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Jim C
James C (Jim C)


2S19 Msta-S

Assembly notes:

The cutting guides printed in the instructions for both types of grills are off.
Measure them correctly before cutting. I also found it best to use a black marker pen with a fine point to draw the outline and a sharp pair of of scissors to cut them out. Using scissors eliminates any tearing or fraying of the mesh. The grills can be secured using ordinary plastic cement such as Tamiya "extra thin" etc.

In assembly step 11 parts "K25" (front idler wheel swing arms) look identical on both sides, but the shaft that attaches it to the hull is slightly wider. Keep this in mind when the time comes to attach them permanently. Obviously the idler wheel wont fit over the wide end. Also, DONT glue parts "K25" to the hull until your ready to mount and shape the tracks!!!

Also in assembly step 11, I found that the bottom flat run of track to be a single link too short which prevented me from properly aligning the angled sections. I extended both bottom runs of track (parts "K1") at the front by a single link each using parts "H8" & "H2".

In step 23 don't install parts "H3" until after the following step 24 is completed or you will not be able to slip your selected "collar" (Part "D41" or "D44") correctly into position.

In step 32 incorrect part call out. "E30" should be "F30"

Sub assembly step 38a. Incorrect part call out. "F44" should be "E44"

I also deviated from the instructions by keeping the upper hull (with side skirts attached) separate from the lower until after I'd finished priming and painting the base colour. This allowed me to better position and secure the skirts from the inside and also allowed me to paint and weather the tracks separately from the hull. I'd also recommend leaving the wheels off until they have been painted properly as well... then move on to the track assembly.

I ended up leaving the upper runs of tracks (with molded sags) off entirely to aid in final assembly as they can't be seen whatsoever and needlessly complicated the build. The camouflage was then applied once the hull was joined together permanently with the wheels and tracks installed.

Also note that when assembling the turret housing, that the front and rear panels will overlap the sides a little, and that it is tempting to try to align them flush instead. Don't do this as the overlap is intentional!

Completed September 09 2020

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Albums: 1 with 9 images
1:35 152 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer MSTA-S (Zvezda 3630)


19 | 9. September, 21:07
James C
I finished this one off yesterday, and just waiting for the sun to come out to take some out door pics.

Youtube Video

9. September, 21:16
Jos Jansen
That's a big gun James...watching mate!
9. September, 21:20
Nathan Dempsey
Looking nice! Can't wait to see more pics.
9. September, 21:43
Brian Eberle
She's a beast. Large crew compartment.
9. September, 21:45
Daniel Klink
Looking awesome already James
9. September, 21:47
James C
Thanks Jos, Nathan, Brian and Daniel :)

9. September, 21:59
Rui S
Looks realy nice
10. September, 20:27
James C
Done and dusted!
11. September, 00:06
Nathan Dempsey
Wow, it looks even better out in the sun :)
11. September, 00:40
Tim Heimer
Nicely done James!!
11. September, 03:36
Jos Jansen
Awesome James...!
11. September, 04:48
Top work again! Impressive details and camouflage paintwork. Seems like a very good kit?
11. September, 08:44
James C
Thanks Nathan, Tim, Jos a Neuling :)

@ Neuling, yes it was a good kit. A couple of minor errors in the instructions with the most notable being with the tracks. The bottom flat run is 1 link too short. You can extend it by 1 link from the "H" sprue, but no mention is made of this at all otherwise.

Currently retails for a lot less than the Trumpeter kit so is a bargain, especially if your building on a budget.
11. September, 20:02
Ingo F
Looks really great!
16. September, 06:45
Slavo Hazucha
Another one out in the NZ Sun!

Looks superb in the 3-color pattern - I find especially the sand color & surface effects on the areas are seriously well done

Seems you found a liking in the Zvezda kits... :) I have not build anything from them yet, seen a few boxes opened (T-28 & T-35 looked rather good, except for the really pathetic excuse for the engine grills...). Got a Su-57 in 48-scale booked in a store as soon as it releases, so I will test my mettle on Zvezda sooner or later...
16. September, 07:22
James C
Thanks Ingo and Slavo :)

@ Slavo - Yes... after a couple negative experiences now with their older reboxed Dragon (armour) kits, I wanted to give them a proper second chance.
I've found that their newly tooled armour kits to be far superior in both molding quality and overall fit, and surprisingly good value for money.

I don't particularly like their plastic mesh either, but found so long as you trim it to size with a pair of scissors (this prevents any tearing and fraying when using a hobby knife) it performs quite well, and can be secured using ordinary plastic glue. Obviously, I'd prefer photo-etch, but that would only increase the price. My advice is to avoid their older reboxed Dragon kits, and stick with their newly tooled stuff.

I struggled quite a bit with this one due to the number of very small parts, and thought that it was a bit over engineered in places. (Honorable mention goes to the cradle for the cupola mounted machine gun, and the loading chute on the back of the turret) But this was mostly due to my poor vision and a lack of dexterity than problems with the kit itself, so I didn't feel the need to whine about it ;)

The two colour schemes provided for in the instructions were both green and quite boring, so I googled for some better looking camouflaged versions for a more interesting looking paint scheme, and in the end I settled on a generic camo scheme roughly based on a profile that I found from the Trumpeter kit.

Overall, it was quite an enjoyable build, and prompted me to pull out this vehicles successor... the 2S35 "Koalitsiya-SV" (also by Zvezda) and I have already made a start on that. ;)
16. September, 19:16
Brian Eberle
James, geeat feedback on Zvesda kits. I've hesitate6 on this and will now give them a try for their newer kits. Is there a year that marks "newer" and better mold kits?
17. September, 12:22
Ingo F
Brian, i think the newer and better kits started with their T-90A release. It was in 2011. Everything that was released after 2011 and have a "New Tool" marking is much better quality as the older ones.
Be aware with their changed box/changed parts kits, there are mostly just rerelease of their older kits with bad quality like the recent T-72B or T-80B kits.
17. September, 16:19
Daniel Klink
Absolutely beautiful and impressive built!
Love that background too!
17. September, 16:29
James C
Thanks Brian & Daniel :)

@ Brian - Another way to check a Zvezda kit is to examine it's history in the "Time Line" and look for it's initial release. Make sure the first kit in the time line is Zvezda and indicates "New Tool" and you should be ok. If the history timeline links back to other manufacturers like Dragon or Skiff etc pre 2010 then you could run into issues. That's not to say that all older Zvezda kits are bad, but something to be aware of when deciding on a potential purchase.

Zvezda hasn't helped by re-releasing their older troublesome kits in their new box styling, so I personally won't buy anything released by them now on a whim, that I may have done in the past without first checking it's lineage here on Scalemates. ;)
17. September, 18:41
Ingo F
Sadly for their future Shilka kit. Was hoping for a new tool but they will use old Dragon molds for the kit.
17. September, 19:07
James C
That's disappointing and not going to do anything positive for their reputation.
17. September, 19:10
Brian Eberle
Thanks James! Great info.
18. September, 00:15

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