Monday, December 07, 2015
The SU-76M is probably under-represented on the 20mm WW2 wargaming tabletop; I think this is partly because it is eclipsed by the T34, and partly because there aren't many plastic kits of this vehicle - in fact, this UM kit was the only one I could find (the other being the SU-76, an earlier version with a smaller production run than the SU-76M, and also from UM).
The UM is relatively inexpensive, and comes with tiny photoetched brass parts, some of which I used in my build. It isn't difficult to build, but as the instructions can be a little ambiguous, you need to look at photos of the actual vehicle or models other people have built to make sure you glue the parts on correctly.
There are two minor complaints with the kit. The first is that the tarp hanging on the side of the cab is actually sculpted on, which interferes with decal placement. The second is that the way the exhaust pipes run is wrong - I had to replace the original pieces with a paperclip, and even then I couldn't make it a hundred percent right.
One other problem with this kit is that it doesn't come with crew, which leads me to my next rant.
It is near impossible to find decent 20mm Soviet assault gun crew which are in summer tank crew uniforms and in action poses instead of lounging around or leaning against the side of the vehicles, which if you take a look at the number of 1/35 and 1/72 scale tank crew figures on the market seems to be all they ever did during WW2.
I did manage to find a seller on ebay with some decent and expensive resin figures, but he was out of stock.
In the end I settled for these two figures from a Zvezda Soviet anti-tank gun set, which I *know* have the wrong uniforms for assault gun crew - they will just have to do until I can get the correct figures.
The other interesting thing I found was that despite the large number of the SU-76Ms which were produced, the decals supplied for the kits (1/35 or 1/72) seem to be based on the same few photographed vehicles.
This is the last Soviet vehicle I have on my build list - the next four vehicles are all German; I have bought them so I can use them in the Pint-Size campaigns which we are planning to play next year.