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Zvezda SU-100

FineScale Modeler reviews the easy to build 1/35 scale armor kit
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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In 1993, Zvezda produced a 1/35 scale kit of the SU-100; the same kit was also sold by Italeri, Revell, and Bilek. Now Zvezda has revisited the SU-100 with an all-new kit. 

Molded in dark green plastic, the parts show nice surface detail free of sink or ejector-pin marks. The tracks are link-and-length and a jig is included to fit individual links around the drive sprockets and idlers. Clear parts are provided for the headlight lens, periscopes, and driver’s vision block. 

The suspension arms are fixed in position so the road wheels won’t be misaligned. I left off the running gear and tracks until after painting. 

Building the multipiece upper hull was a little trickier; I wish Zvezda provided a few more alignment devices for the major parts. I recommend adding all of the main hull parts in one sitting so you can make subtle adjustments for fit as the glue dries. Don’t forget to install the gun mount inside the front plate before gluing the hull together.

The plastic mesh for the rear engine cover is easy to cut and doesn’t fall apart at the edges. The mesh is sandwiched between two frames to make sure it follows the cover’s curve.

The gun mount was a little loose but once the upper mantlet armor (Part B28) was added, the barrel would stay in any position it was placed. 

Leaving off the tools, tow cables, headlight lens, and spare tracks, I painted the model. The instructions suggest Tamiya dark green (XF-61), but that seemed too dark to me. I used olive green (XF-58) as a base color.

Decals were added over a coat of Tamiya clear and responded well to Microscale decal solutions. I originally applied markings for the 3rd Guards tank on the sheet, but the diagram for the left side of the casemate has the hull number in the wrong place and there was no room for the slogan. The 23 should be placed lower on the side with the slogan above as seen on the back of the box. Unfortunately, it was too late for me to move the decals, so I painted over them and applied the other set of markings.

I soaked the thread for the tow cable in diluted white glue and let dry before adding the ends. This prevents the thread from unraveling when cut and removes any fuzziness to the cable. 

The track jig worked perfectly and produced a perfect fit to the running gear.

Zvezda’s SU-100 matched the dimension in my references almost perfectly with the only discrepancy being the height which was about 1/8-inch short. 

I spent 16 hours on my SU-100 and it was a refreshing change from the high-part-count kits I’ve built recently. While it is a quick, easy build, the detail and appearance of the finished model is impressive. Any modeler with a couple of years experience should be able to handle it.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2019 issue.

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