Russian Heavy Tank

1/35th Trumpeter
Kit No. 00316
First Look Review
by Terry Ashley


The kit
Following the release of the JS-3 by Tamiya on 1996 we now have this kit of the IS-2M, the final version of this type. For those of you who like me wasted their money on the Jaguar IS-3M resin conversion (you know the one with T-62 rear deck) will appreciate this kit more than most.

The kit consists of 224 parts in dark olive drab plastic, a length of twine for the tow rope, a small decal sheet and poly caps to hold the wheels in place and of course the instruction sheet.

The lower hull features separate axles and suspension parts, with the road wheels having rib details on both sides. Poly caps are trapped between the outer and inner wheels to attach to the axles. Also included on the lower hull are the bottoms of the hull overhang to eliminate the hollow look after attaching the upper hull. Unfortunately there is virtually no cast effect on the lower hull plates.

The upper hull moulding has the large front fenders and rear fenders of the ‘M’ included but the side panels and side fenders are separate parts. The side panels include the four storage boxes also included on the ‘M’. The weld seams on the hull are nicely done but again the cast effect on the surfaces is virtually non existent, a pity really as the surfaces of the real thing are quite noticable.
The rear deck is thankfully the correct style for the ‘M’ with the rear plate also a separate part but again has no cast surface effect.
Many smaller details are provide including the separate driver’s hatch, fender supports front and rear as well as the head lights, position keeping lights and barrel support on the rear plate.
The six fuel tanks on the rear hull are all in two halves and have separate end sections as well as separate attachments shackles.

The turret is especially well detailed. While the hull missed out on the cast effect the turret is just to opposite, the cast surface texture is excellent and also includes the large casting numbers on the rear wall. This is probably close to the best rough cast effect I have seen on a plastic kit and should look superb with a bit of weathering.

Details on the turret include separate hatches with the torsion bar that fits in front of the hatches to assist in opening and closing. Other details include the many grab handles around the turret as well as the lifting points, periscopes on the hatches as well as separate periscope covers. The mantlet also has nice cast effect but somehow they forgot the hole for the co-ax machine gun.
The big 122mm D-25T gun in is two halves that includes the large muzzle brake but again this lacks any cast effect.
The 12.7mm DShKM anti-aircraft machine gun is very nice and features the elaborate mounting and separate ammo boxes.

The tracks are the usual full length ‘rubber band’ type with details that at best can be described as ‘adequate’ but certainly nothing to write home about.

The decal sheet has markings for three vehicles, two typical Russian vehicles and the other for an Egyptian Army IS-3M of the 4th Armoured Division, Cairo, 1967 which features an overall sand finish and large eagle emblem on the turret.
Yes there are white turret numbers '131' and '437 on the sheet
The instruction sheet is well laid out with easy to follow drawings. The painting guide is fairly simple as you would expect with two vehicles with single colour paint schemes. Only paint numbers for Gunze Mr. color paints are given but it would be easy to match the colours to other paint brands.

Overall a nice kit with many small details and an exceptional turret assembly, the lack of cast effect on the hull parts is a bit disappointing. The tracks will most likely need replacing but would be okay with a bit a heavy weathering.
It should build into an impressive kit of the IS-3M and I suspect well will be seeing the ranks of Egyptian vehicles swell considerably.

The Sprues
Click for larger view


IS-3 Stalin
Heavy Tank

Military Ordnance Special Number 20
Steven J Saloga
Darlington Production, Inc
PO Box 5884
Darlington, Maryland 21034

Excellent coverage of the IS-3 with many close up and internal shots including drawings of various vehicle components.

JS Stalin
Heavy Tank Model History

Model Art No.497
Model Art Co.Ltd
3-11,3Chome, Iidabashi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 103 Japan

Includes detailed models and close-up photos of the real things of every vehicle in the JS family of vehicles.

Ground Power Magazine #77 - 10/2000
Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan

Includes supurb coverage of the IS-3 and IS-3M with many close-up detail shots and drawings of various vehicle components.


Page Created 6 August 2002

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