1/72 IS-2 Comparison: Zvezda, Italieri and PST

This is my all-time favorite tank and I wanted to build it for a long time; I already had Italieri and PST kits and I was ready for a kitbash. However, when I heard Zvezda will release its own version (a snap fit), and knowing the quality of its earlier releases (T34, Tiger I and Panther Ausf D), I decided to wait. And the wait was worthwhile. This is not a comprehensive review, just a few shots with the main parts (I didn’t removed the flash on any part, just detached it from the sprues).

The boxes:

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The upper hull (Zvezda on the left, Italieri in the middle, and PST on the right). Italieri’s hull is a little bit short, both Zvezda and PST seem to have the right proportions, Zvezda has the nicest details of all:

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Lower hulls (same order). I took an extra shot with Zvezda’s lower hull, looks like Dragon style, with superb details :

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Tracks:

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Road-wheels:

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Wheel drives:

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Gun barrels. I added the metal Aber barrel just for comparison. I don’t know if I’m right, but I think this is Zvezda’s only soft spot: the gun muzzle brake is maybe a little too short.

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The turrets. Italieri is the only one with a very nice cast texture (present on the hull also). All Zvezda hatches are closed (maybe another minus).

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General shots with Zvezda kit sprues. The DSzK 12.7mm machine gun has amazing details, and I think is the best plastic replica in 1/72.

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I think the conclusion is obvious: Zvezda IS-2 is the best on the 1/72 market today.
All the models showed here can be found through our utility in Ebay.

Strelets Normans (M001)

A nice set this one, the style is classic Strelets but the sculpting  is really very good., good proportions and poses,  clear details and vitually no Flash at all. They are made of  slightly hard plastic which always makes removing any Flash much easier and    as always,   I recommend using a razor blade, (which needs cutting to a point to enable you to get in all the small Corners) to remove any Flash.

4 sprues of 12 figs in different poses which makes 48 figures in a box. 4 figures on each sprue have ring Hands to take the weapons (which are attched to the sprue) which means that with a bit of swopping of weapons more variety can be added without any conversion. Simple conversions would be to simply replace some of the attached weapons with spears axes  or swords, which given the Forward facing poses be no problem even for a begginner. Simply remove the attached weapon flush with the Hand, use a needle to create a hole, a larger needle to expand the hole into a ring Hand and add weapon.

Historically, they represent the period well and as the styles of dress,weapons were pretty generic across Europe at the time they can be recruited into a Norman army,and mixed with the HaT El Cid  they create a really good shield wall,

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All twelve poses together ..

Some of the shields have embossed Patterns on them. Normally this would annoy me, I don´t like embossed Patterns on shields, surcoats etc, but in this case they are quite good, especially the Dragon ones. To avoid repeat designs along the shield line the embossed Patterns can be easily removed with a scalpel / razorblade. Two of the shields Need attaching but this is not a Problem, no glue being neccessary as they fit firmly onto the pegs.

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The figures are dressed in  a  range of styles, chainmail, padded surcoats and leather surcoats with studs.

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As I have siad, they  mix very well alongside the El Cid Figures from HaT and if you add a couple of the Strelets Normans on the march figures as commanders you can  create a really good looking shield wall.

This set and all the Strelets range can be found in Ebay trough our utility here.

1/72 – Roden 706 – Sd.Kfz.233 “STUMMEL”

Sd.Kfz.233 “STUMMEL”

During the initial stages of WWII (1939 – 1941) heavy eight-wheeled armored cars of the Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz. 232 (8-Rad) and Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) types were widely used in all the major theaters of war with considerable success. Reconnaissance and support of the front line were still their primary missions, however quite often when fulfilling these missions (especially on the Eastern Front), reconnaissance units met with strong opposition from the enemy, often including artillery. This problem could be resolved only by the introduction of a special support vehicle with a higher caliber armament, teamed up with the reconnaissance units, already equipped with standard Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.232 (8-Rad), and Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) cars.
As part of the experimentation, in 1942 at the Bussing-NAG plant, the 75mm KwK L/24 gun was mounted on one of the regular Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad). Due to the short length of the barrel, this gun was nicknamed ‘Stumpy’. Though the dimensions of this gun were insignificant, it was still too big for the armored body of the Sd.Kfz. 231 (8-Rad), therefore its design had to be modified. The turret was completely demounted, and most of the equipment unrelated to artillery support was removed. In spite of all these measures, the crew decreased from four to three persons due to the lack of free space inside the armored body.
The vehicle turned out to be very successful, but it was never put into serial production. Relatively small numbers of these vehicles were needed for artillery support; also after continuous military action more and more Sd.Kfz.231 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.232 (8-Rad), Sd.Kfz.263 (8-Rad) were being returned to plants in Germany. As a result, the heavy armored artillery support vehicle Sd.Kfz.233 (the name of the new development) was built at the Bussing-NAG plant. Construction was undertaken using parts from its predecessors. However, unlike them, the Sd.Kfz. 233 did not have ‘8-Rad’ in its type name, since the analogous six-wheeled vehicle did not exist.
The Sd.Kfz. 233 proved to be a serious weapon. The major threat for these vehicles came from ground attack aircraft – the big opening on the top of their armored bodies was very vulnerable to bombs or strafing. Despite the small quantity of Sd.Kfz.233 built, they were actively used in every theater of conflict, from 1942 until the final days of the war.

Model is very fine, no burr or sink marks, no curvature on parts.
Some small parts have been done by scratch, as side fasteners, clamps for cans, anterior antennae (from stretched sprue) and canvas.
Acrylic paints, oil weathering and pigments.

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This model can be found in our Ebay searcher utility here.