MiniArt 35035 – Soviet 57mm Anti-Tank Gun Zis-2 With Crew
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am hardly what you would call a modeller of soviet themed kits. Not unless it’s something in the beute panzer camp. But the figures that come with this set are just irresistable and I am aware that decent quality soviet anti-tank gun kits are pretty limited ( as are most allied ones ). So this kit fills a niche and is rather cool to boot. At least I think so.
This kit comes in a medium sized tray and lid type box on three full sized light grey sprues together with the printed page of instructions which is a single long sheet of good quality gloss paper folded in four to form eight pages. This builds up into the Zis-2 Anti-Tank gun and a crew of five together with a bunch of cooking related accessories.
The moulding quality is pretty good with minimal clean up of mould seams and nice clean, sharp detail, though this set did have some flash that needed removing, mainly on the figures. Many of the parts are quite small and delicate but are very well done.
The intructions likewise are very good, being clear, easy to follow and having a logical progression of thirteen simple steps which aren’t overcomplicated, though oddly are numbered using roman numerals which make you have to stop and think for a minute to make sure you’re on the right number. The last two pages are in colour providing a painting guide with a colour chart included listing the appropriate paint numbers to use for either Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, or Mr.Color.
The gun is actually quite a simple assembly but still looks very good. The breech block us a seperate piece and could be positioned open or closed though there is no internal breech detail which it really needs as the breech lever can only be mounted in the open position so would need to be slightly modified if you wanted it closed. The barrel is two halves and is quite long and thin so use glue sparingly to prevent melting the thin tip and be careful with the alignment.
The carriage is also a rather simple but nicely detailed affair and, as would be expected, can be modelled in either the deployed or in transit positions with optional parts for the rear lifting arms depending on which mode the builder choses. The shield is one of the thinnest I’ve seen in injection moulded plastic and has lovely surface detail.. Just goes to showit can actually be done. The shield also has a gunners vision port cover which can be modelled either open or closed.
The wheels are each made from tyres made up of seven slices fitted to the one piece wheel. This gives the best tread definition and seems to have become standard practice with all the best manufacturers these days. Not surprisingly really as the finished effect is very nice.
Ammunition for the gun is provided as four high explosive rounds, four anti-tank rounds, and three empty shells which will need the ends drilled out. There is also an ammunition box included which is made up of six individual parts that all have very nice, subtle woodgrain texture. This box is intended to be used with the figures but could also be used with the shells and shown open if desired.
The figures consist of a five man crew sitting around their gun having a feed. Three enlisted men are sitting on the gun trails while the fourth cooks and the officer stands by in that classic officer ”I’m really just one of the lads” poses trying not to look ignored. These are all well sculpted though do need a little flash cleaned up.
The enlisted men all wear the telogreika padded jacket, vatnei sharovari trousers, and a ushanka with the flaps folded up. Three are holding their mess tins, one eating from his with a spoon ( which is a seperate part ), one holding his as if it were empty while pouring water from his canteen into the mess tin of the third. The fourth man tends a small fire where his mess tin is being heated. No personal equipment or weapons are provided for these four.
The officer also wears a ushanka together with an officer’s shinel woolen overcoat. The overcoat is moulded in two halves with full detail of his legs visible underneath. This sort of feature on a figure is always a bonus when they are wearing long coats. He too holds his mess tin in one hand and a spoon in the other, and has a slung leather mapcase and a holstered pistol.
The accessories are the wooden ammo crate mentioned above which is intended to be used by the crew as a makeshift table, and the parts to make a spit. The spit is two Y shaped side sticks and the horizontal spit stick which is a nice touch, though no fire is provided so you’ll need to make your own. The box has a small cloth to sit atop it as a tablecloth and there is a loaf of bread with two seperate slices included as well as a half unwrapped block of butter. These are all great little touches.
Conclusion. This is another great little set. The figures in particular are just brilliant, I love the poses and the way they all work together, it shows that the sculptor has some real talent. I’ve never really been a fan of Soviet themed kits but I like this one.
NB : For those interested in detailing their 57mm Zis-2 even more there is a very good walkaround of one on Prime Portal which is a great photo reference site.
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