Above, a tinkered and fettled Warlord T34/85, combined with a Rubicon T34/76 below......
First the Rubicon, by far the superior kit, but sadly lacking in the track detail department.
The hull below has been weighted and assembled. Some extensive modifications, including:
a) drilled out and filled the drivers hatch ( green material)
b) replaced all rails with brass rod
c) added spare fuel canister attachments and removed the smoke canister attachments to reflect research for this variant.
d) scratched some tow cables
Nice view of the rear hull, to show the fabricated fuel canister attachments and tow cable.
Below, yes it looks a mess! The white is from the polyfilla added for weight. The front hull has been carved out to receive a driver figure. I think he maybe from the warlord KV, either way he's not detailed enough to be on external show, but will work fine for inside. You can see the poor track rendition. I'm not worried about the hacked out drivers compartment as its not on show when the top is glued on.
Here's the hull with its turret, late version with "mickey mouse hatches", figures will feature later.
same hull but with alternative turret. Rubicon don't give you enough bits for multiple turrets but I had a spare turret base from their SU122 kit ( go figure!).
Now the Warlord T34/85. Kit is ok, not as good as the Rubicon T34/85 ( will come up later), nice tracks though. Not much spare on the sprues, so added a road wheel from the Rubicon spare set, it is marginally larger than its fellows, but I think it'll settle in fine.
As you can see, I have added mud mixture, both between the wheels and under the track guards, small details that all add up.
You can just make out the fuel and smoke canister straps refashioned from metal tubes, and the associated brass attachment points.
Replacing handles isn't for the faint hearted, there are between nine and eleven handles to do on each vehicle, that's removal, filling, sanding, drilling and bending!
For the handles, I made a jig to make uniform 0.5mm brass handles, a long old job!
also I removed the two cable wires, this is cast on detail with the Warlord hull, and is fine for one vehicle but a bit samey for several, another painful process of removal, but worth it in the end.
Crew will be the subject of another post. The only real place for 1/56 Soviet tankers is Warlord, unfortunately their current offering is quite poor (out the packet), some ridiculous poses with cartoon features and outsized hands. Two poses are usable a chap just leaning forward ( above loader) and a chap with a map ( used elsewhere). The commander pose is ok but I have binned all his supplied right arm options and am in the process of reconstituting one that looks reasonable at least!