(For build log of this project click here)
In spite of the fact, that it took me almost 4 months to finish, JSU was one of my “faster” projects. This was partly due to the fact that the base kit was from Tamiya, making it no-fuss built, though at a price. JSU-152 is typical Tamiya piece – well-engineered, with great fit of parts, but also oversimplified with some detail simply far from the standard that can be expected from the major plastic kit producer these days. Part of the thanks should of course go to the Russian tank designers, whose designs were usually simple, rugged machine, lacking the sophistication of their German opponents.
The project ended with a slightly different vehicle than it was started, but it was my actual desire to build the 122 version, instead of 152. The conversion was very simple, and one can always argue that buying the whole Dragon kit just to get an ill-fitting gun mount is not worth its price (maybe som opportunity for aftermarket resin producer?).
I was able to stay away from other aftermarket additions, with the exceptions of the Friul tracks, which are in my opinion well worth the investment, especially in case of Russian tracked vehicles with their uniques track sag.
I used this project to try couple of new products, mainly from the AK interactive, which I quite like. Normally I am the one questioning the value of the pre-mixed washes and filters, but I must admit I am starting to like the convenience of being able to just shake the bottle and go at it…
I’ve got few key lessons from this build: first – start with the base coat lighter, much lighter. The final finish of the JSU is a tad too dark, which is maybe quite realistic, but the weathering effect is somewhat less visible. Another one – don’t be afraid of the contrast, I remember when doing the highlighting, I was afraid that the visual contrast between different surface sections is just too high. At the end it seems, this looks very perfectly fine and the contrast could even be bit higher.
The vehicle took silver at the Ajax model show in the WWII Allied category, being beaten by my colleagues John Maher’s Su-100, which was really outstanding piece.
For anybody attempting to build this kit I can recommend book ISU-122/152 from Wydawnictwo Militaria (Nr. 336) as a useful visual reference guide, source of technical drawings and colour plates with number of marking options.
And of course, you can find the detailed build log here.