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Pzkpfw 747r / T-34 "Recycling"

built by Maximilian Frömter (1:35)


During the Second World, hundreds of captured T-34’s were used by German forces on almost all fronts. This tank possessed good armor and maneuverability and was therefore a desirable war prize. The construction was rugged and during the early phases of World War II the tanks reputation was legendary.

Although it was superior to early German tanks in many areas it did have a few shortcomings. Radio equipment and good targeting optics were lacking. The tank was short a gunner-loader and the visibility from the commanders cupola was terrible. That is why these vehicles were brought up to German standards in special workshops. For instance surplus Panzer IV cupolas, Notek lights and German radio equipment were installed. All problem areas could not be corrected and that is why they were not used as first line combat tanks but rather as a second line tank hunter. Friendly fire also had to be taken into consideration. My vignette represents such a vehicle in action with an unspecified SS-unit somewhere on the Eastern Front during 1944.

Captured T-34’s in smaller numbers could be found on the Western Front as well as in the Balkans and this vignette could be representative of any front. The model I have used is really a recycling project. I was able to get this kit from a friend at the end of the eighties whose intention was to dispose of it once and for all. The tank was in a terrible state, since my friend had the intention to model a knocked out vehicle. He had put numerous holes into model with an air rifle. Turret and hull had some large holes. The plastic around the holes had splintered and broken in some places. The whole model was covered with a rust color. Overall the parts were all there and the appearance was acceptable. Since I was a student at that time and my budget was limited and money for new kits was out of the question, I decided to rehabilitate the model and build the tank as a German war prize. At home I sanded off the top layer of paint only to discover more layers beneath…

I could only speculate about the age of the kit. I closed up all the holes with old Tamyia figure bases (who can still remember them?). I created welding joints out of Plasto. It was painted it a sand yellow Revell base color. Then I stored it for 15 years in a cellar trunk During the period of re-discovery of the hobby, I stumbled upon the hidden treasures of my aforementioned trunk and decided to abuse the model to experiment with new painting and weathering techniques. Over the years a few critical small parts had gone missing. A few of the parts of the suspension could be replaced with some from another T-34 kit I owned.
The missing right turret hatch presented a different problem however. Luckily I found a conversion kit by MIG in a hobby shop that not only supplied the turret hatch, but a German commander’s cupola with interior detail, a Notek light, stowage boxes and additional fuel tanks. A little pricey but exactly what I needed. I then super detailed the exhaust fans and the headlight. I did not want to build a specific vehicle but approximated one that had been converted in a typical front workshop. A few ideas came from a series of photos. I added a "Rommelkiste" to the turret, exchanged a wheel for an earlier vintage (mine explosion replacement). I used unusual black cross marking and the camouflage was applied with an airbrush using Revell and Humbrol colors. This was followed with a dark brown wash, paint scratches and a coating with pigments.

The figures: The commander is a Dragon figure; the machine gunners are from Verlinden. They are a little large which is typical for Verlinden but they do not spoil the overall effect. The figures are painted with Humbrol enamels. The rank insignia are from Verlinden since the eyesight I had when I was younger seems to have disappeared. In those days I would have painted the tiny insignias free hand. The figures were improved by adding a headset, radio cables and rifle straps. The base groundwork of the vignette was done with Moltofill. This material is not really ideal since it crumbles very easily. It was painted with liquefied pigments and finished with a diverse assortment of artificial grass.

Panzerkampfwagen 747r / T-34 "Recycling" (1:35)

  Model built by Maximilian Frömter, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
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With this project I wanted to demonstrate that ancient kits need not be tossed away and can be turned into an acceptable model. It cannot be compared with the exacting standards of today’s model kits but I am very happy with the end result considering the age and condition of the original model. This is of course nonsense if one takes the financial aspects into consideration. The price of the conversion kit and the figures would have bought two new T-34’s from Dragon. My philosophy however is that what one starts should also be finished, even if it takes decades. I was crazy enough recently to finish an old and sparsely detailed Centurion kit, which I had received during my school days, with Friul tracks. In the final analysis, I thought it was worth it. Whoever wants to get rid of his old hand painted and target practice abused "armor toys" should contact me before said model ends up in the trash. ;-)
  meet the modeler      

Maximilian Frömter

  I was born in Landshut (Lower Bavaria, Germany) in 1972 and was infected by my father’s passion for modeling from an early age. After school and a stint in the army was over my studies and career took priority. The computer also took center stage as far as my interests were concerned. I work as a digital artist in the video gaming industry and produce 3-D vehicles and other objects. This then has some similarities to my hobby. During 2005, after a ten year absence, I returned to “reality” modeling since working in front of the computer monitor was getting a bit tiresome.

I was amazed how the Hobby had changed during that decade. I mainly build military vehicles, figures and dioramas in 1/35 scale. Occasionally I will build an aircraft or science fiction model. I try to build the unusual and concentrate on captured vehicles, conversions or vehicles used by lesser military powers. For now I build old Tamyia kits that I have collected over the years based on priorities. Now and then I cannot resist adding a new kit to my collection. At this time I live in Vienna and hope that this will continue since I feel very much at home here.
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This page:  GALLERY: Pzkpfw 747r / T-34 "Recycling" (1:35) - built by Maximilian Frömter
was last modified on: Feb 04, 2007
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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