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I’ve been looking forward to this book, and I’m not disappointed! Nicola’s first model here is the DML ISU-152, for which he includes notes and photographs showing how to correct the height of the lower hull – also noted as applicable to the other DML kits used in the book. This chapter also includes his method for adding “mud” and some ideas on applying a weathered winter white finish. Next is the IS-2, again from DML and including a modified Maquette T-34 engine and Jaguar hull and turret interior with ideas on modifying them for greater realism. I’m not sure how easy it is to get the Jaguar interior set nowadays but his photographs show what is needed so scratchbuilding can be substituted for the set. The end result is a very nice wrecked and abandoned IS-2 with open hatches and missing wheels etc.
The third chapter deals with improving the Trumpeter IS-3M, mostly using scratchbuilt components and explained clearly for us all to follow. Then comes the Tamiya IS-3 with the Maquette engine again and Aber etch, but with scratchbuilt pannier stowage bins and engine deck. The final 1/35 build is Cromwell Models’ ISU-152 model 1945 conversion, using the Tamiya IS-3 as base kit and making various improvements. All the 1/35 builds use individual track links and Nicola shows how to deal with the DML type and several aftermarket sets. Finally he turns to 1/76 scale with the Fujimi IS-2 and IS-2M, both with scratchbuilt improvements such as new engine deck louvers, fuel drum cradles and hatch details.
All the models include descriptions and photographs to allow readers to copy Nicola’s work, and the colour-chart end page gives his selection of colours for Soviet and Egyptian schemes and notes on their uses.