Tag Archives: IS-2

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Finished Model

This was my longest built to date. After the initial paint, I waited a couple of days, then applied the first oil wash in darker tones. I sealed it with Vallejo’s flat varnish, then added more oil colors, this time mixed to represent the dusted areas. Another coat of varnish, and then the final grease spots and other small details. For the first time I used Mig Jimenez Abteilung 502 oil colors, and I must say they are great.

The tracks were painted with Vallejo German Camo Black Brown, which is the best color in their range for bare metal. Some oil washes for the dust, then pigments and this is it. The raised surfaces on the tracks, as well as the contact surfaces of the road-wheels were “polished” with AK Dark Steel pigment, a GREAT product, also designed by Mig Jimenez. The shovel and cables were painted separately and added at the very end.

It’s time to work on the diorama!

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Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Base Coat

After the construction, I sprayed the model with Vallejo white acrylic primer (polyurethane), but I ended up with a grainy surface and not much adherence to the model. So I had to remove it and apply a new coat of Tamiya white primer from a can. Is lacquer based and worked better as it leaves a very smooth and hard surface.

After the primer, I covered the whole tank with Vallejo Russian Green and applied a little color modulation on more exposed areas. The white stripes and the turret numbers are hand brushed as it were in reality.

Next, I will apply an yellow oil filter to lighten up the green, and the rest of the weathering techniques. _MG_8042-006 _MG_8045-004 _MG_8046-003 _MG_8047-002 _MG_8048-001 _MG_8043-005

 

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Construction Done

First of all, I will say that this is the my favorite WW2 tank: impressive, efficient and “sexy”. It was Soviet Union’s breakthrough after the KV tank family, a predecessor and the starting point of all modern Russian heavy tanks.

After the turret construction I started to work on the upper hull, by removing the original plastic fenders and replacing them with ones made from beer can foils. There is a photo-etched set from Part for the old PST and Italieri kits, but it doesn’t provide the fenders. The advantage of working with thin aluminium foils is that you can easily bend it; my reference pictures showed some very battered tanks, and all of them had bend, broken or missing parts of the fenders.

The joining lines on the nose of the tank are way too sharp and pronounced, so I had to sand it to gave a more rounded appearance. I then brushed and stippled a thin layer of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to obtain a rough casting texture, just like for the turret.

Next were the air intakes and their mesh screens. Zvezda offers a quite acceptable plastic replica, even better looking the the ones from Part’s set, which are nothing but some holes drilled into a brass plate. A Lipton tea bag proved again to be a great substitute, and I will definitely use it in my future builds.

I than added the MasterClub hexagonal bolts, after shaving off the original ones. I’ve described the whole process here. The lifting rings and other few small but time consuming details were next. The gun travel lock came from the Italieri kit, as it has superior details. The towing cables are from Eureka XXL and were a great addition.

One of the most difficult challenge was to make the supports of the side barrels. I used the main supporting ribs from Part (again, shortened with few millimeters), and glued can foil strips on top.

After that I moved to the lower hull, by adding the ammo loading hatch, which was missing. The tracks are very easy to work with, but unfortunately you can’t obtain a proper amount of track sag, or at least I couldn’t. The tracks are not attached permanently, for an easy painting, and I think is better to assemble them by gluing the ends and shave off the mounting lugs. This way you can test the sag and the tracks can easily be removed for painting (for this, the outer half of the road wheels and sprockets shouldn’t be glued permanently).

All in all, this is a good kit, but with a few shortcomings. I could add some more about other details, but I will let the photos speak for themselves. Most important, this kit provides a good foundation for those obsessed with details, like myself.

_MG_7948-001 _MG_7949-002 _MG_7950-003 _MG_7951-004 _MG_7953-006 _MG_7954-007 _MG_7955-008 _MG_7957-010 _MG_7959-012 _MG_7960-013 _MG_7962-015 A photo with the resin base, somewhere on the outskirts of Berlin, spring 1945 🙂_MG_7961-014

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – MasterClub bolts

I wanted to improve the bolts for my IS-2 from Zvezda (1/72), as the ones on the real tank are hexagonal, not round. So I’ve searched the web and came across this Russian company called MasterClub which had exactly what I needed: 0.5 mm hexagonal bolts “on a turn key basis”. I think there is not a single kind of bolts and nuts this company doesn’t supply. For under 10 EUR via eBay (plus transport) I got myself 180 tiny little bolts.

The bag:

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The bolts:

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I made the first attempt on the rear engine access plate. Just drilled the holes and inserted the bolts, and at the end I added a small drop of superglue on the inside face. The original plastic pull rings (which look quite good) were replaced also. Zvezda did a terrific job with those weld seams around the hinges.

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A closeup, to see the hexagonal shape of the bolt.

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I think these bolts really improve the look of a model, especially in larger scales, where you can actually see the difference. Highly recommended!

Zvezda – 5011 – IS-2 – Turret Construction Review

I started the construction of this kit with the intention to build an IS-2 that took part in the battle for Berlin. I plan to place it in a small diorama at the end.

During my research I’ve learned that IS-2 turrets were made by three different factories: UZTM, Hammer & Sickle and Factory no. 200. I opted for a Factory 200 turret, as the tank I want to build seems to have all its trademarks. Among these, some are quite noticeable: low casting seam, smooth commander’s cupola, big numbers on the back – usually one letter and a digit above a group of three digits.

Unfortunately, Zvezda provides a muzzle brake that is too short, so I had to buy an aftermarket one from Aber, which is far from being perfect. I had to rework the muzzle brake, as it lacks all of its casting marks and contours.

The rain guard above gun mantlet lacks the hinged front section so I had to improvise one. I added pistol ports and the caps of the gun trunnions by cutting small styrene discs. I thought the Mk. IV visors were too small so I replaced them with new ones made from scraps.

I added grab handles and textured the surface with Mr. Surfacer 1000. An old Italieri IS-2 provided a nice option for the commander’s cupola hatch, and has some interior details. Though remained closed, I decided to stick with Zvezda’s loader’s hatch, as I think it has very nice details. There are two pairs of bolts on this hatch that must be shaved off and replaced with holes with the same diameter.

The round mobile part of the 7.62 mm DT machine gun was taken from Italieri IS-2, as Zvezda’s seemed a little too flat compared to the real thing. I replaced the barrel with a syringe needle and added few bolts and other small details. The casting numbers are made from brass wire and simply glued into place.

muzzle brake

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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.