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.
Earlier this month the long-awaited Zvezda quick-build IS-2 finally reached the local hobby shops, so I was quick to grab myself a copy. It’s close to an year late and I was anxious to see what do we actually get.
There are a hull tub (discussed lower), two grey sprues with parts for the hull and turret, a black one for the tracks, decals for 1 main variant (as on the box top) and additional generic numbers.
The first sprue shows the upper hull and most of the suspension and running gear parts. Yes, just as advertised the set does represent the later war production variety, the IS-2m with the “straight nose”, so it supplements rather than replaces the Italeri kit. As opposed to the Italeri kit, the cooling louvres here are molded angled, with spaces between them, so you can see through the grid.
This build is special for me. The kit was purchased, started and completed in just one month, which is a first for the past 20 years or so. I wanted to postpone the clash with it, but I could not resist.
The first thing you should know is that you need to forget most of the modelling stuff you’ve learned over the years. Since the model is a fast build/snap kit:
– DO NOT DRY FIT PARTS, or keep it to a minimum. Fit’s so tight on some parts you won’t be able to disassemble what you put together.
Well it’s finally out. After two years of promises and a lot of online desperation on modellers’ end it’s in the shops and tonight it reaches my bench.
Two sprues of sand-colored plastic, a black sprue for the threads (total part count is 97) and a small decal sheet plus instructions and safety precautions for $8. Let’s see what’s in.
I am impressed! Part of the roadwheels are molded as a single detail, however the suspension arms are separate parts, as are the OVM tools! I am sure modellers will find something else to complain about, however before I actually start building the kit I will only comment on the way this kit is molded and so far it looks rather good to me.
While the Squadron putty was drying I cut the nose of an ESCI FFAR pod:
and inserted the base into the inlet of the APU to give it some detail.
Here’s how the outcome looks before paint:
The amount of putty required and the sanding is obvious on the series of pictures above, but let me tell you – this is a great stress-relief technique.
I also created a new gun mount to replace the missing part, using brass barrels of a design closest to the original GSh-30. These are fixed into a block of laminated styrene. The white brackets are scrap styrene sheet.
I built this kit for a group build in April this year. My goal was to finish the build in the shortest time possible – it was intended as a kickstart after for quite some time I did not finish a kit.
The basic airframe used has been an ancient ESCI release which I bought dirt-cheap from a guy that regularly renews his collection. He had used certain parts from the kit, the gunpack included, so I was up for some scratchbuilding fun.
I started with the cargo hold doors, which were rather thick. I had to thin them around the edges in order for them to fit.
After so much waiting the new Mi-24 by Zvezda is finally in my hands. Probably one of the most awaited models in the 72nd scale, this impressive offering has no less than 284 parts and allows you to build the most accurate “Crocodile” in the scale to date.
One of the perks you get with the kit is the complete engine/gearbox setup that allows you to build your Hind all opened up (you’d still need to make the compartment plumbing yourself or wait for Eduard’s go at it though). Pick a V version with the YakB-12,7 Gatling gun, or a GSh-23-2 armed VP. Hang some serious firepower under the wings, pop the two pilots in the cockpits and let it rip!
Much-smaller than it’s Soviet counterpart below, the FLAK-38 is represented by fewer parts. The crew consists of an aimer/gunner and a loader.
Details are well-represented on the gun – even bolt heads on both sides of the armored shield are represented. Please note that transport trailer and ammo boxes are not included.
The flash hider is a bit too bulky, but should be easy to replace with a self-made cooking-foil detail. My main concern is that the sprue gate that is located on the barrel is almost as thick, so care should be taken when separating that detail. It could also use some seam-line cleaning, esp. on the small shield just in front of the breech.
The gun comes on two green sprues. There are two seated soldiers comprising the crew (aiming the gun in azimuth and elevation, respectively) – no loaders are present.
You can assemble the gun with or without crew. If you are using the aimers you will notice the seats are molded to their backs (all handcranks are separate details). There’s a pair of extra seats should you decide to skip the crew.
Details on the gun itself are pretti decent for a snap-fitter. The only visible ejector pin marks are on the single-detail gun carriage, but these can be quickly removed.