T-34/85 Photoetch Set

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Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Tamiya Russian Medium Tank T-34-85 (Kit No. 32599)
Company: Hauler - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hauler Brengun

Hauler continues expanding its impressive 1/48 PE catalog. This set is a new tool for Tamiya’s 2021 Russian Medium Tank T-34-85 kit and comes on three frets (A: 2”x2.75” (fenders), B: 2” x 2.75” (boxes, buckles, tie downs, etc), and C: 1.125” x 2” (grills).

Hauler is well known for its detail and this set does not disappoint. This set is designed to give the 1/48 Tamiya T-34/85 scale thickness details and take the plastic kit to the next level. None of the parts are solely for the T-34/85, it could also work for the earlier T-34/76 and any other T-34 variants.

The photos show the scope and detail of the PE included. Fret A replaces the kit fenders to scale thickness, and this is worth the price alone, plus the PE bends are easy, have positive attachment points and really look the part when installed. Fret B has the bulk of the details with four toolboxes (two are used; one large and one smaller, each with padlocks), straps for the fuel drums (along with fuel caps), straps for stowage, driver vision ports, hatch handles, tie-down points, a saw, and other accoutrements. Fret C are the engine intake and exhaust grills. There are a lot of very tiny pieces on Fret B that will require great eyesight (or optivisor, magnifying glass, etc) and tweezers. Even with all precautions taken (I cut the PE on double-sided tape affixed to a glass tile), several PE details were launched into space to be consumed by the Carpet Monster. Fortunately, Hauler foresaw this eventuality and has spares.

As some of the instructions are vague, the website was referenced to interpret the instruction booklet. One thing that I could not decipher is the use of the six starboard side tie-downs. Referencing both the website and Tamiya instructions provided the answer that they were the rarely used ice cleat stowage.

As mentioned in previous reviews, one of the best aspects of PE is that it can be “damaged” and/or have manufacturing deficiencies built into it; something that is much harder to do in other mediums.

Some of the bends are easy 90o angles, while others are complex and require studious examination of the instructions. With some of the bends and small pieces, this PE set is recommended for intermediate to advanced modelers; beginners will be very challenged and most likely be turned off to PE.

For those looking for that extra detail for your 1/48 T-34 tank, this set is for you.

Profuse thanks to Hauler and Brengun and IPMS/USA for providing the review sample.


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