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PostSubject: Su-122   Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:37 am

This model is Tamiya's 1/48 scale Russian Tank Destroyer SU-122.  You can follow this link to Tamiya's page describing the vehicle, or you can keep reading this post.

This past Saturday I was in Green Bay model shopping.  I wanted something to build, and even though thoughts of 40k crossed my mind, there aren't too many of us here that actually play the game.  I like the kits and have no problem buying stuff that I like, but I was looking at the costs and trying to justify them, and so I settled on just purchasing a normal model kit.

There were a couple that caught my eye, in particular a 1/48 scale B-29, but I wanted something that looked rugged and tough.  Something of Soviet design.  The Mig-29 model was cool (and that is one I plan on acquiring in the future), but I decided to go down the tank route.  Soviet vehicles, whether aerial or ground, just look amazingly mean, but at least with the tank I could use it as landscaping for tabletop gaming.

Checked the models at Hobby Lobby, and nothing there really spoke to me.  Sure, there was a German half-track, but it just seemed so...  ordinary.  Drove down to Hobbytown and spent gawd knows how long looking over the tanks when I saw it: the SU-122.  For those of you who don't know what it looks like, I've posted a screenshot of it below.  Some of you might also be happy to note that it is a vehicle within the World of Tanks game.



According to the SU-122's wikipedia's page,

Quote :
The SU-122 (from Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 122 mm) was a Soviet self-propelled howitzer or assault gun used during World War II. The number "122" in the designation represents the caliber of the main armament—a 122 mm M-30S howitzer. The chassis was that of the T-34.

I won't go into an entire posting of the article, so I suggest that readers go to the link to read more about this vehicle.  Oh, and then there's this: a wiki page on the main armament used for the SU-122: the 122mm howitzer.  Just did a metric/english conversion here and oh my...  a range of 7.3 miles...

Because I am getting more and more into detailing and stuff, I may be looking into purchasing some after-market kits to add detail or realism (as an example, a metal barrel), but I really can't say at the moment, at least not until I actually look at the kit in full.  Anything extra I purchase or do I'll post in here.

Okay, introductory post is now complete.
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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:49 am

For reference purposes, and so I don't forget, links to photo-etched / aftermarket pieces for the SU-122 / T-34 chassis. I'll edit and add more links as I find them, if I find them.

http://www.scalemates.com/search.php?q=%22SU-122%22+1%3A48§ion=2
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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:41 pm

I've printed up quite a bit of information on this tank... including a fair amount of photos (both black-n-white and color) and schematics / armor angles. I think I should be good to go. And, the more I think about it, the more I think buying some aftermarket parts will be in order. It'll just look that much better; just have to figure out how to paint this.
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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Mon May 05, 2014 8:13 pm

I've taken that next step and ordered a few aftermarket conversion pieces. The selection of these parts wasn't really that much, it was just a matter of my trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I'll start this off by saying what I didn't order.

1. An engine. The engine was pretty nice and detailed, and I thought about this for a while... up until I realized just how small it really was (about nickle sized), and it would have involved my cutting and removing the engine hatch (something I'm not wishing to try just yet). Besides, that small piece would have run $15 plus shipping. Ouch.

2. Exhausts. These looked nice, very detailed. Would have been a few bucks, almost worth it, but not really: the exhausts are covered by a shroud on the model, obscuring most of the detail. At the most, I'd say 1/16 to at the most 1/8 of an inch would be exposed. Nope, looking it over, definitely 1/16 of an inch.

3. Gas tanks. This is on a photoetched sheet, meaning I'd have to roll the tanks myself. I have a basic understanding of how to do this, but I'd be too nervous of screwing it up, of not getting it quite circular.

Now then, before I go on, I just want to say that I was able to find all the aftermarket parts on one site: eBay. I did search the internet first, in an effort to see what was all there, and eBay had everything with the exception of the exhausts. If I had ordered everything, it would have come to $70 - $75 dollars, which is quite a bit seeing as how the model itself only cost me about $20. Minus the parts I did not buy, the total became something a bit more manageable, at around $32. So what did I land up buying?

1. Metal barrel. It's rifled, which is a lot better than the flat plastic one. This I would have bought irregardless! There were two barrel styles I could have ordered: the longer more 'tank-like' barrel, or the shorter one. I ordered the shorter one as it kept appearance with the model, and it just looks that much better; just look at the pictures above for proof.

2. Accessory kit vol 1. Metal screens for the vents, straps for the gas tank straps, latches, grills, and so on. Pretty much all the nice looking bits that should be on the tank, but can't be due to plastic mold restrictions. Comes on two photoetched sheets.

3. Accessory kit vol 2. This would be for the bumpers / fenders and guards running along the track housing. Apparently it makes the thickness more 'in scale', but it also adds something, I just can't quite place it. I've seen pictures of this being placed, so maybe I'll post them here so you can see what I mean.

The one thing I was looking for but haven't found was aftermarket tracks. But, now that I type this, I think I may have found a work-around. The Su-122 was based off of the T-34 chassis, so I should be able to use T-34 tracks, right?

...

Nope, didn't find any. A whole lot in 1/35 scale, but not in 1/48. Shame, there were some real nice ones.

In closing, these pieces should arrive between May 20 and June 2. Why so long? They're from an oversea's dealer, one of the Slavic states,the exact one escapes me at the moment. Anyway, I'll post pictures tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Tue May 06, 2014 9:09 am

About a half hour after creating last night's post, I found a site that makes aftermarket tracks for this model.  Sadly, they don't have an internet option and I'd have to call Australia.  Not gonna happen.  They did have a link for an American distribution site, but that link is broke or out of service, as it sends me to one of those "this domain name can be yours" sites; performed several google searches for that company and nothing turned up.  Too bad, the tracts looked good and would have added a greater sense of realism: there were 170 links in total, 60 for each side (plus some extra), were resin cast, had pin hinges, and were of the "waffle track" design.  The weblink to that site is WWII Productions... but now that I've revisited that site, I see an email address.  Wonder how much the tracks will cost, or if the email evens works anymore?  Only one way to find out I suppose!

Onto the promised pictures!

Here's a shot of the tracks I was talking about.  Depending on the cost or availability, I may not get them.  I have no problem dropping $50 total for a model (we do it all the time with our gaming figures), but I'd have to be hard pressed to go above that, you know?





Here are some shots of the kit pieces I bought last night so you can see what it is I was talking about.  The first picture is of the barrel.  Nothing too spectacular, just a metal barrel with rifling.  The second shows the fenders, some screens, gas tanks, straps, just about everything purchased.  The brass sheets shown are for the model, but as you can see, there are metal screens in place, there just doesn't happen to be a sheet shown for that.  I did not get the gas tank pieces, as I doubt my ability to get them into the proper shape.







And for the piece I did not order...  the resin cast engine.  The hatch would have to be removed: it is roughly one inch by half an inch.  I see that this kit comes with a replacement hatch, which is a nice touch, but you aren't really going to be seeing that much of the engine anyway.  If I were modeling an airplane I can see having the hatch open, but not with a tank, not unless I was doing a maintenance diorama.





There's a slew of aftermarket kits for the interior of the T34.  Amazing detail, and it would work for the Su122 seeing as how they have the same chassis...  or maybe not, the interior could be different...  but again, that just pushes the cost up and would also involve my opening the hatches.  Nope, not gonna do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Tue May 06, 2014 11:00 am

I guess this answers that question.

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PostSubject: Re: Su-122   Thu May 08, 2014 9:23 pm

While search for aftermarket tracks, I went through various kit modeling forums, hoping that someone had come across a similar problem and found a solution; that's how I found out about the Australian companny. An other thing I found out was something that was repeated in one form or another: commentors stating that if you are buying a 1:48 scale model and aftermarket pieces, you might as well buy a 1:35 (or 1:32 for aircraft) because it'd have more detail and be of a similar cost.

Usually, the rebuttal was if you are making everything in scale to each other, 1:48 is the way to go because military ground and air vehicles come in that scale. Anything bigger, ie 1:35 / 1:32, there is a 10% difference in size. I shall add something else to that: there is a great deal more aftermarket pieces in 1:35 than there are for 1:48.

If you are building a model simply to build it, you aren't worried about aftermarket pieces. If you are like me, you are either looking at the aftermarket to try to push or challenge yourself, to see if you can do this. Then there are those who go far and beyond, who shoot for detail and realism. Yes, there is a blending of groups, but you know what I'm going at.

Sure, someone in my skill range can buy a 1:35 scale kit, but where is the challenge? That kit has been designed to include the photo etched parts. By buying them aftermarket, you have to customize the model to accept it. And, if you think about it, the person who is going for detail and realism is going to buy aftermarket parts irregardless.
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