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Trumpeter ZSU-57-2

Based on a modified T-54 chassis with fewer road wheels and lighter armor, the ZSU-57-2 SPAAG (self-propelled antiaircraft gun) carries a sting in the form of twin 57mm S-68 auto cannons on the large open turret.

Trumpeter’s new ZSU-57-2 is a great kit of a fun subject. The hull comprises simple upper and lower halves, making a clean, fast build of the main body. The hull presented no fit problems, but the headlights were fiddly.

The trouble-free road wheels and suspension came next. Molded in a different color from the rest of the parts, the tracks  resisted the Tamiya Extra Thin Cement used on the rest of the build; I resorted to Testors tube glue to bond them.

I had no trouble with the guns. The slide-molded gun barrels look great, but you need to carefully drill out a few extra holes in the muzzle break as indicated in the instructions. If you want the guns to elevate, or to pose them at an angle other than straight forward, leave off or modify Part G35 in Step 16. I ran into problems assembling the turret and ammunition inside the walls. The rounds are molded separate from the racks, so they are easy to paint but difficult to align.

I could not fit the turret’s outer walls over the ammunition storage without removing tabs on the back of the racks’ tops. Even after this, the turret walls needed coaxing into place. I glued them in short sections, holding them until the glue was dry to ensure a tight fit all the way around.

The brittle gray plastic was fine for large parts, but I broke several thin parts, such as the handrails, getting them off the sprues.

All the extra work pays off because the open turret puts it all on display. Color instructions for all that interior detail are pretty vague, so I relied on photos.

Trumpeter provides four marking options, with two Soviet vehicles and one each from Iran and Finland. I picked the last because the splinter camouflage provided a nice contrast with the rounded turret.

I spent about 30 hours on Trumpeter’s ZSU-57-2, a little less than usual for a similar-sized vehicle. It makes a lovely addition to a modern armor collection. Watch for the couple of trouble spots and you’ll be fine.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2017 issue.


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