The T-72 main battle tank is one of the most recognizable combat machines very much thanks to the mass of real-time broadcast conflicts it’s participated in during the past 3 decades. A lot of companies have released model kits, including in 1/72 scale.
Two types of roadwheels have been used during the 72’s production run: the “8-hole” (early) and the “6-hole” (late) types. They were identical in diameter and rim width – 750mm and 190mm respectively. This scales down to approx. 10,4 and 2,6mm in 1/72.
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.
Bronco has released two versions of the legendary Zveroboi SPG (popular nickname for the SU-152): early (the subject of this review) and late production. Confusingly the kit of the late variety appeared first, and this kit was released a few months later – in the beginning of 2013.
The sprue count alone is staggering: there are 59 sprues, including 1 with clear parts and the hull tub. A PE fret, decal sheet and two lengths of braided copper wire complete the kit.
Sprue A contains parts that are applicable to the entire KV-1 line and derivatives. Fenders and engine deck are marked “Not for use” in the parts plan.
After completing the camo pattern I found the colors were way too contrasting. The yellow was way too bright compared to the two saturated dark colors, so I sprayed a sandy acrylic mix, diluted with satin varnish. More layers were sprayed over the lower half of the vehicle to simulate the road dust.
As LSSAH was being reformed and reequipped from early April I kept weathering to a minimum apart from the bent front fenders, the dust, a few scratches and a slight bend on the side skirts.
A word of warning here – this kit is not something you would use for a quick build. I found that the hard way as you would find out below.
Due to the zimmerit being molded in the kit parts the hull is comprised of new parts. Whether the “smooth” Panthers fit OK I am unaware as of now, but this one certainly had issues with a bunch of shims required all around the front and back to make gaps go away. You can also see the large gap around the ball MG mount – still not filled here…
I got the kit in 2010 as a replacement for a lost package – I had won an “Achtung, Jabo!” pack with 4 figures, which never arrived for whatever reason.
Actually this was my first Dragon tank and I was eager to open the box and see what’s in. DML didn’t fail to impress. The number of parts is rather large due to sprue sharing with other Ausführungs and even with the Jagdpanther.
Onto the images (click to see larger images). You get sprue A, which is wheels and side armor screens.