The second release from Italeri in the IS range, the kit is practically the same as the IS-2 with just the parts for the upper hull and gun changing, the lower hull and tracks are the same as the IS-2 kit, the gun for the IS-2 is included although it can not be used to build an ISU-122 without some modification to the gun mount. As before the kit includes a full "wargaming" easy build Kit, which unfortunately doesn't have the DshK for it, a spare one would have been very nice. These kits are not as highly engineered as the Dragon and to a certain extent the Trumpeter and Revell kits especially around the suspension, but that does not make then any less worthy and they build into nice pieces when made.
The sprues include a new one for the upper hull of the ISU, all the crew access hatches are moulded open, the drivers visor is shut. The downside to this kit over the IS tank is that the barrel for the main gun is moulded in two halves producing a nice seam that needs to be removed, it would have been nicer if the barrel had been one piece and the muzzle brake in two halves, but I suppose it was done that way to keep costs down. Also included is a very nice DshK MG not as nice as the Trumpeter IS-3 one (which I think is the best one so far) it is still a good representation of the real thing. As already mentioned the lower hull is the same as on the IS-2 tank, not as refined as some of the other manufacturers releases, it is accurate in shape and layout. The road wheels are probably the best IS wheels in plastic.
The Tracks are the same sprues as the IS-2 well detailed with enough to produce some sag ( I wish some other manufacturers would do the same) a close up of the wheels, tracks and sprockets can be found in the IS-2 Preview
Decals are provided for 4 variants, although A and C look the same, Version C is for a 3 tone vehicle of green, brown and Sand, although so far I have only been able to find one reference of this scheme, on an IS-2
All in all it is a very nice kit and scales out well to the drawings I have.The reason as to why Italeri have decided to add a complete wargaming model is a mystery, they could have just included the tracks and the fuel drum and gun mantlet from the wargaming kit with the same effect, however that said the wargamer gets two kits and the serious modeller gets one ! plus one to practice all those techniques that you wouldn't want to try on a model for fear of ruining it, The other option is that with the kit costing no more than other releases, if you buy enough, you can always sell the wargaming models on to recuperate some money
The Wargaming Model
The wargaming model is avery simple affair consisting of just 10 parts, unlike the Trumpeter IS-3 easy tracks the Italeri ones are very simple with solid one piece wheels and track with little or no detail, similar to the tracks on the minitank series from Roco. Whilst this kit doesn't suffer like the IS-2 kit of being able to see through it because of not having a turret, it nether the less with the exception of the tracks, makes a fairly decent model.