Model, Text and Photos by: By Nick Cortese
The Soviet SU-100 Self-Propelled Gun entered production in September of 1944 and began replacing earlier types in soviet service such as the SU-76M and SU-85. It was fitted with a more capable 100mm D-10S gun, making it a more formidable opponent to Germany’s Tiger and Panther tanks. Production ceased in 1947 and close to1,600 were produced.
The kit comprises of over 370 parts in typical Dragon gray flash-free styrene, one clear part, one length of nylon cord and a sheet of decals
This kit is very similar to Dragon’s earlier SU-85 and T-34 kits, taking components from both.
Eduard Photo etch set #35-211.
Anvil Resin tracks (Split type)
.010 and .015 brass rod
Jordi Rubio barrel TG-40 Soviet 100mm
Moskit exhausts #3506
Early on, I decided that I would like to spruce this kit up a bit, not that it needs it, it’s a perfectly good representation out of the box. I wanted to use Eduard set #211 and Anvil resin tracks, so this was a perfect opportunity.
The first thing I did was to grind away all the tie downs and rear engine hatch handle which would be later replaced by .010 brass rod. I cut off both the front and rear fenders and replaced them with foil sheet in the front and Eduards for the back. Engine grill was carefully routed out to add Eduards 2 piece etched engine grill. Louvers are included and make a nice subtle touch.
As per instructions, I started with the lower hull. The "Christie" suspension is faithfully represented along with the well cast road wheels. The drive sprocket and idler were placed and lined up, then put aside for painting. Instead of using the kit tracks (which by the way, happen to be very nice), I opted for Anvils split tracks. This revolutionary "click" system needs no glue!!…..they simply click together. They took me a whole 30 minutes to assemble. After all the lining up and getting the proper length, the tracks were put aside for painting. Unfortunately, Anvil is no longer in business. Hopefully, they will make a comeback in the near future….
I moved on to the upper hull, replacing
the grab handles, tie downs and engine hatch with .015 & .010 brass rod.
I decided not to have external fuel tanks so just the Eduard brass fuel tank
holder’s were used. I assembled the entire top hull, adding tow hooks, hatches,
cupola, etc. The Eduard engine grills were used only for the top I didn’t feel
the sides needed them…. front and back plates went on without a problem. Headlight
assembly and all the other etch parts went on at this time…as you can see by
the pre-painting preliminary photos, not much brass was used. The upper and
lower hulls just fell into place. It was that good!!!
I felt that the side skirts were a little wide so I sanded a bit off, removed the lip, and replaced it with styrene strip of equal size. Replaced dual engine exhaust with Moskit’s, here is another great product but, be very careful when handling they are fragile and tend to dent up very easily. Added bolts to front fenders that I had to remove.
The mantlet is beautifully cast and just snaps into place. I used Jordi Rubio’s replacement barrel, which was a perfect fit. Once everything was in place I started adding weld seams to appropriate areas. Once this was done, I went over areas like the tie downs and cupola with a small dab of Mr.Sufacer, blending together any uneven areas. No putty was used.
I used Tamiya’s IJA green (XF-13) throughout, then mixed in a little Flat White (XF-02) lightly feathered to subtlety changing the shade throughout……
A light wash of thinned oils (raw umber and burnt sienna) was given to recessed areas and a subtle dry brushing of oils in a lighter shade of a mixed green to bring out the raised details. A mix of buff (XF-57) and flat earth (XF-52) was applied to the undersides front and back for a dusty effect. The wheels were painted black then over sprayed with the same "dusty" mix. Tracks were painted German Grey (XF-63) then weathered with Brown pastels.
I used Eduard’s excellent Painting masks for the markings. I cannot recommend them enough!!….If you have never tried them do yourself a favor and give them a try you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!! I lightly went around the markings with a lighter shade of IJA green this was to give a warn look to it.
For streaks, Black and brown pastels were mixed then subtly applied.
This is probably without question the best SU-100 out on the market. Highly recommended!! Great fit, fantastic tracks make this a great buy.
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