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MiniArt 1/35 scale Jagdpanzer SU-76(r)

Kit: No. 30053
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: MiniArt, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322,
Price: $43.95
Comments: Injection-molded, 578 parts, decals
Pros: Needed subject
Cons: Lack of positive location/alignment for some parts
Issue Published: September 2008
The SU-76, a self-propelled gun used by Soviet forces during and after World War II, was based on the chassis of the T-70/80 light tank and mounted the famous Soviet 76mm field gun.

This kit is the more esoteric of two versions recently released by MiniArt - a German-captured SU-76(r). (The other version is a regular Soviet vehicle.)

The kit is molded in light gray plastic. Most parts are crisply formed, but I did encounter some minor flash and sink holes on smaller parts. Five German crew figures are included in a variety of poses useful for dioramas.

I started with the lower hull and suspension. There was an immediate problem with the suspension arms, which appear to be from MiniArt's previous T-70/80 light tank kit. (The problem may be that the SU-76 has a new, different hull.) I needed to modify the suspension arm's attachment pin by removing a small step from it. With this modification, the arms fit nice and flush but also have a fair amount of movement. Check the alignment as you go or create an alignment jig to ensure all the arms are even.

The tracks are neatly molded individual links that go together well. I built four subassemblies - bottom and top runs plus drive- and idler-wheel curves. Photos show a lot of sag in these tracks, and so did I.

The gun assembly instructions are confusing: Several dry-runs and much head-scratching ensued, as many of the small parts don't have locating aids. The completed gun is a tight fit in the casement.

I found it difficult to align the gun compartment sides and rear plate, again due to a lack of locators. It's easy to misalign these plates; take your time.

Detail for the gun compartment is adequate and includes ammo racks, seats, and controls.

I painted my model with Tamiya acrylic colors. Decals are provided for three German captured vehicles. The decals went down well over a gloss undercoat.

My primary reference was SU-76, from Militaria's Tank Power series.

I finished my SU-76 in 20 hours. The end result looks good, but construction was more complicated than it needed to be. Neverthless, the kit definitely fills a gap in the scale-model roster of WWII Soviet AFVs.

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