Tag Archives: MasterClub

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:

_MG_7882-002

The bolts:

_MG_7884-001

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.

_MG_7878-005 _MG_7880-003 _MG_7879-004

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

_MG_7878

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