by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
When Bronco Models announced a new T34/85 the subject was not the aspect that caught the attention of the modeller, the aspect that did catch everyone's attention was the scale. Bronco Models has moved away from the standard 1/35th scale with this offering due to it being a 1/32nd scale offering, a scale that has not really been catered to for many years. So what has Bronco Models supplied us with here that will attract us to a scale that has become the scale for toy soldiers.
This offering from Bronco Models is packaged in the usual manner for the company. This means a cardboard tray with separate card lid. The card lid did get pushed in during transit despite being inside a second cardboard box; however no obvious damage has been caused to the contents that I can observe. Inside the contents are packed in separate plastic bags and these are all in good condition.
Taking a closer look at the contents reveals that everything looks very good to me as regards moulding, but there is a fly in the ointment in the form of the tracks where ejector pin marks which are the order of the day. There is a single piece of photo etch provided for the engine air intake. Also included are two sets of decals for model in the form of the standard waterslide offering and there is also a set of self adhesive decals. I believe this last aspect points us in the direction of the audience for this model, that of the younger or new modeller while still looking to cater for the older and more experienced modellers.
Bronco Models has a reputation for producing complex models with a very high parts count, but that is not the case with this offering. As while a good degree of detail is included in this product I feel it could easily be built in a weekend without breaking a sweat and so a very nice offering to attract your son, grandson or significant other into the hobby you enjoy. The self adhesive decals still point me in this direction more than anything else.
The lower hull is a single piece moulding with nice moulding detail present on the underside of the hull tub. The suspension swing arms are locked in place and have substantial contact points resulting in strong joints. The wheels with care can all be assembled while still being able to rotate. The detail present on the wheels is very nice and the equal of any other model I have seen.
Bronco Models has supplied link and length tracks with this model and this is an aspect I am not happy with due to every other link having an ejector pin mark on both sides of the link. The ground contact side of the links do have very nice detail present. This aspect of the model confuses me greatly; despite the ejector pin marks these tracks are better for the more serious modeller but they will make this a harder model for the potential or young modeller and so as such I feel that Bronco Models should have included rubber band tracks as well as the link and length offerings. Also as link and length has been included why provide the wheels where than can be rotated after assembly?
The upper hull of the model has a fairly good level of detail while keeping the parts count down. where cast elements are concerned there is a very nice texture present that I feel does provide a realistic scale appearance while remembering that it has to be more extreme due to the effect of scale. I am disappointed that Bronco Models opted to provide the drivers' hatch closed, but that is not the end of the world. I am pleased to see that Bronco Models has supplied features such as the horn and light, while I would have liked to see the light with a clear lens I do like that the cabling has been replicated.
Moving onto the turret and I am very pleased to see the cast texture of the turret replicated along with the smooth metal plate on the roof. A large amount of the exterior detail is moulded rather than supplied in separate parts and so making assembly easier. The detail provided is of a good standard and covers the details I looked for. I do not like that Bronco Models has again not provided the option of having the hatches open. A single piece slide moulded barrel has been provided and can be elevated and depressed as desired.
The decals provided for the model is what makes me believe that this model is an attempt by Bronco Models to appeal to young and new modellers; Something I must support. The decals provided being for a non specific vehicle and with the option of water slide or self adhesive really spells this out to me.
I look at this offering as having a target audience of the new and younger modeller, an entry level kit if you will, but there is the issue of the tracks which should also have had the option of rubber band tracks to meet what I see as the target audience. Detail overall is very good I feel despite the low parts count, in particular the cast metal offering in the needed areas of the model. The contents will allow a good model to be produced with the only weakness affecting this being all of those ejector pin marks on the tracks. I would have liked to have the option of open hatches, but I can live with that scenario. This model is worthy of consideration if trying to garner the interest of a child in your hobby as it will allow a quick build of a decent sized model.