1/35 Border Models Russian T-34E with 'screened' armour
This is a kit I had plans of doing in a diorama but due to a couple of issues, I didn't bother.
The tank itself is quite different looking due to its extra 'screened' armour on the Hull, turret, as well as the skirting over the wheels. This was an experimental system factory installed on 46 T-34's and used in combat in 1943. Due to its extra weight (about an extra 3 tons!) and limited success in the field, it was ultimately unsuccessful and discontinued.
The kit comes with working suspension for each individual wheel that is very easy to put together, (so far so good). My plan to have it going over uneven ground was still looking good at this point. However the individual tracks is what shot me down, every other track would keep coming away and I just could not get them to work so even though I had excellent suspension, the tracks were just sucking the joy out of me and I gave up and just glued them with the wheels on a flat surface.
Once I got to the extra armour plating around the turret, and the issues that caused me, the fun was fully gone and I just wanted to get it finished. The fit of the extra armour plating supports was terrible and my knife was called into a lot of extra action just shaving the spacers between the turret and the extra armour down until it 'kind of fitted', it was very frustrating to say the least.
Overall Its come out OK, and the Miniart figures give it a bit of life, but it's far from my vision of having it travelling over the top of a German trench with attacking infantry alongside it. It almost feels like it was a waste when my whole reason for buying the kit was the working suspension and the possibilities that presented.
Having said all this, the rest of the kit went together well and the issues with the tracks were easy to hide behind the armoured skirting (as in there is no tracks along the top of the wheels) as I didn't see a need as you would never know they are not there to look at it, so why bother? Haha!
One bonus, it came in a wooden box, so that was pretty cool also.
For those of you not into armour, the last image shows the same tank with and without the extra armour fitted.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.