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rverissimo

1:35 SU-122 Early Production MiniArt

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Miniart

Early Production SU-122

Catalogue #35181

Available from any good model shop

 

MiniArt has been releasing from some time now a new generation of 1:35 injected moulded kits.

The WWII Russian Self-propelled family SU has received a detailed attention, on the form of SU-85, SU-85 with interior and SU-122 with interior . The subject of this review is the Su-122 simplified version without interior detail (no engine and minimized detail on the interior). The fact that it has simplified model does not means that it does not boost details and modern mould injection. Miniart did its job well done.

From my knowledge, the only 1:35 scale representation of the SU-122 was Tamiya (dated from 1976). The Miniart model is a qualitative leap.

 

A little bit of history

 

The SU-122 (from Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 122 mm) was a Soviet self-propelled howitzer or assault gun used during World War II. The number "122" in the designation represents the caliber of the main armament—a 122 mm M-30S howitzer. The chassis was that of the T-34.

In April 1942, design bureaus were asked to develop several assault guns with various armament: 76.2 mm ZiS-3 divisional field guns and 122 mm M-30 howitzers for infantry support, and 152 mm ML-20 howitzers for attacking enemy strongholds.

A prototype assault gun, armed with the 122 mm howitzer and built on the German Sturmgeschütz III chassis was developed, designated SG-122. Only 10 of these were completed. Production was halted when the vehicle was found to be hard to maintain and judged to be unsuccessful.

Simultaneously, an SPG based on the T-34 medium tank was also developed. Initially, the T-34's chassis was selected for the 76.2 mm F-34 gun. This vehicle, the U-34, was created in the summer of 1942 at UZTM (Uralmashzavod – Uralsky Machine Building factory) design bureau, by N. W. Kurin and G. F. Ksjunin. It was a tank destroyer with the same armament as the T-34, but without a turret. The vehicle was 70 cm lower than a T-34, had thicker armour, and was 2 tonnes lighter. It did not enter production.

UZTM then worked on combining features of the U-34 and the SG-122. Initial design work was completed between July and August 1942. The project emphasized minimizing modifications to the platform and the howitzer. It used the same chassis, superstructure, engine and transmission as the U-34 and was armed with (the then new) 122 mm M-30S howitzer from F. F. Petrov's design bureau. This vehicle also used the same gun bed cover and mountings as the SG-122, to keep costs low and simplify production. It had 45 mm thick frontal armour. The M-30S howitzer could be elevated or depressed between −3° and +26° and had 10° of traverse. The five-man crew consisted of a driver, gunner, commander and two loaders.

(Source Wikipedia)

 

What’s in the box

 

Miniart present us a relative compact box, considering the amount of parts supplied.

It’s a very nice and warm feeling when we are in front of compact and fill to the top box containing an appealing modelling subject.

 

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The sprues are nicely package on two clear plastic bags.

 

In the total we’ll have 565 plastic parts divided by 56 Sprues. Yes… 56 Sprues. Before you get scared, more than half of this sprues correspond suspension parts, road wheels and individual tracks. But all of this has a purpose: Detail

 

Sprue Layout:

 

Allow me to show you the sprues and provide some visual of some details of this model.

 

Sprue B – Contains parts for lower hull, rear upper hull and engine cover

 

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Sprue Ca - Hull rear, engine deck details and spring tower covers

 

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Sprue D – Casemate, Glacis and gun mantlet

 

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General overview of the sprue

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Detail of the cast on the gun mantlet

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A nice touch on the weld seams around the periscope mount and front hatch

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Sprue Da – Engine exhaust

 

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Look at the detail of the exhaust clamps! Pity that they won’t show up on the finished model, as this doesn’t bring the engine parts to couple with the exhausts .But the detail is there!

 

Sprue Ea (x2) - Idlers, suspension parts and interior details

 

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I should mention the detail on the suspension springs

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Springs you say? The detail on this part in simply fantastic, as a statement of the modern injection molds technology.

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Just for curiosity, here’s a close-up of the instruction for this parts

 

Sprue Eb(x2) – Drive sprockets, exhaust covers

 

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Sprue Ed (x2) – Driver’s Viewer flaps, details

 

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Sprue F (x10) - Road wheel hub caps, fuel tank brackets, suspension springs and attachment points

 

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Sprue Fi (x10) – Front and back road wheels

 

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These road wheels boost a nice detail, despite the mold line across the rubber tire of the wheel. Minimal cleaning is required with no harm to the rubber pattern detail.

 

Sprue Fj (x10) – tooth track link

 

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The tracks are well molded with crisp detail, one of them call my attention, so …

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Every track has a number casted. I really needed to zoom in on the picture.

 

Sprue G – gun mount, breach, and 122 mm barrel

 

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The gun barrel on his full display. Hollow barrel with rifling.

 

Sprue Fk (x4) - Fuel tanks, spring casings, road wheel arms

 

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Sprue Jc - Casemate roof plate

 

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Close-up on the cupola cast detail

 

Sprue Je – rear storage box

 

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Sprue L (x7) –  simple track links

 

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PE parts – Engine grill, fuel tanks fasteners, headlamp mounts

 

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Sprue Eg (x2) – main headlamp, periscopes glasses

 

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Decal sheet

 

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The decals are well printed, thin and a minimal carrier film.

 

Decoration schemes

 

  • Su-122 “Frunze”, Bryansk Front, Summer 1943 – green overall
  • Su-122 4th Tank Army, Bryansk Front, August 1943 – green overall
  • Su-122 with slogans on the casemate, Uralmash, Sverdlovsk, 1943 – green overall
  • SU-122 1434th Self-propelled Artillery of the Red Army, Leningrad front, December 1943 – green base with a winter white wash, a red circle on top of the casemate and branches painted on the hull and casemate lateral.

Instructions

 

These supplied as a A4 colour booklet with clear locations called out for all parts.

Painting chart colours provided with equivalences for Ammo Mig, Humbrol, Mr. Color, Testors and Vallejo. A column also describes the colour name

 

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Conclusion

This model is very impressive. It has small and big details that make the difference once assembled.

MiniArt studied the lesson very well, as it allows the modeller to have a detailed replica of this assault vehicle.

It is true that some details are hidden on the finished model (unless you prefer not to glue some hull parts to show the detail), but you’ll now that the detail / parts are there.

The photo-etch fret offers an OOB model with finesse details without need to invest on a detail set from other brand.

 

Very highly recommended

 

I wish to thank Miniart for the review sample.

Ricardo Veríssimo

 

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Nice review! Thank for sharing.

We shared an amazing build from this kit on our Facebook page yesterday.

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