Hundreds of captured foreign tanks saw service with the Germany army during WW2. Most were unfit for frontline service but certain models such as the British Matilda II, Sherman, M3 Halftrack & T34 were equal to or even superior to the equivalent German vehicles and put to good use on the battlefield. In 1941 the T34/76 was probably the best tank in the world with armour and firepower superior to any panzer. Field-Marshal Ewald von Kleist, First Panzer Army described the T34 as "The finest tank in the world"
Up to 300 T34/76s were captured by the Germans and upgraded to their standards (cuppola, radio equipment etc) in a special factory established in Riga. Crews also made none-standard field mods including fitting stowage boxes, skirts etc. A tractor factory captured by the 2nd SS Pz Division 'Das Reich' during the fighting around Khakov yeiled over 50 T34/76s in one day. 25 went into service with the newly created 3rd panzer battalion of the 2nd SS Pz Div. SS Hauptscharfuehrer Emil Seibold from the 3rd SS Panzer Battalion scored some 69 kills during his career including those on his Panzerkampfwagen T-34 74 in July and August of 1943, during the Battle of Kursk Salient. Seibold received Knights Cross during the last decoration ceremony on May 6th of 1945. On July 4th of 1943, 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" had 18 operational T-34 tanks and 9 in repair. 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" also pressed number into service but had none at Kursk. Overall, there were some 22 T-34/76 tanks in active service with Waffen SS Panzer Divisions during the Battle of Kursk Salient.
The characteristic outline of the T34 meant friendly fire was a real problem for the crews of 'Beute-panzers'. To try and minimise the risk extra large crosses & German flags were prominently displayed on all sides of the tank.
This model based on a WSN RC T34/85 lower hull combined with the upper hull & turret from a Trumpeter T34/76 static kit represents one of these Beute-T34's from the fighting at Kursk but isn't specifically based on any one individual vehicle. Instead I fitted it with all the common modifications including PzIII cuppola, skirts, stowage box, notek convoy light & additional spare tracks over the vulnerable engine compartment.