With our plastic T34/76 due to start shipping out in the coming weeks, we thought it time to give you a little more insight into this workhorse of the Soviet forces…
The T-34 series, with its sloping armour, changed the principles of tank design during the Second World War. By sloping the armour, the Soviets effectively created a thicker armour facing – plus, as shells hit the angled surface, a larger proportion of them were deflected away – simply bouncing off of the great steel beast.
The introduction of the T-34’s innovative design saw German tank design soon follow suit – with similarly angled armour on the likes of the Panther and King Tiger. As German tank design came to the fore, the Soviet war machine once again raised the bar with the up-gunned T-34/85.
The main German tank of the era was the Panzer IV – and although the Panzer was arguably a more formidable feat of engineering, the sheer weight of numbers of T34/76s being produced, and their rugged and reliable design meant that the T34 proved a worthy opponent for the German tanks.
The T34’s stubborn refusal to die is the stuff of legend – even today, there are regular stories emerging of T34s being found at the bottom of lakes, entirely buried in mud, or having been stood as part of war memorials being brought back to life with a quick tinker-about the engine bay and a fresh top-up of oil…
The Soviet Union tended to field T-34/76s in platoons of three:
In Bolt Action
Overall thoughts: When writing Soviet Army lists there aren’t many more efficient uses for your points – with Medium Armour, the T34/76 has to stay wary of the ‘big cats’ – but its Heavy Anti-tank gun means it generally kills what it hits! Best target: Any Medium or (with a lucky dice roll!) Heavy armoured vehicle, to use its Medium Anti-tank gun to best effect. Most feared foe: Any Air attack – the Soviet forces struggle to bring Flak weapons to the table. Most memorable action: With a Damage Value of 9+ – the T34/76 was not the most heavily armoured of vehicles in the game, but during a Tank War game at Warlord HQ, I saw one square off against a King Tiger for 4 turns – slugging-away at each other, exchanging fire – the T34 eventually went down, having kept the big cat’s sights away from the rest of the Soviet forces – allowing them to secure the objective and win the game!
The plastic T-34/76 kit is nice and simple – much like the real thing! With three sprues (with all components numbered for reference against the included assembly guide,) an experienced modeller with have it fully assembled in just 5 minutes! (almost as quick as the Soviet factories were churning-out the real thing!). The standard kit can be built to represent three different variants – and with the addition of accessories found in the Armoury – such as Decals, Stowage, Soviet Tankers, Tank Riders, Oil Barrels, Jerry Cans, and much more – the kit provides loads of options to create unique, character-packed vehicles!
Article written by Sam Phillips