Trumpeter 1/35 Object 704 SPH Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2014||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Object 704 SPH||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||5575||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||Interesting kit of one-off subject||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$92.95|
As the Soviets started to push German forces out of Russia in 1943, the armament factories were developing new designs to more effectively counter the Panther and Tiger tanks and their derivative tank destroyer variants. The ISU-152 series entered production in 1943 based upon the KV-1 heavy tank chassis and armed with the ML-20 152.4mm gun howitzer. Even as these vehicles were pressed into combat, designers were looking at even better capabilities. One such experimental design was the ISU-152-2 which swapped the ML-20 with the BL-8 main gun with a barrel length of over 8 meters. While the design showed promise, the gun was not reliable.
Another experiment was Object 704 which adopted chassis features out of the JS-2 and JS-3 tanks and was distinctive with its sloping armor and lower profile. Armed with the ML-20SM (no muzzle brake), the vehicle provided the best crew protection of all self-propelled guns in World War II, but with a crew of five, a low ceiling in the fighting compartment, and the lack of a muzzle brake made the workload unbearable for the crew from the gun recoil. Only one prototype was built and it is on display in a Russian armor museum.
Trumpeter does like to produce one-off and paper designs and here's their latest, the Object 704 self-propelled howitzer designed to replace the ISU-152 (had it worked out). This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 15 parts trees plus the upper and lower hull halves, 12 trees molded in rust-colored styrene, one turned aluminum barrel, and one small fret of photo-etched parts. Duplicate parts are not shown. According to the specs, there are 460 parts in this build.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed suspension and road wheels
- Individual track link assembly to replicate track sag
- Nicely detailed DShK anti-aircraft gun
- Detailed (massive) main gun mantlet with metal gun barrel
- Main gun barrel is movable in azimuth and elevation
- Photo-etched rifling insert for tip of gun barrel to replicate howitzer
- Basic pioneering tools and external fuel drum storage provided
The kit provides generic hull numbers and Guards shields should you want to produce a parade or museum vehicle as the prototype was likely kept in its plain 4BO paint.
This will make for an interesting subject as this was as close to a sloped armor tank killer that the Russians had developed during World War II and had the vehicle retained the standard ML-20 gun with muzzle brake used on the earlier ISU-152s, perhaps this vehicle would have been produced for 'cat hunting' enroute to Berlin.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!