Soviet SU-100 Tank Destroyer
Dragon Kit #6359
Review by Terry Ashley



The reworked kits from Dragon in their “Premium Series” continue with the kit of the SU-100 Tank Destroyer which is based on the original SU-100 kit #6075 and has many of the same parts with a few new and reworked plastic parts but the main new items are the extensive etched frets and metal barrel.

You can only build a late WWII era SU-100 from the parts provided as post war vehicles had a number of updates most notably the large storage box on the right front fender but it does include the later style commander’s cupola hatch, also many post war SU-100s were refitted with T-54/T-55 style star road wheels.

The Kit:

The kit also uses a number of parts from the previous T-34-85 kits such as the lower hull, axles, drive sprockets, idler wheels, the “magic track” and a few smaller details common to the T-34 series.

The kit consists of:
Metal and clear parts

The standard of moulding is again typical Dragon with good crisp details and a minimum of flash, pin marks or other blemishes with only the usual minor moulding seams to be cleaned off the parts as with any kit. There are many small ‘nodes’ on the parts to be removed but these are a small price to pay for the cleaner parts overall.

Some of the previous parts most notably the hatches have been “cleaned up” to remove the inner pin marks for a cleaner appearance with these have a few extra “nodes” to remove as a consequence.

There is one notable moulding flaw on the superstructure side cupola bulge where the antenna mount is short shot, this is the same on two kits I have and may be a problem with the moulds which hopefully will be addressed?

The large etched frets have many small brackets and other details such as grab handles plus the engine intake grills that adds many of the finer details to the kit but the etching quality is not as good as with previous kits with the parts being quite ‘dirty’ in appearance but are fully etched so this may only be visual and not an issue once painted?

Throughout the review I will include side by side images of some parts from the previous SU-100 kit #6075 to show exactly what is new and what isn’t as well as showing those parts with updated details.

Dimensionally the kit measures up well against available 1:35 plans with any discrepancies within acceptable tolerances.

Lower Hull:

This is a conventional tub with bottom, sides and sponson covers with separate front and rear panels as well as the four internal suspension towers with inner spring detail added to the insides and is the same hull used on all previous T-34-85 and SU kits. There are two small discs added to the underside as well as a small etched access panel to relocate the forward inspection hatch and added to the sides are the separate axles, idler mountings and final drive housings as well as the rear side track pin retainer bracket.

The axles are fixed in the neutral position but it would be easy to reposition for a diorama setting if required and the idler mounting can be fixed at different angles and it my be an idea not to glue this until fitting the tracks to get the correct tension.

At the front is a separate lower plate with nice weld seam details and the lower rear hull panel includes the final drive bulges as well as towing hooks added to both panels with the fit to the hull being very good.

The small cable retailing brackets on the front and rear towing hooks are provided as thin etched parts to replace the simple plastic parts for more detail.

The road wheels as mentioned are the same bolted disc type as in the previous SU-100 kit but the rubber section has raised rib detail which is best sanded off as this is rarely seen on real wheels plus the central hub cap is also a separate part.

Both the drive sprockets and idler wheels are the same as the previous kit with nicely represented rim details with the idler having a separate hub cap while the drive sprocket has the cap moulded with the wheel meaning there is no undercut around the hub cap as with the idlers and road wheels but this is only a minor issue.


These are in the form of individual “magic” track links that don’t have any sprue attachments to clear up but there are two shallow pin marks on the inside of each link which will be easy to remove but makes things a little tedious.

The links are not workable and are designed to be simply glued together and as there is only minor track sag on the T-34 you can assemble the top and bottom runs beforehand and add after the glue is nearly dry.

Also included are 4 spare track links to add to the front plate that have the attachment points included as well as 12 track grousers stowed on the right fender.


The main upper hull/superstructure is from the previous kit but the fighting compartment sides have been reworked with indented smooth sides and the outer walls as separate parts that include subtle weld seams around the edges and these just fit flush to the reworked smooth sides.

This alteration is for good reason as at the rear corners of the fighting compartment there is a large overlap lip which was missing from the previous kit and the new separate sides include this lip as you will see when fitted in place and is a nice solution instead of just giving you the overlap lip that would have resulted in join seams to clean up.

Also new is the SU-100 style rear fighting compartment wall without the folding hatch which is a feature of the SU-85/M and very early SU-100s, the original wall with the hatch is still included if you want to build an early vehicle but using the wall without the hatch would be more appropriate choice.

The large front plate is again from the previous kit with the lower row of attachment bolts removed which are now included on the new nose cap provided with separate front fenders added both sides and these have some simulated dents included.

The driver’s hatch has a new outer hatch half to include the two clear periscopes provided with etched inner latches and locking levers to add after cutting off the moulded on plastic ones.

The single front head light gets a new etched mounting and has the clear lens as a separate part and the siren also has an etched mounting which requires you to trim off the original plastic mounting from the siren body.

On the roof the hatches mouldings have been cleaned up to remove the inner pin marks but include a few extra ‘nodes’ to be removed as consequence along with some smaller etched parts added to the latch mechanisms with other parts such as the twin ventilator covers and fine weld seams the same as the previous kit roof.

The right side Commander’s cupola bulge has had weld seam detail added around the edges which does add considerably the to appearance when fitted but as mentioned there is also a moulding flaw where the antenna mount is short shot, but as this is a fairly simple arrangement you should be able to replace this with plastic rod.

There are two cupola hatch arrangements in the kit, the WWII 4 segment type and the later two part hatch that was more commonly fitted post-war and the instructions do show not to use this version.

For the WWII type the main cupola ring has been reworked to reflect the offset hatch ring which is a feature of the particular cupola and nice to see this type of detail recognised.

Assembly of the cupola with separate vision ports around the base and the two part periscope on the one hatch is very straightforward without any problems but make sure the cupola is fitted with the thicker edge facing forward; there are locating tabs to help with this.

Added along the hull sides are the four external fuel tanks and those from the original kit have had the simulated damage enhanced but this now looks overdone and could do with the edges of the ‘dents’ smoothed out for a better appearance, plus there are four new tanks without damage to use if required and the tanks sit on separate racks that have small etched details added as well as etched securing straps for the tanks.

There are also two long equipment boxes on the fenders and the larger of these is provided completely in etched parts including the hinges (non working), latches and fender attachment brackets which will require a bit of work but does look better than the plastic box provided.

The track grousers stowed on the right fender also get etched hull tie down eyes and securing straps for added detail definition and the steel towing cable uses the steel wire provided with plastic hooks on either end.

At the front is the large gun mounting and mantlet both the same as the first kit with the addition of a small round fitting on top of the gun mounting but this is hidden when the folding mantlet cover is fitted but you know it’s there.

Detail on the mounting and mantlet is good with subtle casting texture included as well as nicely defined bolt heads around the mounting base and on the mantlet barrel housing with small lifting eyes added to the mounting and mantlet.

Included in the kit are three 100mm barrels, the original two part plastic barrel with separate muzzle cap, a new one piece plastic barrel which has the muzzle hollowed out but the rear contours where it enters the mantlet are incorrect and represent the style of the SU-85 gun which is strange as the original barrel and the metal barrel have the correct flair on the barrel. Thirdly is the full metal barrel with the muzzle slightly hollowed out but without any rifling and you may want to drill this out more for a better appearance and as mentioned it has the correct flairing at the mantlet end with this barrel being the obvious choice as there is no cleanup and it just fits neatly into the front of the mantlet.

The gun mounting parts assembled without any problems and fit perfectly to the front plate and the design of this means you can leave this off until last as it can be fitted in place at any time.

Engine Deck:

The rear engine is again the same as the previous kit but gets a number of additional details to spruce up the detail.

On the separate rear hull plate is the separate inspection hatch and exhaust pipe covers which are the original smooth type and later vehicles had covers with indentations between each bolt but this cover type is not included.

The original all plastic upper screen door is provided plus you get a new door with the mesh opening already cut-out and the etched mesh and surrounding bolted strips as with the Premium T-34-85 kits but there is a minor issue here.

The new door (part P1) has the side angles too sharp meaning when fitted it doesn’t mate to the hull leave a small ridge at the sides, this may not be of concern to some but it’s one of those issues that when you know it’s there sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.

As the original door is still provided it’s a simple matter to cut out the plastic mesh and add the etched mesh and frame as you did with the T-34-85 kit with this door fitting perfectly to the hull afterwards.

Added inside the door are two etched intake louvers with enhanced detail and these are easy enough to fit but bend them to the desired angle before fitting as it’s difficult to do this after fitting as cyanoacrylate doesn’t like the stresses exerted when bending the louvers.

The upper and top intake grills are in the original plastic which has quite nice details included but you also get new etched grills and inner intake inserts to add additional details.

Fitting these is a little tricky and care will be needed as the grills are very thin and will get damaged if you look at them sideways, so take care.

Adding the inserts to the side intake is simple if a little fiddly but you may want to add a small card strip to fully blank off the insides as you can see though from some angles and the inserts for the top intakes will need you to remove the locating ridge from inside the intake trough before the new etched inserts can be fitted.

Now for the fun bit, the etched grills are the correct size this time around and also correctly don’t extend right to the edges of the intake openings leaving a small gap and to fit the grills Dragon give you a few small “legs” which you bend inward and these are used to attach the grills to the sides of the openings.

Patience will be a virtue here and don’t try and force the grills into place or you will just bend them out of shape but after some careful fitting and application of thin cyanoacrylate I got the screens in place. But again these are only now attached by these ‘legs’ and will be very easy to damage during handing and also during painting so take note and tread carefully around this area from now on.

The new decal sheet has markings for 5 SU-100 with a selection of vehicle numbers, Russian Star and vehicle slogans for a variety of finishes.



Overall this kit will build into an excellent replica of the late WWII SU-100 with the added and reworked details capturing many of the finer details missing from the previous kit.

There are a couple of minor issues and some of the new parts aren’t really up to it such as the new rear intake door and one piece plastic barrel but there are acceptable alternatives in the kit so these aren’t really a problem.

Some of the etched parts will require care when fitting and some experience will help but a nice model will result without too much effort.

Highly recommended 8/10


See the T-34/SU Subjects page for reviews of additional kit and update sets.

The Sprues:

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Detail Images
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Wydawnictwo Militaria No.240
ISBN: 83-7219-240-5
Ground Power Magazine
#092 - 1/2002

GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
SP Guns on T-34
Modelist Konstruktor
publications 1/2000

Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service fromRainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created April 16, 2007