Zvezda IS-2 Soviet Heavy Tank Build in 1/72 Scale

IS2_01
This is Zvezda’s IS-2 heavy tank.  It is intended to be a snap together kit, many of the parts are engineered to press-fit together which has resulted in a few unusual design decisions.  The snug fit is reassuring, but most modelers will choose to ensure a good assembly with thin cement.
IS2_02
Parts layout is what one would generally expect.  The lower hull is a one-piece slide mold affair which is becoming more and more common these days.  Tracks are one piece of soft plastic, be careful as they are handed and will not fit quite right on the wrong side.  The rectangular part in the lower left corner is a concession to the press-fit engineering, it is an intermediate piece which joins the upper and lower hull.
IS2_03
The tracks have these mounting tabs which are designed to be trapped between the hull and the return rollers.  The end tab is split so two tabs are to be trapped using the center roller.  A bit difficult to arrange everything with only two hands but it can be done.
IS2_04
There is a little slack in the tracks after assembly.  Unfortunately the slack is all on the underside, not on the return rollers where it should be.
IS2_05
The turret is split in half along the weld seam.  I thought the joint needed cleaning up so I sanded it smooth and made a new weld seam from stretched sprue.  There is a row of nicely molded grab bars which were unfortunately right in the way, so I removed them and replaced them with wire.  The turret received a stippling of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to simulate the casting texture.
IS2_06
I tried to introduce the characteristic track sag using toothpicks and superglue.  I got some sag but a lot more would have been welcome.
IS2_07
Everything assembled awaiting paint.  I left off the outer wheels until after painting to better get at the tracks.
IS2_08
Here is the model under a coat of Mr. Color Russian 4BO.  It has also received a coat of Testors Glosscoat prior to decals and weathering.
IS2_09
The model was weathered with oils and Tamiya panel line color.  The mud on the running gear was built up with oil paint and Vallejo pigments.  The white I.D. bands are hand painted, I thought that would be easier than using the kit decals and would look more “field applied”.  When I got all the weathering where I wanted it I sealed the model with Testors Dullcoat.