Zvezda is a common word amongst Slavic languages meaning “star”. Here, we are talking about a Russian Model company, some 20 years old.
This kit is described variously in reviews as –
- The kit has no interior detailing so one builds it with all the hatches and covers closed. There are no optional parts on this one and the gun assembly is basically just the barrel attached to a ball joint that fits inside the gun area on the hull.
- The box it represents a postwar version that was in a museum in one of the former Warsaw Pact countries, so there will probably be some backdating to do.
- The Zvezda SU-100 is OK, if you have some extra T-34 parts available. Yes, the tracks are bad. And so are the road wheels. I would also replace the gun barrel too, maybe. This kit has the split type cupola (an OK one). Thus making an early vehicle is no problem.
- it fits together well (much better than the Zvezda T-34-85, no rear hull problems) and the fillets at the rear of the casemate aren’t too difficult to add.
- Assuming you want to do a wartime version, you’ll have to do at least another bit of surgery on this kit (creating the rear wall hatch)
- The good things first: this is a very nicely done kit, as good as the T-34 was, and has the correct late solid rubber wheels with dished disk centers. The fuel tanks come in four parts — two end caps and two center sections — which means that they can be assembled without the gaps found in the Tamiya kits (this is the same design as found in their IS-2 kit). The gun barrel is formed of a tube and cap — note not one sinkhole was found in my tube, which is a solid plastic part — and the entire gun is completely flexible thanks to an ingenious mounting.
- However, it is missing some details, and is a post-war Su-100M, not an Su-100. Based on comments from the Internet (USENET: rec.models.scale) most modelers want to make the Arab ones anyway, which were nearly all Su-100M versions built in Czechoslovakia, so that is not going to be a big problem. It has the same lower hull pan and tracks as the T-34, which means that it will certainly require most modelers to get an after-market set of tracks for it
- All angles and dimensions on the kit are correct. The only thing missing for the Su-100 are the projections at the rear of the casemate where the sides project beyond the rear casemate wall. These are only about 25mm long in real life (.030″ in scale) and can be made from strips of .030 deep x .050 wide styrene. It will need to be lined out at the bottom with weld bead where the casemate sides attach to the rear of the hull. For the Su-100, there is a fillet which adapts the casemate to fit on the T-34 hull. The best views of this are found in the book “Soviet Mechanized Firepower 1941-45” by Steve Zaloga and Janusz Magnewski, published by Arms and Armour Press in 1989.
- The real vehicles show lots of weld bead, most of which is not on the kit. Most obvious are those at the rear of the casemate (noted above), around the lower edge of the bulge for the commander’s cupola, around the cupola itself, the front and top edges of the casemate. The ones around the driver-mechanic’s hatch mountings are provided. The sides are 45mm thick (.050″) and the front plate is 100mm (.120″ or 3mm) to give you an idea of where to set the beads.