In his first book, Nicola Cortese has written an excellent collection of material on building various versions of the Soviet IS (sometimes called JS) series heavy tank. It is hard to believe that Nicola has only been building models for some four years. He has an obvious talent for detail and weathering, and the photos in the book of both the construction process and the completed works are wonderful.
This book is No. 9 in the Osprey Modelling series. It is full color and 82 pages in length. There are six primary chapters (not including the introduction and reference sections) and each one deals with a particular version of the IS series. Covered in the book are the early IS-2, the IS-3 and IS-3m, the IS-152 assault gun, and the ISU-152 self-propelled gun. Five of the seven kits covered are 1:35 scale with the final two being 1:76 scale.
In addition to basic build techniques Nicola spends a fair amount of time discussing added detailing, scratchbuilding, and corrective modifications to each build. For the first build for example he decided to fix a problem with the height of the lower hull and shows how to easily fix this with strip styrene, Tamiya putty, and some Mr. Surfacer. The photos of the construction do a very nice job of conveying the build process. Obviously you can’t show an exact step-by-step in a book of this length, but the photos that were selected focus on most of the key areas of interest.
Each completed project has a nice set of photos showing the excellent detail and weathering Nicola added to these kits. As the book goes on each project gets a bit more complex. The forth build is the 1:35 Tamiya JS-3 kit (35211) and it is listed as “skill level: Master”. The final pictures show why. Nicola adds an amazing level of super-detailing to this already nice kit. The fuel lines alone were enough to make me stare in awe.
For the final build chapter Nicola build two 1:76 scale Fujimi IS series tanks, the IS-2 and IS-2M. And again he shows how to add a level of detail and weathering that makes these kits look as good as their larger brethren.
If you are looking for a good book on building Soviet IS series armor, this is definitely one worth adding to your library. I am looking forward to reading more from Nicola Cortese. He has a good grasp on understanding what hobbyists want to read and learn about. Credit should also go to Robert Oehler as a consulting editor on this book.
If you are looking for a good book on building Soviet IS series armor, this is definitely one worth adding to your library.
About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...