Bronco Models 1/48 Su-152 (KV-14) Russian Self-Propelled Gun Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2014||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Su-152 (KV-14) Russian Self-Propelled Gun||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48004||Primary Media||Styrene/PE|
|Pros||Great detail||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$53.00|
When the Soviet Army began to repel the German Army from around Stalingrad, they realized that they did not have armored self-propelled artillery to deal with German fortifications that had been erected around the city. At that time, their heavy guns like the 152mm ML-20 was towed by horses and was vulnerable to attack during transport. Their closest capability was the KV-2 mobile pillbox that was so high-centered that even the slightest terrain risked rolling the vehicle over.
Development started on the KV-14, a mobile ML-20 gun mount with fully enclosed armor protection for the crew and a low center of gravity for mobility. Built upon the KV-1S heavy tank chassis, the KV-14 was redesignated as SU-152 (Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 152, or self-propelled carriage w/152mm gun) and soon filled another urgent combat need - the ability to fire heavy direct fire rounds and mobile German fortifications also known as Panthers and Tigers. The SU-152 became an effective cat hunter on the battlefield prompting an improved version to be built upon the IS tank chassis and becoming the ISU-152.
Bronco Models has released the SU-152 in 1/48 scale and I'm impressed with the engineering of this kit. Molded in green styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees plus the lower hull, one small tree of clear parts (light lenses) and one small fret of photo-etched parts (engine deck grille). As you can see, the track is link and length with the upper runs of track featuring track sag molded in place. Assembly of this kit will be straightforward with the only need for cyano to install the engine deck grill photo-etched part.
The kit makes good use of slide molding technology as the main gun barrel has the signature vented muzzle and the barrel is one-piece hollow. This same approach is applied to the four external fuel tanks as they are three pieces that come together at the bracket mounts so you won't have seams to deal with. Nice! The kit features positionable crew and engine access hatches though this kit does not have interior details. Well not exactly true - the ML-20 gun is nicely replicated on the inside of the fighting compartment but you'll need to provide the rest of the interior details or have crew in the hatches should you opt to position these open.
This is a nice looking kit that should make quarter-scale armor modelers happy!
My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!