The T-34/85 was designed as an upgraded T-34/76 fitted with a slightly redesigned hull, a larger turret, and extra crew man, and a much larger gun than issued T-34/76. The T-34/85's production started in February 1944, and the tank is still in service to the present day in some parts of the world.
The T-34 is the second most mass produced tank in history, by mid 1944 1200 were being built each month, in comparison around 1150 Tigers were produced in the entire war...
T34/85's served on the Eastern Front and in the Manchurian campaign during the second world war, Korea, Vietnam, The 6 Day War, Angola, Bosnia and Yemen.
Rubicon have recently(In geographical terms), released a follow up kit of their T-34/76, the T-34/85. This kit is comes in their familiar dark grey plastic, and allows you to build either the initial production version, or the main 1944 production variant.
Rubicon have provided cylindrical fuel cells, and also the optional cells for the rear of the hull as well. Also included is a flame thrower to make the OT/34 flame thrower variant.
No crew is included, however there are a few extra track links for stowage, though no other stowage is provided.
The set does include a T-34/76 turret, however this is designed for the T-34/76 kit, and the /85 turret ring is too big for this, and the 76 turret floats around and shows a bit of a gap in places looking into the hull. What I'd like to have seen is either a different design to the upper hull so that both turrets could be used on this hull as well, to get more milage from the model. Alternatively, instead of providing a 76 turret a crew man or some extra stowage would have been very welcome too.
The kit goes together very well, and fits very neatly. My only gripe is the tracks are devoid of detail other than a vague tread pattern, which resembles the 1940 pattern vehicles links. Whilst the one part wheels and tracks Rubicon do is very simple, I think I'd prefer the parts to be separate as in Warlords kits, especially their latest Panzer III as having each set of tracks in 4 parts means you get perfect detail, and is still simple to construct.
I painted the model with Vallejo's 4BO colour modulation set, and I'll do a full review of this paint set in the next week or so once I've tested it a bit more.
On the whole though this is a very nice kit, and simple to add to your Soviet forces, and retails at around £20
As ever you can see more of my work at Volley Fire Painting and you can find Rubicons kits through their local distributers list on their website