|Catalogue No.:||NC-3542, T-34/KV-1 barrel; NC-3544, T-26 barrel; NC-3568, T-34-85 (Maquette Kit) barrel|
|Review Type:||In Box|
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||Aluminium Gun Barrel|
|Price:||T-34/KV-1 barrel (US$6.95) T-26 barrel (US$6.95), T-34-85 (Maquette Kit) barrel (US$6.95)|
|Advantages:||Accurate, well-made barrels|
|Recommendation:||(Based on entire line) As an alternative to kit barrels for a wide variety of WW II and postwar armored vehicles|
F i r s t l o o k
Pity the plastic kit manufacturer who has to put a plastic gun barrel of a major weapon in his kits. They are either one piece, which means that they are solid and subject to sink marks and warping, two-part, which means seams and poor alignment, or multipart, which means alignment problems all around. Enter the after-market folks with turned aluminum, brass, or alloy barrels, which solve most of the problems in short order.
New Connections/Scratch Yard is a German company which has been around for a while, but these are the first examples of their products I have seen in person. The barrels are listed by kits, but should equate to specific weapons. The weapons are the F-34 76.2mm gun used in the 76mm T-34 models after 1940, the Model 1934 45mm barrel used in not only the T-26, but the BT series and the massive T-35, and the ZIS-S-53 gun used in the major production version of the T-34-85. All are dead on the money, and provide one thing which nearly all manufacturers have problems with: muzzle crowns.
The muzzle of nearly all weapons take the second most abuse after the chamber/breech block parts, as the unburned powder tends to detonate and burn when it reaches the end of the barrel canal. As a result, the muzzle tends to erode very quickly if not strengthened or fitted with a muzzle brake to dissipate the unburned gases. The crown provided that extra strength on many guns, and the 1930-1940 era Russian guns very much needed it. All three of these weapons have very visible crowns, but ones which have not often appeared in plastic kits. New Connection has turned very nice crowns on the two long barrels, and has caught the curious "ring" effect of the 45mm gun.
All three are recommended for replacing any kit barrel of tanks using these guns, including RPM, Tamiya, DML, Zvezda, and ICM kits. (Note that the ICM T-35 will need two T-26 barrels to replace its 45mm plastic barrels).
Thanks to Bill Miley of Chesapeake Model Designs for the review samples. CMD is also the US distributor for these items, which are listed in their new catalog. CMD can be reached at PO Box 393, Monkton, MD 21111, or call or fax (410) 357-5496. Shipping and handling are $3.00.
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