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SU-122 Early Production

MiniArt 1/35 SU-122 Early Production Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2016 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject SU-122 Early Production Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35181 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $65.95 (approximate)

First Look

SU-122 Early Production Kit
SU-122 Early Production Kit
SU-122 Early Production Kit
SU-122 Early Production Kit

The Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 122 (SU-122) which means self-propelled platform with 122mm gun, in this case the 122mm D-30S howitzer. The Russians employed artillery pieces as direct-fire weapons to counter German armor as well as hardened emplacements. The D-30S was mounted to the front of a T-34 chassis and had a relatively low profile on the battlefield. When a crew could put a D-30S round on a Tiger tank, the combination of kinetic energy and blast would blow the turret off. While over 1,100 SU-122s were produced, the D-30S was found to be less accurate and difficult to operate within the confined space of the vehicle.

For many years, Tamiya provided the best kit of the SU-122 in 1/35 scale, but that has changed. MiniArt has released the second of several kits of the SU-122, this representing the early production version of the vehicle. You'll recall that MiniArt previously released the initial production version of the SU-122 and it featured a FULL interior. This kit provides a lower cost and lower complexity option for those modelers who want the excellent exterior detail without all of the extra assembly for the engine and crew compartments.

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on 56 parts trees plus two trees of clear parts (duplicate trees not shown) and one fret of photo-etched parts. According to the manufacturer, there are 492 plastic parts and 73 photo-etched parts in this box.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Positionable engine access hatches/doors
  • Detailed suspension system
  • Detailed D-30S howitzer
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Individual track links
  • Beautiful detailing on hull

There is a lot of kit here for the money and lots of detail to keep you busy. What is especially promising is the T-34 chassis which I hope will result in a T-34 with full interior as well (I know it has been done before elsewhere, but wait until you see this kit. Given the number of small parts and intricate painting required to get this all together, I recommend this kit for experienced modelers with good tools.

MiniArt has listened and is providing color instructions with Ammo by Mig, Humbrol, Mr.Color, Testors, and Vallejo paints.

One note on pricing. The MSRP listed above is published by the two importers of MiniArt into the US market. As with many brands produced overseas, there is a bit of markup happening when these products are shipped into the country. If you're uncomfortable shopping with overseas hobby stores, by all means grab one of these kits. However, if you are willing to shop around, you'll find that the retail price of this kit, for example, is around $40 USD in several overseas shops. Some of these shops will even provide free shipping if you place a minimum order.

If you want a nice kit of a Soviet Army mobile assault gun, this SU-122 is their nicest kit produced to date and as I mentioned above, they offer another version with the interior for those that prefer a more detailed build.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!

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