Russian 122mm D-25T tank Barrel for IS-2
ABER 1:35 Set #35 L-69
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
TamiyaThis replacement metal barrel from ABER is designed for the recent Tamiya Russian Heavy Tank JS-2 Model 1944 ChKZ (Kit #35289) although the label says it can also be used on the applicable Dragon IS-2 kit if desired.

The set consists of the aluminium barrel with the muzzle drilled out to a depth of 12mm that also includes fine rifling and outer threading for fitting the muzzle brake. Plus there is a single brass casting for the muzzle brake which is threaded on the inside and a small etched fret with two parts.

The parts are very cleanly machined resulting in no cleanup at all required before assembly and the etched parts are also cleanly etched but are very small requiring care during assembly.

Aluminium barrel
Three views of the one piece cast muzzle brake
Etched parts

The metal barrel has the correct taper along the length and also features threads for the muzzle brake and rifling as mentioned with the length matching the 1:35 plans in IS Vol.1/II Wydawnictwo Militaria No.273/294 but is 1.5mm shorter than the 1:35 plans in Ground Power Magazine #165. Additional data in the Russian magazines listed below suggest the 1:35 plans in the Ground Power Magazine are correct while those in the IS book not so.

The muzzle brake is quite simply superbly done without the slightest blemish with a very subtle but effective cast texturing included as well as the inner casting ridges and outer casting seams as seen on the real muzzle brake and is quite an impressive piece of engineering to say the least. The one piece casting means there are no join seams or other blemishes to cleanup which you find on most resin examples of the IS-2/IS-3 muzzle brakes. The inner threads are not to scale but simple provided for easy fitting to the barrel which it does very easily.

Rifling and barrel thread for the muzzle brake.

There are two raised castings at the neck to which are added the small etched fittings and a small retaining bolt which you have to fashion from thin sprue or wire not included in the set, but easy enough to find elsewhere.
The raised sections appear from photos to be a little pronounced but they are easy enough to file down if required to reduce their profile a little.

The etched parts are very small and will require care removing from the fret and fitting to the barrel with these bent at right angles before being fitted to the barrel. The retaining bolt can also be carefully added but you will find adding these four fittings (two either side of the muzzle brake) quite tricky and a fine pair of tweezers and some patience will certainly come in handy.

The muzzle brake simply screws onto the barrel without any fuss ready to add to the kit and you don't need to glue this if you don't want to, just screw nice and tight and it will stay in place without any problems. You have to ensure the small fittings on the top and bottom of the muzzle brake are aligned correctly when fitting the barrel to the kit mantlet but this is easy enough to do by rotating the barrel for the correct alignment.

The barrel is optimised to fit the Tamiya IS-2 kit and all that is needed is to cut away the two inner locating ridges inside the kit gun mantlet/collar (part C45) with the barrel then fitting perfectly through the mantlet and into the inner gun mounting (part C35) for a perfect fit.

The small etched bracket and pin from wire added to the muzzle brake
and two image of fittings on the real muzzle brake

Good fit of barrel to Tamiya kit after minor alterations as per text.

This barrel set certainly raises the bar as far as metal replacement barrels go with correctly sized barrel dimensions and the superbly cast one piece muzzle brake and is quite simply the best representation of the cast IS-2/IS-3 muzzle brake I have seen this side of the real thing.

The good fit of the barrel parts make for straightforward assembly and the perfect fit to the Tamiya kit with only minor modifications required results in a simple update with considerable more detail than the kit or other aftermarket barrels/muzzle brake available.

Highly recommended 9.5/10

See comparison review of available 122mm D-25T Barrel sets


Heavy Tank IS 2/2M
Model Detail Photo Monograph No.6
ISBN 88-916229-6-7
Heavy Tank IS-2
Ground Power Magazine
#165 - 2/2008
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
IS-2 Heavy Tank 1944-1973
Osprey New Vanguard 7
by Steve Zaloga, Peter Sarson
ISBN 1 8552 3986 6
IS Vol.I
Tank Power Vol.XLVII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.273
ISBN/EAN: 9788372192738
Tank Power Vol.LXIV
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.294
ISBN/EAN: 9788372192943
Tank Power Vol.LXXII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.306
ISBN/EAN: 9788372193063
Heavy Tank IS-2
Modelist Konstruktor
publications 3'98
Soviet Tanks

Russian text
Thanks to ABER for the review sets.
Airconnection carry the full range of ABER update sets and barrels.

Page created June 5, 2008

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