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ZSU-57-2 SPAAG

Trumpeter 1/35 ZSU-57-2 SPAAG Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2016 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject ZSU-57-2 SPAAG Scale 1/35
Kit Number 5559 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Relatively simple build Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $76.95

First Look

ZSU-57-2 SPAAG
ZSU-57-2 SPAAG
ZSU-57-2 SPAAG
ZSU-57-2 SPAAG
ZSU-57-2 SPAAG
ZSU-57-2 SPAAG

After World War 2, Soviet planners recognized the need for mobile anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) systems to protect troops and vehicles on the ground from air assault. Several concepts were pursued and rejected before attention came on the S-68 automatic gun based upon the fielded S-60 57mm towed AAA gun. While the S-60 was aimed with a radar, the S-68 was visually aimed and fired. The final configuration was based upon a lightened and modified T-54 chassis carrying an open-top turret housing a pair of S-68 guns and ammunition stowage. This system was designated Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka (anti-aircraft self-propelled mount) with two 57mm guns or ZSU-57-2. The Soviets produced over 2000 examples while China also produced the system as the Type 80.

Trumpeter has produced this new-tool subject which is not the first kit to market, but close. While there have been resin kits of this unique weapons system in the past, Trumpeter produced this kit in parallel to at least one other Chinese-based model company (Takom). This is the ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) kit which appears to be simply laid out and nicely detailed. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 17 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower hull halves and six trees molded in brown styrene.

The features and options in this kit include:

  • Nicely detailed lower hull and suspension
  • Individual track links which can be built in sections for easier installation
  • Nice details on upper hull including stowage and pioneering tools
  • Photo-etched engine deck screens
  • Nice photo-etched rear turret basket with styrene frames
  • Beautifully details S-68 guns which correctly assemble as mirror images of each other
  • Slide molding on gun barrels with hollow muzzle brakes and some vent holes - builder will need to drill out remaining vent holes in both muzzle brakes
  • Turret has correct provisions for two or three crew gun seating
  • Extensive ammunition stowage provided

The kit provides markings for four subjects:

  • ZSU-57-2, 980, Soviet Army
  • ZSU-57-2, Middle East service
  • ZSU-57-2, Soviet Army parade vehicle
  • ZSU-57-2, Finnish Army

This is another nice-looking release from Trumpeter that nicely captures the details of this unique weapons system. What is also nice to see is that we have choices as modelers as these various hobby companies compete with one another producing the same subjects with roughly the same level of details but at different price points. If you've been waiting for a nice model of this distinctive vehicle, your wait is over. Now you just need to choose...

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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