Russian Tank Detroyer

1:48 Scale - Kit No.32527
Review by Terry Ashley

The SU-122 was an assault gun built on the hull of the T-34 tank the first production at the end of 1942 and did reasonably well in combat with production continuing until the early autumn of 1943 for a total of roughly 1,150 SU-122s built. SU-122 was completely replaced by the SU-85 in mass production for better anti-armour capabilities.

Tamiya have followed their earlier kit of the T-34-76 (kit #32515) with this rendition of the SU-122 and probably the first thing I should mention is NO this kit is not a shrunk down version of their 1:35 SU-122 (kit #35093) with many details on this kit being finer and more correct than on the larger 1:35 kit.

The kit consists of 222 parts in dark green plastic plus the now familiar cast metal lower hull tub, a length of twine for the tow cables, a few poly caps plus the decal and instructions sheets.

This kit shares sprue A from the T-34-76 kit with the running gear and other bits and pieces some of which can be consigned to the spares box such as the 76mm barrel and some storage boxes.

Standard of moulding is typical Tamiya with clean crisp mouldings and just a bare minimum of visible pin marks with the cast effect on the gun mounting a standout feature as well a some very fine parts such as the miniscule lifting eyes on the gun and very little cleanup needed on the parts overall.

Lower Hull:
The metal lower hull tub has the axles cast in place with basic bolt head and axles attachment details with separate final drive housings in plastic which also incorporate part for the rear hull sides, but there are a couple of pin marks to be removed for these parts but will probably be hidden once the top hull is in place.

The plastic rear hull lower panel includes the final drive fairings and separate towing shackles with the fit of the plastic panel to the metal hull and final drives being very good without any gaps to be filled.

The front idler axles are held in place by two large poly caps that sit in troughs inside the hull and allow the axles to move to ensure the wheels sit correctly when fitting the track sections later and is a nice feature.

Details on the road wheels, drive sprockets and idler wheels is excellent with the rubber rimmed road wheels having good tread pattern and well defined rim and bolt head details with a separate centre hub cap for good definition and are designed to simply glue in place on the axles. There are four large pin ejector marks in the inside of the inner road wheels but these won’t be seen after assembly unless you make habit of crawling around under your 1:48 models.
The drive sprocket details are also very good on both the inner and outer wheels as are the all steel idler wheel halves.

Tracks are in the form of plastic link and length with nice link details but there is two pin marks to be removed on the inside of each link with long sections for the top and bottom track runs with shorter lengths and single links for around the drive sprocket and idler wheels. If you can choose to leave the track off till later, leave the drive sprocket and idler wheels loose also as this will make attaching the track easier after the hull top is attached.

Upper Hull:
The upper hull is moulded in one piece with openings for the upper rear engine intake screen door and side engine intake louvers which are separate to allow good detail definition as well as for the front driver’s hatch, upper hull hatches and visors plus the large gun mounting.

The upper hull is attached to the lower hull by two small screws via locating holes under the rear screen door panel and front hull gun mounting opening and you should remember to screw the two hull parts together before attaching either of these parts or you will have problems attaching the hull top later.

Also the two side engine louver panels have to be inserted from inside the hull prior to attaching the hull and you should take careful note of the assembly sequences around this area with the fit of the louvers being very good.

The rear hull panel has good details on the engine access hatch with separate exhaust pipes which have the ends hollowed using slide moulds and separate armoured covers which incorporate the indented bolt recesses with the fit of the panel to the hull again being very good. The bolt head detail has been revised from the T-34 panel and is now more prominent for a better appearance.

At the front the driver’s hatch has separate inner details and outer periscope cover to allow these to be shown open or closed as you wish.

The large gun mounting is a single piece with good cast texture included and the inner gun mounting allows for elevation and a small amount of traverse although there is no room for sideways movement of the gun after assembly.

The outer gun mounting is in three parts and has well defined details and the good fit of the parts makes cleaning up the small join seams very easy but remember to leave the join seam between the front section (part E23) as this should be there. The two small lifting eyelets on top of the gun mounting are moulded superbly thin and look well within scale when attached.

The 122mm barrel is a single piece which is hollowed out to a depth of 4mm for a very good appearance and the small moulding seams are very easy to remove for a nice looking barrel that fits snugly into the front of the gun mount.

The fit of the assembled gun mounting to the hull is excellent without any play but remember to screw the upper hull to the metal lower hull before attaching the gun mounting.

On the top of the superstructure are four separate visors on the raised vision cupola and a separate Commander’s hatch and periscope. The rear ventilator has open ventilation slits that look very good but you may want to blank off the insides to hide the ‘see through’ look which is apparent from some angles.

Other hull details include the round side mounted fuel tanks made up of four parts each with separate mounting racks and the many hand rails along the sides of the superstructure and on the engine deck moulded commendably thin with just minor moulding seams to be removed before fitting. One the left side is the small storage box and forward mounted light and horn assemblies.

There are spare track links attached to the fenders with the twine provided used with the plastic cable ends.

The small decal sheet is typical Tamiya with well printed markings but slightly thick carrier film and provides generic markings for any SU-122 you may want to depict with one overall green and one camouflaged vehicle shown in the instructions and a third shown on the box side in winter whitewash finish.

I’ll mention one scheme that can be made from the numbers included on the sheet is a interesting scheme of a whitewashed SU-122 with fine painted tree branches added by an artistic crewman.


This is another superb kit in the series with excellent details and easy assembly with all the particular features of the SU-122 captured well and will build into an attractive model OOTB.

It will be interesting to see if Tamiya carry on with other versions of the T-34/SU series as there are many options available.

Highly recommended for 1:48 fans.

Decal sheet

The Sprues
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Detail images
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T-34 in action #2020
Squadron Signal Publications
ISBN 0-89747-112-1
Russian T-34 Battle Tank
Schiffer Military History
ISBN 0-88740-405-7
T-34 Medium Tank 1941-45
Osprey New Vanguard 9
ISBN 1855323826
SP Guns on T-34
Modelist Konstruktor
publications 1/2000
Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created April 17, 2006

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