First model of the series, the JS-1 finished in mid-1943 was initially armed with 85mm cannon. Soon, the tank was up-gunned to 100mm and then 122mm resulting in the JS-2. The new tank had its operational debut late in 1943. By February 1944, all heavy breakthrough tank regiments were re-equipped with the new vehicles. At that time, it reanked among the best tanks in the world. With the gun capable of penetrating 160mm of armor at 1000m, it was more than capable of taking on heavy German tanks such as the Panther and Tiger, and was on fairly even terms with the King Tiger, although it was outweighed more than 20 tons by the latter.
JS-2 became the major production model and over 2 200 were built. In the early part of 1945 a further redesign was done, resulting in the JS-3 model. This was considerably different to the earlier versions and reflected combat experience. The whole tank was lowered and the armour of hull and turret were severely sloped to maximum shot deflection. While it never made an appearance during the war, the JS- 3 made its debut during the V-E day parade in Berlin. This tank, with its heavy gun, thick armor, and streamlined shape, set the standard for post-war armor.
This model by Valter Turkalj is based on the Dragon kit of the JS-2 model 1943. Despite the years that passed since hte introduction of this kit in 1994, the surface can still be described as exquisite. Cast texture, weld beads, bolts and hinges are all there. There are no sink marks or ejector pin marks in obvious and/or difficult locations. Major parts fit well with only a little need for filler.
No major modifications of the kit's shape were required. Instead, Valter replaced a few parts with aftermarket or scratchbuilt items.
The excess of the modification can be
seen on the in-progress photo.
The individual track links and drive sprockets are metal items from Friulmodel.
All fenders were removed from the kit and replaced with scratchbuilt parts made of sheet metal from an alluminium can. These were not only scale-thin, but could be bent giving a more natural impression of operational damage.
The external fuel tanks were also produced from the same material. Airwaves photo-etched items were used for the handles on the sides of each fuel drum.
Paints used were Humbrol matt black for the base coat followed by Tamiya dark green and random mists of sand colored paints. Wear and tear applied in the form of light rust was done using a fine brush.
Exhaust staining was applied using the airbrush loaded with Testor's matt black. The Soviet star marking was airbrushed using a masking template.
The result speaks for itself.