Friday, 13 October 2017

Samokhodnaya Ustanovka

And I am back! Not that people missed me so much (maybe), but maybe you missed my 15mm and 28mm tanks… so here we are… this time we are talking late war Soviet Union (i.e. 1944-45), with some self propelled guns and tank destroyers.

First of all a trio of Zvezda ISU-152. I needed some big HE stuff just in case my soviet troops encountered pillboxes (and whatnot, maybe even tanks…). They are plastic, they are cheap, and you could build them either as ISU-122 or ISU-152. I think I will grab another trio soonish to have the 122 mm guns, just in case.

Now I like them but there are some caveats. The sides are quite flat compared to their direct competitors (Battlefront), this is due to the different moulding process and sprue configuration. On the other hand because the rear plat of the casemate is a separate piece it does have good detail. The really weak point are the tracks, not so much the wheels (quite nice) but the tracks themselves. They are just softly sculpted with a generic ‘impressionistic’ representation. They also miss commander and hmg.  Said that they cost much less. Said that the vehicle is also well represented. It is up to you. I am happy with 3£ per tank.

Now let’s stay in the land of Comrade Josif for the ISU’s (Iosif Stalin Samokhodnaya Ustanovka) little cousins, the SU (Samokhodnaya Ustanovka) -100/-85.  Why -100 or -85? Well because this trio is a mix of old and new. There is a new Zvezda SU-100, and two old, resin, BF Su-100 or Su-85M. I was 100% sure they were 100, but the gun is shorter, but this could be a product of old BF castings (ladies and gentlemen I bought these two before getting my MA… more than 10 years ago…). There are also small errors in the hatches on the casemate, and they look smallish as the BF model of the first generations (I think one of them was even a sandy coloured resin… not even a gray one!) but the round TC ‘sponson’ (It is not a cupola) gave them as Su-100 hulls, so they could be -100 or -85M.

I like the Zvezda much more. One particular thing is that the casemate plates were separate pieces so they have more detail. If you want to read more on the whys of this, there was an article on the Flame of War website months ago on the problems linked to plastic injection and the loss of detail on the sides, but it boils down to the fact that for plastic injection you use a hard two pieces mould. Being hard it means you cannot have detail in area that you cannot remove (or you get a fancy slide mould…).

Okay for today this is all. Enjoy the terrible rattling of the steel tracks of the proletariat!