Soviet 37mm AA Gun 61-K with Crew
|Kit #: 6115||
Edited by Al Magnus
One of a series of 1/72 scale kits from Zvezda apparently aimed at the wargamer but suitable for the small scale modeler. The kit is “dirt cheap” at less than $6 USA. It comes in a sturdy box with colorful artist rendering of the gun in action on the front and photos of the assembled model on the back.
Inside are two sprues in very dark green “hard” styrene plastic, not the soft stuff that won't take glue or paint. One sprue of 27 pieces has the gun and the other of 10 pieces has the crew, a base and flag for use in wargaming. There is a single sheet of instructions, very clear and concise plus a card for use by wargamers, of which I am not, so have no idea how that card is used!
The kit represents the gun in “shooting mode” with the wheels raised, outriggers swung out and the jacks lowered. The cruciform trailer, axles and jack stand shafts are molded as one piece. To this single piece, the modeler attaches the tow bar, gun travel lock, jack shaft pads and wheels. Next is a one piece gun platform with nice dot pattern tread plate and underneath braces. All other pieces are glued onto the platform and there were no problems with fit or alignment. The fit of the platform to the cruciform was a little too tight but doable. The “tractor seats” have the openings molded as precise dimples in the plastic and look very nice with a wash. The gun barrel, muzzle flash cone, elevating gear (with teeth) and breech are molded as one piece. There was some shrinkage on both sides of the gun breech but some filler cured that flaw. The gun barrel had the usual seam but was round, not molded off center.
The molding seams on the cruciform are a little heavy but a sanding stick quickly removed them.
You could probably cut off the axles to drop the wheels down to the ground and cut loose the swing arms of the cruciform so they could be folded. Then the model would be in traveling mode. The kit does include the gun travel lock.
The two crew figures are molded with one leg and both arms separate. Their hands are properly molded to grip either the elevation or traverse wheels and the heads are tilted back looking for that plane in the sky. The faces are more than acceptable for this scale but not “perfect”. These are well fed fellows - maybe a little large for this scale!
I added some additional detail and rebuilt the simplistic cartridge feed arms. Then turned some cartridges from brass rod to load the gun plus serve as a bright spot. The kit plastic accepted Tamiya paint with no problem. A lighter shade of green paint and dry brushing brought out detail that could not be seen with the kit's dark plastic. Lots of MIG pigments to weather everything.
There are some walk around photos on two websites that are helpful if adding more detail. Those guns have wheels with two openings and the kit's wheels have five.