Soviet SU-100 Tank Destroyer
Soviet SU-85M Tank Destroyer

Kit # 7208 (SU-100) & 7211 (SU-85M) Review by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com

Pictures from the Henk of Holland website used with permission

At the start of 2011, Dragon's catalogue counts two T-34-based tank destroyers: the SU-85M and the SU-100. (The long announced SU-85 is still just that: announced.)

Not surprisingly both kits are quite similar and fit into a single preview.
I am no specialist when it comes to Soviet vehicles, so I will basically limit myself to a parts summary. The casting quality we have come to expect from Dragon is well-known to most modelers by now.


The parts

Sprue A: This sprue is marked "SU-100" and is identical in both kits, except that the two parts for the SU-100 gun mantlet are omitted in the SU-85M. This is sort of odd, given the huge number of parts that are not for use and that are not omitted (see manual here). On this sprue alone, for instance, you do get the 100mm gun in the SU-85M kit.
(It might be that, by doing so, Dragon wants to avoid, for a reason that is unknown to me, that you can build a SU-85M from the SU-100 kit and vice versa, obviating the need to have one of these kits in the catalogue.)

Sprue a: This sprue, which is identical for both kits, is marked "T-34/85" and it shows, as you get a complete upper hull for the T-34 which will go straight into the spare's box. Given that Dragon blanked off two minor parts on the previous sprue, this strikes me as odd. More than half of the parts of this sprue will become additions to that same spare's box, by the way.

Sprue B: Gun shield, gun and hull part specific for the SU-85M and included in that kit only.

Parts J: Roadwheels. Identical at first sight, but actually slightly different with respect to the thread pattern on the rubber of the roadwheels.

Part L: Lower hull. Identical in both kits.


Parts Y: Two twisted metallic tow cables (9cm). Identical in both kits.

Sprue MA: Brass PE. Marked differently in both kits, but I have been unable to tell the difference.

Parts L: DS tracks. Identical in both kits.

The decals provide the following marking options, mostly of the ubiquitous "Unidentified Unit":

- Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, 1945
- Unidentified Unit, Poland, 1945
- Unidentified Unit, Bohemia, 1945

- Unidentified Unit, Bohemia, 1945
- Unidentified Unit, Wien, 1945
- 7th Mechanized Corps, Hungary, 1945
- 1st Guards Mechanized Corps, Hungary, 1945
- Unidentified Unit, Czechoslovakia, 1954


Scans of the manual of both kits can be found on the Dragon page of the Henk of Holland website.

Note that Simon Barnes has also previewed the SU-100 kit earlier.



Robert Kru adds these comments about the SU-100 kit, but mostly applicable to the SU-85M kit too:

"The lower hull has a rounded shape around the final drive, while the upper hull is straight.
Therefor a hole is visible at the rear plate close to the fender.
The part for the cupola is attached to the sprue where the tiny front visor is. It is really easy to overlook and I guess easily and unintentionally removed. (This is what happened to me, and I had to rebuild it.)
Behind the idler wheel (at the front) there is a gap, resulting from the fact that the part for the lower hull has the sidewalls at another angle than the front wall of the SU-100 (which is different from a T-34)."

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Article Last Updated: 11 January 2011