Military Wheels 1/72 SU-76i
KIT #: 7254
DECALS: None provided
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Low pressure molding


The Soviet SU-76i self-propelled gun was based on the chassis of captured German Panzer III and StuG III. About 1,200 of these vehicles, many from Stalingrad, were converted at Factory No. 38 in 1943 for Red Army service by removing the turret, constructing a fixed casemate, and installing a 76.2-millimetre (3.00 in) ZiS-5 gun in a limited-traverse mount. The armour was 60 millimetres (2.36 in) thick on the casemate front, 50 millimetres (1.97 in) in the hull front, and 30 millimetres (1.18 in) on the hull side. It was issued to tank and self-propelled gun units starting in autumn 1943. Two SU-76i survive: one on a monument in the Ukrainian town of Sarny and a second on display in a museum on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. It should not be confused with the Soviet SU-76 series.


This kit comes in six smallish sprues of grey plastic. The parts are very nicely molded with no flash, no nasty ejector pin marks and only one easy to fill sink area. There are quite a few parts to this one as the Panzer III has a lot of road wheels and return rollers in the suspension. Military Wheels also has a number of tools and other items to attach to the hull. The hull and gun housing are all made from mostly flat pieces, though construction shouldn't be difficult, just a bit time consuming. For tread, the straight sections are all one piece with the bits that go over the drive sprocket and idler being separate pieces. Same for where they angle under the road wheels.

Instructions are well done with 14 nicely drawn construction steps. It is a pretty straight-forward build and looking at the parts layout, one can see that many of the bits are not used in this version. Typically, there is no color information during the build itself, with only the overall scheme providing painting information. It is basically Soviet Armor Green and in this case, it has a winter wash over it. Paint information is generic and Humbrol. No decals are provided, the modeler having to paint on the red star. I'm sure most will be able to find one in the spare decals pile.

It is nice to see that there is a model of this rather unusual vehicle being provided. With 1200 built, you'd think there would be more on it, but there is not. Careful construction should provide a most interesting replica to add to the collection.


February 2010 

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