Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Review - Warlord Games T34/76 Platoon

I recently picked up a box of Warlord Games T34/76 Platoon in polystyrene - 'hard' plastic.

What you get in the box are kits to build three T34 models. You get a choice of three different turret types classed according to year of build. The Soviet Union had a policy of evolutionary upgrade rather than revolution in tank design to keep the production lines flowing. The USA had a similar philosophy with Sherman and light tanks - and the wisdom of this approach is supported by considering who won.

Also in the box were three tank commanders, eight infantry, and three sheets of tank decals.

The tanks proved to be very easy to assemble, 'chunky' fast-build models. For example, the track/wheels are a single unit. There is very little in the way of tiny detail that is not modelled-on. This makes the kits ideal for wargaming models because they are quick and easy to assemble and the finished model is very robust to handling and being transported around in the boot of a car. On the downside, they are not great display models - which suits me as I'm a wargamer. Modellers should look more to Tamiya or similar.

I chose to build three identical tanks from the middle period of the T34/76 production - sounds a bit like an archaeologist describing pots - to simulate the great tank battles of 1943. This is the period when the  Soviet and German were perhaps most evenly matched.

My tanks are 'Guards' with appropriate slogans on the turret, not that I have a clue what they say. I chose to use only one tank commander to indicate an HQ vehicle. Soviet doctrine at this point was for the commanders to remain inside the tank in combat.

I chose to make some extra specialist troops with four of the infantry models, a sniper team, and an anti-tank rifle team. The Soviets used huge numbers of AT Rifles in '43. They didn't kill tanks but they wore them down with damage to the running gear.

I built the remaining four figures as part of an assault team with grenades, SMGs (stick and drum magazines) and an LMG.

I also own a Warlord resin T34 and the tank hulls are not quite to the same scale - something people should consider when they get wound up about which tank scale to use with 28mm infantry.

And the great thing for a scratch-builder is that you get lots of lovely spare bits. I put one of the tank commanders in my BA10 armoured car model. The early model turrets will make great German bunker turrets and generally  will be fodder for VBCW stuff.

The gun barrels are from the extra stuff in Plastic Soldier's Soviet anti-tank gun kits. You get two guns for £15 with six gun barrels - four spare in every box.

I heartily recommend  Warlord's box of goodies: at £50 it is a great buy.


  1. I find it strange that a company cannot maintain constancy in scale.

    Other than that they do look alright but have no use for them at present. But I do wish you well with your own endeavours with them.

    1. It has always truly baffled me that "stuff that existed" cannot be recreated in 3d with the expected exact proportions, based on a certain scale 1/56 or whatever.

      And this is considering the shrinkages and variations in size caused by molds etc.

    2. The scale issues arise because different methods, and different suppliers, are used for different materials.

    3. Guillermo, its because 28mm is a size not a scale. What that relates to in scale terms can be anything from 1:60 to 1:48, with 1:50 and 1:56 being popular stopping points. Wargame models are not traditionally 'to scale' for artistic and practical reasons. If you blow a 28mm soldier up to 5' 10'', say, you would get a very odd looking human being.

  2. The scale doesn't matter that much to me as long as they look close enough when a soldier is placed next to them. I didn't realise that infantry were included in this set - a shame that they aren't strictly "Tank riders" though and instead just regular Soviet infantry models.
    Still, for the price, this boxed set looks like a great deal. Should our Bolt Action games ever grow large enough I'd snap it up in short notice.

    1. I am easy about scale. As you say, as long as it looks OK it is OK.