Today I am taking a closer look at Plastic Soldier Company's 15mm T-34 set. Released in 2010, this was one of the first PSC releases.
...mostly to contrast the review of their IS-2 kit, one of their 2014 releases.
This already shows of course that these people do have a sense for business. Right after every single "late war" German tank there is a T-34 kit has to be the next on the list in terms of popularity amongst wargamers. According to their website it's their best selling kit too.
Since I got all the historical bits out of the way in my plastic 28mm T-34 review let's crack right on to the box art.
The front of the box shows some nice and proper artwork, which is something I always appreciate. The box art also shows the option of building either T-34/76 or the later T-34/85. Since the hull was essentially unchanged between these two versions the T-34 of course is predesined to come in such dual packs.
There is a little seal on the box, saying "finest quality assured". Of course one is to be suspicious if a company has to put that on a box but we shall see.
The back gives us the assembly instructions for one tank and a little colour guide. Very functional, very to the point. I do like that.
In the box we find five single sprues with a full tank on each.
When I saw the parts I was immediately reminded of Warlord's 28mm T-34 which essentially had the same parts, especially the way the tracks are designed. Lateron I did a count and Warlord's kit only has something like three more parts (not counting the two turret options PSC gives us). Speaking of which - yup, the box did not lie: There are two turrets in there for each tank and they are interchangeable, depending on what you want to field, for additional flexibility.
On the sprue you also find a tank commander pointing somewhere. The pointing arm is an extra piece so you can convert him to just lean on top of the turret hatch without much effort.
Again, the lack of any decal sheets is a little surprising. See the IS-2 review for my thoughts on the decals sold seperately by the PSC.
Assembly is a breeze. Still I did not succumb to putting it all together immediately but left the tracks off the models for painting and also didn't glue the top and bottom halves of the chassis together either.
The picture shows two built tanks, both with the T-34/76 turret. I had left the tracks off then for ease of painitng. The detailing on the models is absolutely sufficient. Amusingly enough there is about the same amount of details to be found on these as on Warlord's 28mm version. Well, almost. Still, it's all there. When gluing on the extra fuel tanks make sure they dont sit too high, otherwise you won't be able to turn the turret.
As the client I painted these tanks for only required the T-34/76 turrets I only built one 85mm turret for review purposes. As I still had my 28mm T-34 within reach I couldn't resist doing this:
Cute, isn't it? 28mm version in the front, 15mm version in the back.
Speaking of sizes, the measurements of these model are spot on. Except for the width on which the model seems to be 2mm short. Shenannigans aside, here are the full five vehicles you can build from one box, all as the 76mm version:
The decals with a mottoes are also being sold by the Plastic Soldier Company. Incidentally they are made by the same company who do the decals for Battlefront. The PSC decal sheet packs definitely are not cheap but you do get four or five small sheets for the price. For my tastes there are a little too few slogans which may start to look a bit weird for hand-written and thus individual slogans across a very big army with lots of tanks but as long as they're being varied between sides of tanks and types of tanks it's alright.
I also snuck in a second tank commander from a IS-2 box from PSC.
All said and done I could not find anything wrong with this box. Five tanks at about GBP20.00 retail price, turret options, a tank commander figure. There is no stowage to speak of, except for a piece of tank tracks for additional armour. A towing cable is cast onto the hull.
Very affordable, no fanciful extras about the models. As we all know a T-34 only counts en masse so this set is a god sent to any WW2 gamer with a 15mm Soviet army who likes to play their games at company level and up. Or of course combat between tank platoons (perfectly possible with Chain of Command and other games) And they make a great base for people who like to do some "ultra detailing" or just add some stowage.