The idea of building a Soviet WW2 "bad guy" had been in my mind for a while. Then I found this SU-152 kit on a shelf in a model shop and I bought it immediately!
This Trumpeter kit, no. 5568, is of very good quality. The package contains:
- several grey styrene sprues,
- the hull and the casemate of the same material,
- brown plastic single-link tracks,
- the headlight and the tail-light glasses, made with clear plastic,
- the machined aluminium barrel,
- a brass photo-etchings set,
- a twisted copper wire cable,
- the instructions,
- a sheet with the color scheme,
- a decal set.
The assembling is awesome, with no visible ejection marks nor shrinkings, the seams are very few and easy to remove; the joints are nearly perfect, I didn't even need to use the putty! Moreover, although a plastic version is still available, it's quite better to use the turned aluminium barrel provided with the kit, together with a slide-molded muzzle brake that has no visible seam.
Another positive feature of this kit is the very detailed texture of the cast parts, like the gun mantlet, the forward "shield" and the covers for the vents on the ceiling of the casemate.
In order to enhance the realism, I put a mix of fine sand and vinyl glue on the inner wall of the running gear: it will be a good base for the following painting and for the weathering with pigments.
The assembling of the photo-etchings has been quite easy, except for the rear deflector, too thick for being easy bent.
Another change I made are the welding lines, with Milliput bi-component putty. I made small "sausages" less than 1 mm thick, then I put them where I wanted with the help of the tip of a toothpick. Once the putty set a little, I made some dents with the tip of the cutter to simulate the effect of the arc weldings.
The only flaw of this kit are the tracks: they represent the 70 cm wide ones of the KV-1, not those of 65 cm of the KV-1s —on which the SU-152 is based. So I bought a set of Friulmodel ATL-54 metal tracks, with the correct size. Their assembling is a hard work, but they are definitely more realistic, mainly owing to their natural "weight effect".