Announced back in 2013 (or was it 2012?) the expected development of IS-2 is finally here. Please welcome ISU-152 by Zvezda!
Previous Zvezda kits in the scale had sprues on their own inside the box. That made each sound like a baby’s rattle. Parts here are sealed in a soft plastic bag, which prevents parts loss, and makes plastic less prone to breaks.
The ISU-152 is big, grey and bad@$$, and at first sight appears to have a very small amount of parts in common with the IS-2 kit from the past year (which is a very good one if I may say). That’s sort of misleading because there is still a lot from the IS-2 – the sprues are simply re-done and parts are re-arranged for the new machine.
MiG-29 has attracted the attention of multiple scale model manufacturers even when it was only seen in blurry pictures. Available kits vary in scale, accuracy and markings in area so wide it would take a book to describe.
The reason I picked up Revell’s 1/144th MiG-29 was its R-60 missiles that I used in another model. I was thinking of giving it away, because strange as it may sound I am not a big fan of the aircraft for a number of reasons. I elected to keep it though, so it will be briefly presented in this article.
Few aircraft have served in as many roles as the Focke Wulf 190, the famous Butcherbird. the charismatic German WWII superfighter. Intended as a Bf-109 replacement, the 190 served alongside it till the very last day of the war.
Nearly every company that has done a model of WWII aircraft has a FW-190 in its catalog. As is customary decal variants are between 1 and 4, and most feature aircraft of certain ace pilot – e.g. Josef Priller or Hans-Ulrich Rudel. This sheet is no different, and it does feature TWO options for Priller’s mount, but it’s got a few more tricks up its sleeve.
P-47 was the heaviest single-seat fighter of WW2 and a popular modelling subject. There have been numerous decal sheets, but none of them offer as many options as this one.
Skymodels’ sheet for the mighty Jug offers 30 (!) different options from C to the N models, from all war theaters.
The various options comprise radio codes, nose art, serial numbers, victory markings, etc. In addition there are THREE types of national insignia, the full stenciling AND an instrument panel decal available.
Step 1 – assembling the chassis. You will notice that the radiator group is integrated with one of the spars and is glued here. Almost right behind it is part E41 – the notch in its middle should point to the rear and up. It’s one of the attachment points for the engine block. My advice: align and glue all the spars to one of the girders first, then attach the second one.
The small subassembly in the lower right of step 1’s diagram is the engine alternator, used in the next step.
In Step 2 you will assemble the engine and gearbox. They are both very inaccurate in terms of shape and detail, and the fit is less than good. Ridiculously there is a driveshaft between the engine block and the gearbox – the designer is obviously no a driver.
It’s been some time since an aircraft has been featured on this site, so here’s one completed last year. It’s LS’s ancient 1/144 F-15A, later packed by Academy/Minicraft (and perhaps a few other companies. Inside you will discover a rather schematic scaled-down version of the famous aircraft. Panel lines are engraved, but are deep and wide, especially so in the vertical stabilizers.
There are no pylons whatsoever. Armament is limited to 4xAIM-7 Sparrows, there is no centerline hardpoint/wetpoint with fuel tank, and no trace of Sidewinders at all. No cockpit is provided, there is a transparent canopy that covers the nothing underneath. No probes or antennae whatsoever, and you can forger about the dropped flaps on the boxart.
Below is the galery of the completed model. It’s painted in a number of Revell enamel greens – various mixtures of ##48, 65-69 and 361 to simulate faded paint, areas where water of fuel accumulated, crew walked (or couldn’t, e.g. around the edges of the hatches and the hinges). Edges and certain areas were highlighted with green pastel chalks, then some Promodeller washes to pop the details. Decals do silver, because I did not gloss the surface underneath them.
Bronco have done a fantastic job on the kit, which does not have any assembly issues, or serious problems with accuracy. Building is very easy for such a large and well-detailed kit thanks to clever engineering; assembly process is supported very well by the instruction booklet (although several views of the completed steps wouldn’t have hurt). Outside the erroneous “cast surface” effect on the superstructure and the ejector pin marks on the fenders I don’t really have anything to complain about this kit. If I have the opportunity – I would build another one without any hesitation.
Looking for references for the SU-152 brought about the conclusion that this SPG was indeed a rare beast, and is even harder to find today. While there’s a lot of ISU-152 that were remanufactured to the M and K standards, the KV-based subject was not as lucky: there are very few survivors, even fewer are in presentable condition, and none appear to be able to move on its own.
Books on the “Beast killer” are also few and far between. I was able to find Wydawnictwo Militaria’s “SU-152” (332). Beside the examples pictured in the book (pretty devoid of any fittings, really) there’s another survivor in Kubinka, but since it cannot be photographed from all sides you’d need to rely on a very few images with scarce detail that keep repeating in all books on the subject.