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You are here: Home IS Series Plastic & Resin Kits 1/35 Scale DML/Cyber-Hobby #9112 JSU-152 3-in-1

#9112 JSU-152 3-in-1

This kit is essentially a reboxing of components from the earlier JSU-122 and JSU-122S/JSU-152 kits (#6013 and #6047) with some retooled components and a bonus set of figures from DML's Red Army Scouts & Snipers set #6068.  Most notable is the retooled lower hull tub which corrects the the height problem in DML's earlier IS series kits. Furthermore, the kit provides excellent value for money since it allows you to model any of the ISU variants using hulls from Factory No.200.

Step 1 of the kit instructions direct you to assemble the sprockets, road wheels/idlers (the road wheels and idlers were identical on the IS series) and return rollers.  As noted in General Comments, the road wheels are slightly undersized and you can replace them if you wish.  The kit return rollers represent the later pattern with three large lightening holes, which were introduced in June 1944.  If you wish to model a vehicle from late 1943 or the first six months of 1944, you must fill the lightening holes.  John Stevens has come up with a way to do this which is described here.

Step 2 of the kit instructions deals with the lower hull.  This kit has been retooled by DML to address the height issue with the lower hull of their earlier kits.  However, the height of the lower hull sides has not been increased along their entire length, resulting in a visible gap behind the top run of the tracks.  You can close this gap with sheet styrene.

The instructions correctly direct you to add the ammunition loading port (part B32) to the left-hand side of the hull.

The kit instructions give you the option to remove the mounting plates for the spare track links on the lower front hull.  Track links were not mounted in that location until May/June 1944.  However, the spare track mounts were retro-fitted to many earlier vehicles so check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

The tow hooks on the lower front hull include the spring-loaded retaining clips.

Step 3 covers the tracks.  The kit includes individual link 'Magic Track' tracks depicting the split-link pattern fitted to all IS series vehicles prior to the late spring of 1944.  These tracks are a very nice representation of the original and really not require replacement, though there are several suitable after-market sets available should you wish to replace the kit parts.  The tracks persisted in service until the end of the war though the later single link tracks became more common from the summer of 1944 onwards.  Check your references for the vehicle you are modeling and replace the tracks with aftermarket items if you need to depict the single link tracks.

The instructions also direct you to assemble the lower rear hull at this point.  The lower rear hull plate includes the towing hooks and the spring-loaded retaining clips that held the tow cables in place.  If you intend to attach tow cables to the rear hull however (the kit does not include cables so you must use aftermarket items), do not attach the retaining clips (parts B25) until after you add the cables to the vehicle.

The lower rear hull does not include mounting points for spare track links.  Most photographs of ISUs show the track links and mounts to be absent, but at least one photograph of an ISU-152 in 1944 shows them in place, so check your references for the particular vehicle you are modeling.

Step 4 covers the assembly of many of the upper hull details. The upper hull itself has been retooled and the detail is crisper than the original.  The instructions tell you to cut out the locating points for the spare track links on the front edge of the glacis in Step 8, but by then all the detail parts will then be in place on the upper hull and you risk damaging them during the cutting process.  I recommend cutting out the locating points at the beginning of Step 4.  You should do this if you are modeling a vehicle from the period after May/June 1944 since, as noted above, the track links were fitted to all new production vehicles after that time, and retro-fitted to most earlier vehicles.

The radiator exhaust grille at the rear of the engine deck is molded as a separate part, unlike the earlier kits.  The grille is still molded in a single part and lacks the undercuts beneath the angled louvres, but this is not easily noticeable on the finished model.  The upper rear hull immediately behind the grille features three reinforcing buttresses common from mid-1944 onward, but these are molded square whereas they should be triangular.  This is easily corrected with a sharp hobby knife.

The towing shackle stowage bracket on the front left-hand fender is rather poorly represented and should be replaced with a suitable part from an after-market set.

The mounting bracket for the spare hydraulic fluid container (part D16) is mounted in the correct position for a vehicle from mid-1944 onward.  However, if you are modeling an ISU-122 or ISU-152 from late 1943 or early 1944 and are omitting the spare track links, you should relocate part D16 to the lower front hull between the towing hooks.

The forward pair of handrails on the forward superstructure side plates were only fitted to post-war vehicles, so check your references for the vehicle you are modeling.

The lifting eyes (parts B20) are molded with the rings standing perpendicular to the plates on which they are mounted.  The rings were free to swivel in their mounts and typically laid flat against the plates.  The kit parts can be modified by carefully cutting the rings from the eyes and re-attaching them in a more natural position.  This applies not only to the superstructure and engine deck lifting eyes but to those on the rear hull (Step 6) as well.

The external fuel tanks (parts B15, B16, B17, B18 an B19) represent the 100-litre type common during the Great Patriotic War, rather than the larger-diameter 160-litre type commonly seen on post-war vehicles.  The tanks include integrally molded securing straps and lifting handles.  While these will respond well to careful painting, the appearance of the model will be improved if you replace the bands and handles with aftermarket items.

The tools mounted on the superstructure sides feature molded-on clamps, which are molded as solid blocks.  These will benefit from replacement with aftermarket items.

Step 5 deals with the gun barrels, mantlets and gun mounts.  The kit includes three separate barrels for the A-19S gun (ISU-122), D-25S gun (ISU-122S) and ML-20S (ISU-152).  It only includes two mantlets and gun mounts since the ISU-122 and ISU-152 shared a common mount.  Small fittings such as the hinges for the rain guard (parts D14 and D15) and the lifting hooks (parts B24) are shared across both mounts.  This means that you are not left with a complete gun/mount assembly for your spares box after the kit is assembled.

Step 6 covers the rear of the superstructure, remaining engine deck details and the upper rear hull.  The kit instructions incorrectly tell you to add the gun travel lock (part A3) to the upper rear hull plate.  No ISUs carried the gun travel lock as built.  While it is possible that some vehicles were rebuilt using upper rear hull plates cannibalized from IS-2s, I have not found any photographic evidence to corroborate this theory.

Step 7 directs you to assemble the 12-part assembly for the 12.7mm DShK machine gun mounted on the commander's hatch.  The machine gun was fitted to all new production vehicles from the end of 1944 onward, and retro-fitted to many older vehicles in early 1945.  Note that the kit does not include the stowage brackets for the machine gun on the superstructure rear plate.  Photographs indicate that most vehicles fitted with the DShK machine gun carried the brackets so if you wish to model a vehicle with the machine gun, you should add the brackets from aftermarket parts.

Step 8 attaches the armament to the superstructure.  The instructions direct you to mount the DShK machine gun only if you are building an ISU-122S.  However, photographs show that the gun was fitted to many ISU-122s and ISU-152s so check your reference for the vehicle you are modeling.

Assembly concludes with the attachment of the spare track links to the lower front hull in Step 9.  The spare tracks were mounted from mid-1944 onward, but photographs indicate that many vehicles carried an incomplete set.  The kit provides separate mounting brackets so you can omit one or more of the track links if you wish.

The kit provides seven marking options:

  • ISU-152, 384th Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Czenstochova, Poland 1945, finished in Protective Green 4BO with a patchy whitewash and the slogan 'Moskva' in Cyrillic lettering on the superstructure sides
  • ISU-152, 374th Guards Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Lvov, Ukraine 1944, finished in three-color camouflage of Protective Green 4BO, Dark Brown 6K and Yellow Earth 7K with a tactical number '45' on the superstructure sides
  • ISU-152, Unidentified Unit, Third Baltic Front, 1945, finished in overall Protective Green 4BO with a tactical number '25' on the forward superstructure sides, a colorful pierced-heart cartoon and the slogan 'Death to the German occupiers!" on the rear superstructure sides
  • ISU-122, Unidentified Unit, Germany 1945, finished in overall whitewash with no markings
  • ISU-122, Unidentified Unit, Germany 1944, finished in a two-color camouflage scheme of of Protective Green 4BO and Dark Brown 6K
  • ISU-122S, Unidentified Unit, Poland 1945, finished in Protective Green 4BO with whitewash on the superstructure front and the tactical number '16' on the superstructure sides
  • ISU-122S, Unidentified Unit, Poland 1944, finished in Protective Green 4BO with whitewash on the superstructure front, with a tactical number '23' on the forward superstructure sides and the slogan 'Mikoyan' on the rear superstructure sides

In summary, this kit addresses the most serious shortcoming of DML's earlier kits and provides excellent value for money with its three different main armament options.  If you can source some spare lifting hooks and scratchbuild additional hinges for the rain guard above the mantlet, you can use the spare main gun and mount with another kit such as Tamiya kit #35303.  Note that there is a slight difference in the height of the superstructure between the Tamiya and DML kits.  If you wish to use the DML gun mounts on the Tamiya hull, glue a strip of 0.30" styrene sheet to the underside of the gun mount, cut and sand it to match the contours of the gun mount.  This will bring the top of the gun mount to the correct height.


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