Russian 152 mm Howitzer!
- Product Name : Russian 152 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer MSTA-S
- Product Number : 3630
- Manufacturer : Zvezda
A direct competitor from the price worthy “Zvezda” come the Russian Howitzer. This is a 2017 tool, and it shows. Zvezda in the past has been a hit and miss with their kits, especially the older ones. Yes, they have been gems like the Mig-29 and the Mi-24D Hind but in general the company needed to catch up against competitors. Well, I can honestly say that if Zvezda is going to deliver kits from now on like the Howitzer, I am a converter. The details are second to none: sharp and rich in details are the words here.
On opening the massive box, you are presented with sprues bagged in plastic bags. Now, while not all the sprues are individually bagged, care has been taken to put similar sprues together to minimized plastic. I find it quite acceptable: in a world on recycling, this hobby uses a lot of plastic and efforts must be made to keep quality and saving the environment.
The instructions booklet has 12 pages, 44 steps and is in black and white. Although the steps are clear Zvezda decided to name the sprues with letters A, B, C... and they are not very obvious on the sprues, resulting on the modeller keep looking at the sprue plan at the beginning of the instruction booklet. This can get a little confusing at times because care must be taken that we are cutting off A1 and not B1 for example. Yes, perhaps is a little niggle but when you have a kit with many parts every bit of help to finding them helps. There are around 480 parts on this kit!
The decals are made by Zvezda and although they look a touch on the thick side, they are in register and crisp with vibrant colors. Generic numbers are included so you are inclined to do a special unit, kudos to Zvezda on that one!
The clear parts are tiny but clear, not much to say about it… with armor it is what it is, lights and mirrors most of the time, they will not steal the show.
There is a piece of thread standing for a tow cable. It is decent quality and they have even painted it in metalish/grayish color… again, kudos to Zvezda for caring even about those small details.
What I did found a bit on the “cheap” side is the inclusion of two mesh made of plastic that are supposed to be the exhaust grills. They are rigid plastic and on scale but a simple PE with those pieces would have been just that cherry on the cake. Unfortunately, they decided to save money on that one and it shows. I will build my one of the box so I will be using them, but I strongly recommend looking for some aftermarket or some spare PE sheet.
I can honestly recommend this kit. The details, the quality of plastic, the sturdy box with an awesome box art… and the price: I got my one for about £30 and to be honest it is value for money.
- 480 parts
- 12 injection molded sprues in gray
- 2 individual gray plastic parts (chasis)
- 1 clear sprue
- 2 mesh in plastic
- 1 string
- 1 decal sheet
- Instruction booklet
- Excellent details
- sturdy box
- interesting subject
- extra generic decals
- lack of PE
- instructions could have been a little better
- gun barrel in two pieces
A fantastic kit, what can I say. As I am building it, I can see the fit is almost or the same as a Tamiya one, time will tell when I put the whole kit together. If you are into armour and want to build a mean machine that looks great out of the box, this kit is for you.
Rafael @rafael_estudio (Instagram)
Kit courtesy of my hard earned cash.