Russian JS-3 Heavy Tank in 1/72...
...building the Trumpeter kit
This Trumpeter kit in 1/72 features the Russian JS-3 heavy tank, in an upgraded version to fit in with the World of Tanks computer game. Designed to be able to stand up against the powerful German 88mm guns, the JS-3 came just too late to play any part in WW2, though there has long been conjecture that a few saw action in the final days in Berlin, though production had indeed started in 1945. It first appeared publicly at the Victory Parade in Berlin in September of that year. It was particularly recognisable thanks to the low, dome shaped turret. It carried a 120mm main gun plus a turret mounted 12.7cm DShK machine gun.
The kit includes a gun barrel for the 12mm BL-9 main gun rather than the standard one usually fitted to it. This fits in with the WOT link which also stretches to the inclusion of a base, which matches the style seen in the maintenance element of the game as well. New parts also include the provision of single piece track units, with just the outer road wheels to fit. If you want an alternative, the box still includes the link and length track and individual road wheels of the original release, along with the original gun barrel (which I used). Another change is the inclusion of a little bag of 12 wire grab handles (pre-bent to size) to fit to the turret. What you will have to do though is drill out all the location holes for these grab handles on the turret shell itself. I used a pin-vice to do this. I must say I like it that Trumpeter have included these.
Assembly is generally straightforward, just look out for ejection marks and clean them up to ensure you get the right fit of parts. Once assembled you can manage just a simple colour scheme of Russian Dark Green and just the Guards unit markings to apply to the turret. If I have one disappointment it is that all the hatches are moulded shut, and it would have been good if these had been separate so crew figures could be added.
I bought mine via Tiger Hobbies here in the UK.