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BS-3

ICM 1/35 BS-3 100mm Field Gun Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review 2000 Manufacturer ICM
Subject BS-3 100mm Field Gun Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35141 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $12.00

First Look

BS-3
BS-3

The Soviet Army was never to be outclassed by the Wehrmacht on any level. When the Germans fielded the Tiger tank, the Soviets were already working on improvements to their T-34, as well as rolling out the Josef Stalin series of tanks. The Tigers never had a chance.

One of the mainstays of the German army was 88mm Flak 36/37. Not only was it an effective anti-aircraft gun, it proved to be a painfully accurate and effective anti-tank weapon as well. The Soviets responded with the BS-3 100mm field gun. It could perform as a standard artillery piece with a range of approximately 20 kilometers, and it could also punch through 160mm of armor plate at over a kilometer. While the BS-3 entered service in 1944, it is evidently still in use in numerous countries today.

ICM recently released the BS-3 in 1/35 scale - comprising of 158 parts molded in light gray plastic. The first thing that strikes you as you pull the kit out of the box is that huge gun barrel! No wonder it could knock out anything it hit! My immediate concern was with the fit of something that long and thin, especially something that is supposed to be hollow.

A quick test fit took care of any fears, though, as the barrel went together very nicely, with no ridges or rough seams, either on the outside or on the inside. No locating pegs are provided (they would just be visible down the barrel anyway), so careful gluing is essential with this piece.

The breech block assembly alone is 10 pieces, which in turn, mounts to a 7-piece recoil mount. Adding the barrel uses another 11 parts. All of this detail pays off, as the gun really starts looking like a miniature cannon at this point. The kit also provides equally detailed shields and mount, with all of the hooks, grab-irons and tools to render an impressive artillery piece. Ammunition is even provided, with three different types of shells provided, separate from the casings. When complete, the gun can be traversed and elevated into any pose you'd like.

The wheels are plastic, and are split in halves, with the wheels molded in one half and the tires split. Again, no locating pegs here, but the fit is excellent and once you've made sure that the tread is aligned there shouldn't be any problem. A bit of light sanding on the seam and a perfect wheel. The inside hub detail is very nicely done as well, although not much of it will be seen.

The detail of this kit is at least equivalent to the best artillery pieces offered by Tamiya or DML. I am looking forward to adding this kit to my scale arsenal. I actually bought two, one to be set up deployed, and one to be towed behind a suitable WW2 GAZ or ZIL truck.

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