How the Rare T-34 with L-11 Was Recreated In-Game


The  IV T-34 with L-11  is not just another tank. Each part of this unique vehicle is a piece of history pulled from battlefield wreckages, worn-out documents, faded notes, and blueprints. But recreating an authentic 3D model of the early tank was no easy feat. Fewer than 500 tanks of this variant were ever produced, and none of the vehicles equipped with the L-11 gun survived their wartime service in one piece or even in good condition. Yet we persevered, and the tank made it into World of Tanks—and into the hearts of many players.

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Adapting for World of Tanks

Equipped with a 76 mm L-11 gun around 1938–1939, the T-34 was developed at Kharkiv Factory No. 183. The tank incorporated an optimal combination of the main combat characteristics: firepower, protection, and dynamics. It had great influence on the development of Soviet—and global—tank building.

Since the tank is historical, no customization elements can be applied to it, except for progressive decals.

To reconstruct an authentic T-34, historical specialists conducted comprehensive archival research. The blueprints had been poorly preserved after so many years, and, according to the catalog published by GABTU KA in 1942, there were at least 3,850 parts for the T-34, with another 45 parts listed in an "on demand" column. The final 3D model of the T-34 consists of 3,663 components, some of which had to be combined or expanded.

Conflicting technical data from different documents was resolved during the tank-modelling phase through numerous museum visits and advice from researchers at the T-34 Tank History Museum and Memorial Complex. For example, the team made a trip to Tolyatti to measure the T-34’s turret, and another to Vsevolozhsk in the Leningrad Region to study a model with a box of spare parts, tools, and Stalingrad hooks for additional fuel tanks.

Reproducing the vehicle’s fenders and attachable equipment also proved tricky. Thin and unreliable, the fenders often bent and came off in the field, but the spare parts that were still available in repair shops had already been repaired. So, to make them as realistic as possible, it was necessary to design them according to drawings from the catalog of spare parts, of which there were very few. Special attention was also paid to the vehicle’s entrenching tools, as there were wartime cases where whole tank units weren't allowed into battle as not all vehicles were equipped with a two-handed saw!

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