I started the construction of this kit with the intention to build an IS-2 that took part in the battle for Berlin. I plan to place it in a small diorama at the end.
During my research I’ve learned that IS-2 turrets were made by three different factories: UZTM, Hammer & Sickle and Factory no. 200. I opted for a Factory 200 turret, as the tank I want to build seems to have all its trademarks. Among these, some are quite noticeable: low casting seam, smooth commander’s cupola, big numbers on the back – usually one letter and a digit above a group of three digits.
Unfortunately, Zvezda provides a muzzle brake that is too short, so I had to buy an aftermarket one from Aber, which is far from being perfect. I had to rework the muzzle brake, as it lacks all of its casting marks and contours.
The rain guard above gun mantlet lacks the hinged front section so I had to improvise one. I added pistol ports and the caps of the gun trunnions by cutting small styrene discs. I thought the Mk. IV visors were too small so I replaced them with new ones made from scraps.
I added grab handles and textured the surface with Mr. Surfacer 1000. An old Italieri IS-2 provided a nice option for the commander’s cupola hatch, and has some interior details. Though remained closed, I decided to stick with Zvezda’s loader’s hatch, as I think it has very nice details. There are two pairs of bolts on this hatch that must be shaved off and replaced with holes with the same diameter.
The round mobile part of the 7.62 mm DT machine gun was taken from Italieri IS-2, as Zvezda’s seemed a little too flat compared to the real thing. I replaced the barrel with a syringe needle and added few bolts and other small details. The casting numbers are made from brass wire and simply glued into place.