Kit #: 5026   Preview by Alexander Kolbasov - nebelwerfer54(at)ya(dot)ru
Edited by Marc MERCIER

This is a new model from Zvezda, which continues the “No glue required” series. However, I can’t say, that these are like the traditional fast assembly kits. Here is really detailed model with more than 100 parts, but it is possible to assembly this one without glue.

Some historical facts
This model is the SPG variant based on tank IS-2. It had a 152 mm gun, a really scary weapon. Even when the shell did not hit the enemy tank directly, but landed near it, the explosion power was so strong that lighter and medium tanks, such as Pz-III, Pz-IV etc usually turned over.
The name of the SPG “ISU-152” is an abbreviation, which can be translated as “Joseph Stalin Plant with 152 mm gun”. An earlier SPG “SU-152”, based on KV chassis, was very similar to the ISU-152, but the letters “SU” had no connection with Stalin’s name. The abbreviation “SU” in the Russian Armoured Forces can be translated as self propelled gun.

The ISU-152 had a nick-name “Zveroboy" in the Soviet Army. In English this nickname translates as flower “Saint-John's-wort” or “Hypericum” (our wives know what this is), but it is a word play. If you divide that nick-name into two parts we have “Zver’ “ and “Boy” and this translates as “Beasts (Animals) Killer”. Of course, those “Beasts” were the German tanks “Panthers”, “Tigers”, “Elephants” etc. Since this SPG, the Russian Armoured Forces started a tradition to give flowers names to their SPG.
Years after the ISU-152 became obsolete in the regular Soviet army (somewhere in the seventies), it still soldiered on as a weapon emplacements on the Soviet Far East border. The official order to remove all ISU-152M together with IS-2M from the armament list of the Russian Forces was issued in …. 1995!

Model kit

On the backside of the box we will find photos of the assembled model. On this images, we see that the gun mantlet is attached to body by bolts. That is strange, because on the serial vehicles, the gun mantlets were welded, reinforced by small triangles on the sides. By the way, the drawing Zvezda has printed on the front of the box shows this last method! Fortunately, in the box the gun mantlet is similar as on the front drawing. This confusion with the pictures took place because Zvezda started to design the model with the bolted gun mantlet, but when they did show the first pictures of test model, modellers reacted that the production vehicles had the welded mantlet and asked to correct that on the final model. Unbelievable, but Zvezda did just that!


So, inside the box you will find two sprues with parts, one with the tracks, lower hull and the decal list for three variants of painting.

Of course Zvezda used their previous work from the IS-2 model, but they reworked something too!
Firstly, the drive sprocket : on the IS-2 it was badly casted – misrun (undercasting), but on the ISU, they changed the quantity of injection points and a misrun is excluded here.

The gun movement is realized in two axis and the upper gun mantlet fairing is also movable.

The lower hull is the same as on IS-2. It is nicely detailed and you can find even welding imitation on parts.
Looks good, but we find the same defects as on the IS-2 lower hull: pusher traces and misruns near the mounts for the "no glue assembly".

Let’s watch this kit a bit closer and compare it with another manufacturer. I have only the PST kit to compare with.

So, sizes:
This SPG had overall width of 3070 mm without fuel tanks. So, if divided by 72, gives a result of 42,64 mm. On the fenders Zvezda measures 41,15 mm while the PST gives 42,6 mm. Looks like PST is more correct, but! Check your drawings! Overall width must be measured on tracks! So, Zvezda width is correct.
The length of the armoured hull was 6543 mm include aft hinges. In 72nd scale the correct length equal 90,88 mm. PST hull length – 91,4 while the Zvezda length is 90,85 mm.

The main wheels were interchangeable with the idler and their diameter was 550 mm. Correct size for 72 scale is 7,64 mm. Zvezda has 7,65 mm, PST has 7,7 – 8,1 (Sic). I found some oval forms here, but when you will a correct circle, it would be 7,7, so I think, it is possible to say, that the PST wheels has 7,7 mm diameter.

Track width on ISU was 650 mm. Correct width in 72 scale is 9,03, Zvezda has 9,1 mm, PST has 9,7 mm.

Track pitch real size is 162 mm, on 72nd scale this converts to 2,25 mm, Zvezda has 2,25, PST has 3 mm.

Everything put together in one table :

So it look like both kits has similar sizes, except for the tracks.

Some details



Machine guns:

Sprocket wheels and support wheels:


If you compare both kits, Zvezda is more accurate and better detailed, but then there are no bad kits. It all depend on our hands!

Review sample purchased by the author.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 30 December 2014