1/72 UM SU-100 Soviet Assault Gun

The SU-100 was an assault gun built on a T-34 chassis and mounted a 100 mm gun.  It was widely used after the war so the modeler has additional options for this kit if the Russian 4BO finish is too pedestrian.  The UM kit builds up into a nice representation of this vehicle.  The tracks are length and link.  The running gear is fitted with vinyl pieces for the rubber pads on the road wheels, these are a little difficult to fit and have some rather persistent mold seams.  I would have preferred solidly molded wheels as provided by other manufacturers, but it is still a nice kit in spite of this.

















1/72 UM BA-9 Soviet Armored Car

I find armored cars to be fascinating.  The Soviets fielded a wide range of designs during the Great Patriotic War, none of which could be considered to be particularly successful.  They did have their places as screening or reconnaissance vehicles, but generally they were too lightly armed and armored for the resources they used.  The BA-9 is an example of this, being armed with a 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine gun, it carried a crew of four and had a maximum speed of 35 mph (55 km/h).  UM has produced a nice little kit of this uncommon vehicle.  It has their vinyl tires again which I find problematic and is a little over-engineered, but it can be built up into an interesting model.



















1/72 Dragon T-34/76 Mod 1943 Soviet Tank

There are several variations of the T-34/76 design which reveal the year and location of the plant which produced an individual example.  There are also hybrids which combine these features, likely as a result of field expedient rebuilding to return damaged tanks to service.  Dragon’s kit represents one of the later T-34/76 tanks, and it is a nice kit.  Detail is sharp, and the modeler is given the option of replacing some of the plastic parts with photoetch details.  I used the PE on the engine grill on my build and was impressed with the detail and depth which it added.  The kit also features Dragon’s DS tracks which react well to most common modeling adhesives.  Overall a winner and a fun build!


















1/72 UM T-34/76 Soviet Tank

This the T-34/76 “screened” tank, in this case the “screen” refers to additional appliqué armor panels for the glacis and turret.  The tank represents an earlier production T-34/76 with the large turret hatch, but with a periscope for the commander.  The kit is well detailed but a little fiddly to assemble.  The rubber tires on the road wheels are represented with vinyl, personally I would have preferred plastic.  However, these can be made to work and with a little mud they blend right in.


















1/72 Scale Trumpeter KV-2 Soviet Heavy Tank

The KV-2 was basically a huge turret with a 152 mm howitzer mounted on a KV-1 hull.  The Germans had few weapons which could defeat the KV-2, and there are numerous stories of KV-2s holding up entire German armored columns when they were used properly and fought stubbornly.  Trumpeter’s kit is a good representation of the type, it goes together well and fit is good.  Most modelers will want to shave off the grab handles and mud guard bracing and replace them as these are molded solid, but this is an easy improvement.


















1/72 Scale Trumpeter KV-1 Soviet Heavy Tank

The KV-1 was the standard Soviet heavy tank at the time of the German invasion in May of 1941.  While its 76 mm gun was pretty big for the time, the T-34/76 was equipped with the same gun which eventually lead many in the Soviet hierarchy to wonder why a heavy tank shouldn’t carry something even bigger.  Still, and excellent design and one which was initially superior to anything the Germans could field.  Trumpeter has issued a nice little kit here.  There is room for the modeler to make a few improvements, but no difficulties in assembly and the level of detail looks good.

















Russian Tank Batch Build in 1/72 Scale

I often build models in groups, especially if they share the same construction or color pallet.  Over the last year I have been slowly accumulating Russian armor builds.  These I would assemble and set aside, usually to keep working while allowing for drying time on another project.  I eventually got to the point where several models were built up and it was time to finish them off.

This is the Trumpeter KV-1 heavy tank.  It features one-piece vinyl tracks and goes together well.  The braces for the mudguards are molded as solid pieces so I cut them off and replaced them with Evergreen strip.  Mr. Surfacer “casting texture” was applied to the turret.
Trumpeter’s KV-2 is a beast.  It shares the lower hull and running gear with their KV-1 with a separate sprue for the upper hull and turret.  I replaced the mudguard bracing here as well, and made new grab handles from wire.
I really like the looks of the T-34/85, and Trumpeter’s offering captures the look well.  There was a little bit of filler needed at the upper and lower hull joints, but otherwise there were no issues.
This is Dragon’s T-34/76 Mod. 1943.  This one gives you the option of using P.E. for the engine grille, which really looks great when installed.  The DS tracks work with regular modeling glue and are easy to install.  I added lots of grab handles to this one.  I vacillated on the commander’s hatch, eventually I switched back to the one in the kit for the finished model.
UM models are not as well known in the West as other brands.  They are generally not bad kits, featuring some fine detail but requiring a little more from the modeler to achieve a good result.  This is one of a series of Soviet armored cars, the BA-9.  A second turret of a different design is included in the kit so other versions are possible.  The kit was provided with vinyl tires.  These do have certain advantages but all in all I would prefer molded plastic as I find them easier to work with.
Another UM kit, this is the SU-100 assault gun.  This kit has vinyl for the road wheels and link and length track.  I was worried about getting a solid join with this combination but it held together well with superglue.  The engine grill is provided on a small fret of P.E.
This is another UM kit, the T-34/76 “screened” tank, in this case the “screen” refers to additional appliqué armor panels for the glacis and turret.  The engine grill is provided on a small P.E. fret.  I thought I had lost this fret, so I cut out the grill panel and used the spare plastic piece from Dragons T-34/76.  After I had made the change I found the P.E. fret in the small bag with the decals, but the deed was done.
Here is the whole batch painted with Mr. Color 4BO and sealed.
Another group shot after weathering.  I tried out various weathering combinations using oils, washes, and pigments.  This was a good chance to experiment, no two are done the same way.