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Cromwell Models CA79 ISU-152 mod. 1945

Andrew Dextras



One of the more successful assault gun designs of the second world war was the Russian ISU series. These simple
and effective machines were simply square superstructures mounting 122 or 152mm guns on the proven IS-2
chassis. However, the threat of larger German tanks such as the Tiger II forced the Russian tank designers to
develop some prototypes with the intent to combat these larger, heavily armoured vehicles. Experiments were
conducted with both long barreled versions of the 152mm gun as well as a high velocity 130mm gun. Both these
designs proved impractical due to the extremely long gun overhang which would have impeded the
maneuverability of the vehicle. In either case, the Tiger II was encountered in very small numbers and were dealt
with by existing designs. The designers did recognise that some improvements could be made to the ballistic shape
of the ISU series and developed a prototype based on the radical IS-3 hull design. This resulted in the ISU-152
model 1945, a well sloped, heavily armoured superstructure with an enormous cast mantlet. Unlike the previous
ISU-152 model the 152mm main weapon did not have a muzzle break. In spite of the much superior armour
protection afforded to the crew, the design was not approved for mass production, instead it was deemed
preferable to perform minor updates to the existing design for post war service. The only example of the ISU-152
model 1945 in existence today sits in the Kubinka museum in Russia.

The Kit

The Cromwell Models ISU-152 mod 1945 kits comes packaged in a sturdy box filled with plenty of foam
peanuts to ensure the safety of the contents. The kit instructions are very clear and contain line drawings showing
parts placement, but there are so few parts in the conversion that they don't really need to be overly complicated.
The kit is cast in a light cream resin and is very crisply molded. The main components are the massive
superstructure and the engine deck. The superstructure is a very impressive piece and captures the aggressive
look of the vehicle very well. If you have never seen a picture of this vehicle, turn to page 37 of Steve Zaloga’s
IS-2 heavy tank in the New Vanguard series and be prepared. Many would call this an ugly tank, but personally I
think it’s the meanest design I’ve ever laid eyes on. The superstructure requires some minor cutting to the Tamiya
IS-3 donor kit, but this is very simple. The engine deck section then fits on top of the Tamiya hull, mated up to the
superstructure. The cast mantlet is a very nice casting and includes some particularly nice detail around the lifting
lugs. The huge resin barrel was perfectly straight in my kit. Other than adding the fuel tanks and some minor
fittings, that is all that is required in this conversion.

In summary, this kit in combination with some aftermarket tracks would make an impressive addition to anyone’s
collection and will most certainly appeal to fans of Russian armour who would like to add some "presence" to their
display shelf.


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