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1/35 Italeri ISU-152 Self Propelled gun (kit no. 296)
by Keith Lewis (from somewhere in the Gulf)

 

At first glance this kit looks crude and rough, especially around the lower hull and running gear. The first thing I noticed about the kit was the nine step instructions. They're very straightforward and include exploded views of all subassemblies (external fuel tanks, hatches, gun and mantlet assembly, and the DshK anti-aircraft gun). The model is molded in soft dark gray plastic, and is very easy to work with. The only problem is the sprue attachments. They're heavy but with a little TLC they can be removed without a trace. The plastic reacts well with Ambroid Pro-Weld and it builds up surprisingly fast. The only real problem I ran into during construction was that I had a few parts that were warped. This included both lower hull sides, parts 3a and 2a. A little Zap-A-Gap and some accelerator proved a quick fix though.

Since there's no interior I built the crew entry hatches closed and added styrene plugs to the upper hull to keep it from being a "see through" model. The "see through" aspect and the four piece vinyl tracks are the only really bad parts of the kit. The tracks are well detailed but fragile. I tried to connect them with super glue and accelerator but some things aren't meant to be.

Once the lower and upper hulls are joined, this thing really looks like a brute. After the assemblies dried I added thinned Testors Red filler putty to the lower front and rear armor plates to replicate a rough rolled armor texture. Thinned a little more, I used the putty to remodel the weld seams on the entire model. I gave parts 2c and 3c, (the gun mantlet and mount) the same treatment, this makes a great looking cast armor appearance. Painting the model is pretty straightforward, one option DARK GREEN. The same goes for the marking options, one choice.

I give this model an average rating, its ease of construction and good detail overshadow the "see through" aspect and the less than perfect tracks. Once completed the model really takes on a squat brutish appearance. I recommend it to any body who is interested in trying out a 1/35th scale model.