UM 1/72 SU-85 SPG




$11.98 ($10.96 at Squadron)


Three options


Scott Van Aken




In the summer of 1943, the first SU-85 SPGs (Self Propelled Guns) started coming off the production line. These were based on T-34-85 chassis and used the D-5S 85 mm gun. This was somewhat fixed, though it could gimbal slightly. Still the vehicle had to be pretty well aimed at its target. These were not designed to get into running battles with enemy tanks, but more as infantry support and to ambush the enemy. Unlike many German SPGs, this one was completely covered and had a reasonable amount of armor to protect its crew. It was also a lot lower to the ground in terms of overall height so was easier to conceal and provided a smaller target. It was used throughout the war and superceded by the SU-85M, SU-100 and SU-122.


In today's kit market, it is quite normal for there to be as many different variants of a kit produced as is possible. UM has continued to do this with their T-34 series of tanks and the various SU-xx tank destroyers/SPGs. In fact, the only thing new in this kit from previous ones reviewed is the decal sheet, instructions and box. Everything I've said about previous kits is true with this one. Well molded. No flash. Some sink areas and ejector pin markings.

The hull is from kit 325 one of their T-34s. From kit 334 and kit 335 come the various bits for the upper hull superstructure. Those are shown at the upper right. There is also the same small etched fret that isn't shown in this preview.

Instructions are equally as good with clear construction drawings and color information provided as either Humbrol or generic names. Markings are provided for three vehicles. These are all in overall Soviet Armor Green (Humbrol 86). A small decal sheet is provided.  As you can see, it is difficult to bring out the white lettering against the very light blue background.

May 2005


Add this to your list of winners when it comes to small scale armor kits. It is one that you should look for if you are into Soviet vehicles.

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