|Kit #07228||Review by: Michael Johnson- madmike(at)iinet(dot)net(dot)au|
Comes in a nicely packaged box containing bagged sprues in light grey plastic.
What drew me to this kit is the provision of either link and length tracks, separate sprockets and wheels or full track runs for either side with the rear wheels and sprockets moulded in place. The later option required careful painting and the addition of the front wheels to make snap in subassemblies which greatly simplifies construction. Unfortunately there was not a double set of outer road wheels so as to have a complete second set of running gear for another project.
The mandatory instructions and a comprehensive decal sheet which offers more than the two finishing options outlined in the instructions.
All parts are crisply moulded with the turret in particular having a very nicely defined cast texture. The cannon barrel is moulded using slide mould technology resulting in a beautiful one piece barrel with hollowed muzzle brake.
The one major gripe I have is that the barrel lock is moulded on. Would have been far better for the lock to be a separate part as it will be hard to make the raised detail look separate to the chassis.
None of the parts have large amounts of flash or mould part lines, with the one piece tracks and running gear being the worst offender.
Trumpeter provides pre-formed wire staples for the many turret grab handles as well, further enhancing the turret detail provided out of the box and allowing for a better in scale thicknesses as opposed to plastic grab rails.
As per normal, I started with the turret, drilling out the locations for the grab handles and installing each in turn and securing the wire from the inside of the torrent with CA and accelerator, then moving onto the lifting hooks and gun mantlet. The whole process was quick and hassle free, only taking an hour to complete.
Assembly proceeded quickly, with only mould lines being needed to be removed from some parts. Worst were the pre-formed tracks and the rear mounted external fuel tanks which needed more attention than the rest of the kit, but not a great deal more.
This kit is a joy to build with no particular vices of any sort. Care will be needed to attach the external fuel tanks to the chassis as the tank connection points are not very positive. I would recommend attaching these prior to painting as they are quite fiddly to install.
The DShK machine gun and ring mount comprised of 5 parts which were assembled then carefully painted with appropriate colours.
Painting and Decaling
I followed my normal painting procedure for Soviet armour and sprayed the turret, track assembly and the upper and lower chassis assemblies Tamiya spray can flat black. The synthetic lacquer lays down nice and smooth without obscuring surface detail and provides an excellent base for subsequent paint layers.
I then used Ceramcoat dark forest green and medium forest green to paint the JS-3, followed by the usual steps of washes, weathering and addition of weathering pigments.
The Trumpeter decals adhered beautifully and snuggled down over the cast texture of the turret without any solution and did not silver.
The 1:72 scale armour modeller now has a growing selection of excellent kits to choose from which offer the same detail and finesse of the larger kits. A recommended kit to build.