Soviet SU-152 Late
Trumpeter 1:35 Scale Kit #05568
Review by Terry Ashley

The SU-152 was built on the KV-1S chassis and included a large fixed superstructure housing the 152.4mm ML-20S howitzer/gun and entered production in March 1943 with a total of 670 SU-152s built before production switched to the ISU-152 based on the IS chassis with the last SU-152s coming off the production lines in January 1944.

The kit:
The kit represents the later production SU-152 Self-propelled Howitzer and includes all the later features nicely such as the roof top ventilators and revised engine deck exhausts and also includes the large bullet splash guard on the glacis and shell ejection port on the lower right hull side. One item not included that was on some later SU-152s is the small appliqué panel on top of the gun mantlet, this not a uniform addition and it not being in the kit isn’t a real issue but is something the modeller can add if they wish. As a comical side note the Tank Power book refers to this appliqué panel as “a storage bin mounted on the gun mantlet”, err I don’t think so.

This kit consist of:

Etched, metal and clear parts

Dimensionally the kit measures out very well against the 1:35 plans in the AirConnection KV and Tank Power books listed below in areas such as the hull, superstructure size and angles as well as the suspension and running gear with the only real area of concern being the large muzzle brake that is 3mm too long.

The kit uses the lower hull and suspension from Trumpeter’s earlier KV series of kits and hence very well done including the separate side plates added to the hull tub, the correct cast steel road wheels and KV-1S style return rollers are included. As a result of the common lower hull tub you are required to cut away a small section at the front of each side with the parts having internal recessed lines showing where to cut.

The kit includes the individual link 700mm wide split link pattern track, this includes alternate links with and without the guide tooth and are non-working designed to be glued together to form the track runs. As the SU-152 was built on the KV-1S hull the majority of SU-152s were fitted with the narrower (650mm wide) lightweight KV-1S track but this track type isn’t included in the kit and will have to be found elsewhere to display the kit as it most commonly appeared.

The engine deck is in two sections as with the KV kits and has the revised later exhausts although the mounting plate is still the older square plate and not the correct angled mounting plate that goes with the later exhausts. The two side intakes have solid moulded mesh and as most aftermarket etched sets for KVs include the replacement etched mesh covers this will probably be the first upgrade for most.

Also included are the four conical fuel tanks for the engine deck sides made up of three parts each and the design leaves only fine join lines on the centre sections of the tanks with the end sections free of any join seams.

The large superstructure is moulded in one large part with separate rear wall, top and rear hatches and included the later twin ventilators and is dimensionally accurate in width, shape and height with the angles of the side plates also well done. The plate welds which are all quite uniform and fairly smooth while those on the actual vehicles were rough as guts as with most Soviet armour. Also images of the real SU-152 side plates show some are square at the edges and not bevelled at the top meaning the outer edge of the side plates extend above the roof line and ground down in front of the periscopes for a clear field of view.

The side plates on the kit superstructure are bevelled level with the roof line and don't include the raised edge due to the square side panels. Images of both early and late vehicles show this roof feature while some others appear to show the flat finish as with the kit roof and this may be a variation depending on the factory producing the vehicle. There are clear photos of this roof feature in the AirConnection KV book (page 409-412), this book being an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the KV series of vehicles.

Image of the kit superstructure with the flat edge to the roof/side panel join.
Images from the AirConnection KV book clearly showing the raised edge to the roof/side panel join
due to the square edged side plates and rough grinding away of the plate for the periscope clearance
Another view showing the raised edge of the side panels

The large cast gun mounting has a very rough finish as it should but there is a large mould seam on the top of the mounting that will be difficult to remove without damaging the cast texturing, this is mostly covered by the mounting top cover so may not be that much of a problem. The outer large gun mantlet only has subtle cast texturing and this could be enhanced for a better appearance but the large front bolts are nicely defined.

Included in the kit is the 152mm gun barrel and muzzle brake moulded in two halves in the conventional manner and this will leave the usual join seam to be eliminated. Also included are a turned aluminium barrel tube and a one piece plastic muzzle brake that is well done for plastic with just some very fine flash to be cleaned out of the correct 12 gas slots.

The main area of concern is the 152mm barrel muzzle brake which is 3mm longer than both sets of 1:35 plans indicates, the segments of the barrel tube also differ in lengths compared to the plans but the overall length of exposed barrel tube is correct. The muzzle brake length issue applies to the two part barrel/muzzle brake and one piece muzzle brake as well as both the plastic and metal barrel tubes included in the kit. Replacing the plastic muzzle brake with one of the correct aftermarket metal muzzle brakes would solve the length problem as well as improving the appearance.

With this kit based on Trumpeter’s excellent KV series of kits it will build into an impressive model of the large SU-152 and includes all the required features for the late model SU-152 although there are some notable issues such as the poor rendition of the superstructure roof/side plate joins as well as the inappropriate tracks and the muzzle brake size to contend with.

This is just a brief preview of the Trumpeter kit contents with a full build and comparison of the forthcoming Bronco Models kit (CB-35109) SU-152 Late-Production when that kit is available.

The small decal sheet just a series of white outline and red Russian stars plus two groups of 0-9 numbers to allow you to mark up your kit any way you want, there are no specific unit details given on the painting guide.

The instructions are the usual exploded view drawings that are fairly easy to follow as there are not a lot of parts in the kit but as usual you should carefully study the assembly sequences to avoid any problems along the way.

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Sprue detail images
Close new window to return to page

KV Techical History and Variants
by Neil Stokes
Published by AirConnection, Canada
ISBN 978–0–9781091–2–7
Tank Power Vol.XCI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.332
ISBN: 9788372193322
Thanks to my credit card and Hobbyeasy for the review kit.

Page created April 16, 2012

Back to Top