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2C35 Koalitsiya-SV Self-Propelled Howitzer (5055) 1:72


Mike
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2C35 Koalitsiya-SV Self-Propelled Howitzer (5055)

1:72 Zvezda

 

 

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Soviet and post-Soviet Russia have long had a series of self-propelled guns (SPG) with catchy alpha-numeric names such as 2S3, 2S19 and so forth (I’m being a little sarcastic in case you missed it).  The 2C35 is the latest in that long line, and was first seen in public by western sources in the rehearsals for the Victory Day parade in 2015, with more detail revealed as time went by.  It is a highly mechanised vehicle, which has always been a goal of Russian AFV development, but with the advances in technology over the last few decades, the level of automation has advanced substantially, enabling the vehicle to operate efficiently with a reduced crew complement.  The turret is un-manned, and is controlled from the command capsule in the main body of the vehicle, and like much of modern armour, they are part of a digital combat network that improves situational and battle-scape awareness, and the crew can even select the correct type of round for the upcoming fire mission without leaving the comfort and security of their cab.

 

So far, the advanced turret has been fitted on a T-90 derived hull, but it is expected that it may be installed on the T-14 Armata hull in the future, which is in-line with the intended common-platform view expounded when it was announced.  Changes to the auto-loader mechanism have already been made that have increased the rate at which the vehicle can put rounds downrange, with over 60 rounds able to be carried within the hull.  As is common with modern SPGs, the onboard computers can instantly calculate various mission patterns, such as adjusting the trajectory of each successive round so that they all arrive at the same time, giving the enemy no time to scarper when the first shell of a volley detonates.

 

 

The Kit

This is a brand-new tooling from Zvezda, and it arrives in an end-opening box, but hold the groans, as there is an inner cardboard tray with captive lid that prevents the box collapsing if stacked.  Inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of black styrene, a small decal sheet, colour painting guide, and trifold A4 instruction booklet in black and white.  The detail visible on the sprues is thoroughly modern, and there are plenty of aspects of kits of a much larger scale on view that will please any 1:72 AFV modeller.  The black sprue contains the tracks, which are flexible enough to wrap around the road wheels, without having to deal with those nasty, flexible rubbery tracks of yore.

 

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Construction commences with the lower hull, which comprises the floor and two sides, with the self-entrenching tool added under the glacis along with various track-links and lugs.  At the rear are another line of lugs and the rear bulkhead, then the road wheels are made up in pairs with rubber tyres moulded-in, a three-part pair of drive sprockets and two-part idler with tensioning axle at the front, which is inserted as you wrap the tracks around the running gear, so that you can obtain the correct tension once the tracks have been closed up into a loop.  The track parts are well-detailed, and flexible enough to curve around the road wheels, although some heat on the subject will help this task go well and avoid snapping.  A dip in hot water or a hair dryer carefully played briefly over the tracks will assist you with this, but take care not to scold or burn yourself firstly, and secondly don’t melt your tracks!

 

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With both tracks in place, the upper hull is added, and some detail painting will be needed for the pioneer tools moulded into the surface.  It’s worth noting that the moulding is excellent for the scale, with fine vents on the engine deck, panel lines, raised details that will all add realism to the finished model when painted sympathetically.  The side skirts also have a few tools moulded-in, and at the rear the mudguards and additional cooling grilles are fitted below and above the rear deck respectively.  The gun’s travel-lock frame is similarly well-detailed, and it secures to the glacis plate along with the light clusters with their protective frames, a few additional track links, towing eyes, and three crew hatches at the front of the top deck under the gun.  At the rear, the ubiquitous unditching log and two tow-cables are clipped to the bulkhead along with a pair of towing eyes.

 

Speaking of guns, the big Kord 12.7mm remote weapon station includes a well-detail rendition of the gun, its turret, large ammo-can and the sighting box with protective lens cover moulded closed.  This is fitted later to the roof of the turret, which is where the building of it begins, starting with sensors, smoke dischargers, and stowage boxes, with more dischargers added to the sides later.  The main gun is first constructed from the barrel, which has a hollow slatted brake, thanks to a separate section, and another part is added to the width of the shroud before it is slotted into the curved mantlet.  The assembly is then trapped between two vertical plates that are glued to the turret floor, the side facets are added, and topped off with the pre-prepared roof plus the aforementioned additional smoke launchers on each side of the gun.  It’s not over yet though, as the complex loading mechanism needs to be made up from a good number of parts, before it is fixed to the centre of the rear turret wall, to be joined by two stowage boxes that have additional stowage attached to their lower rear.  The remote weapon slots into the raised base on the roof, and the turret is twisted into place on the hull with bayonet lugs holding it in place, with a choice of a travel-locked barrel, or not, depending on how you would like to pose your model.  A few additional parts are added to the glacis between the V of the stowed travel lock as the final gluey act.

 

 

Markings

There is only one camouflage option included on the sheet, although the turret number can be anything you like thanks to the large number of digits on the small decal sheet.

 

  • Victory Parade, Moscow 2016

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The decals are printed anonymously, but they have a red border reminiscent of Begemot’s usual design, which may or may not be the case.  Suffice to say that registration, sharpness and colour density are good, and the stylised new Russian “logo” is nicely done.

 

 

Conclusion

This modern tooling of a modern Russian SPG is impressive for the scale, and the tracks are good, as is the detail throughout.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Available in the UK from e-Models

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Review sample courtesy of

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