Sunday, 11 February 2018

Skyrex 1/100 SU-122 - Part 1

SU-122 in Kubinka Tank Museum. Source: Wikipedia.
While I wait for some decals I have ordered for my 1/100 T-34s to arrive, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get started on the last of my mid-war Soviet tank force. While the Skyrex white-metal wargaming models don't require a lot of putting together, they do need some extra prep work to get them ready for painting.

The SU-122 was the Red Army's answer to the highly successful German Stug III assault gun/tank destroyer. This design of fixed gun housing on a medium tank chassis suited the Soviet's need for large numbers of quick to build and cheap fighting vehicles. The chief advantage of this design was that you could shoe-horn a larger gun into the housing than you could get in the equivalent vehicle with a rotating turret, thus - while normal T-34 designs were mounting a 76mm main gun - this gun carriage could mount a hefty 122mm howitzer!

The Skyrex Model Overview
While I would have preferred to have stuck with plastic models for my 'Battle of Kursk' project, sadly none of the main 1/100 plastic kit manufacturers make a SU-122 (and I didn't fancy taking on a T-34 conversion project). So, as I only required two of these models, I dug deep and splashed out on a pair of Skyrex metal models (£6.50 each plus postage).

There are only four main parts (main hull, 2 x tracks and commander's hatch) plus four external fuel tanks, a tool box and a 'unditching log'. [Apologies for the lack of clarity of the photos, but bare metal is quite difficult to photograph.]

As usual, for a white-metal model, there is a little flash and a tiny bit of deformity so 'cleaning up' mainly involves smoothing out any pitting, bits of flash and scratches with some mild filing and shaving. Additionally, I've been told that it's good practise to give all surfaces a quick rub down with some 'wet and dry' paper to remove any of the moulding medium residue.

Detail wise, it's a mixed bag, but this is the compromise you make when having to resort to a low run metal moulding compared to a high volume plastic injection kit. The crispness of detail you get with plastic just isn't there, but - again - there isn't a plastic SU-122 model in this scale...So, be content! ;)

Because of the lack of definition with some of the detail (particularly the engine deck) I'm a bit worried about how the painting will pan out.

😬 <--- My worried face!

Well, I better get my file and 'wet and dry' out and get going...

Next: Priming, where I should get a better idea about how some of that detail might turn out.

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