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.
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.
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!
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.
The T-34/85 is arguably the best medium tank design of World War Two, armor aficionados either generally prefer this design or the German Panther. Trumpeter’s kit is well designed and goes together without any drama. The result is nice model right out of the box, or a good place to start tweaking for a detailing project. Either way a fun build!
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.
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.
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.