Wednesday, 5 November 2014

ZIS-30 (SU105) Review

Hi all,

I got my hands on a recent release from battlefront, namely the Zis-30 (SU105). Which is a self-propelled AT gun. You get two in a blister, I have two blisters so will be showing off four of them.

My first reaction to the above picture  On the cool-o-meter they are up there hanging out with Marder IIs, staring down on Marder IIIs.  I'm quite excited to get on with these puppies and will be writing this blog post in stages.
So far I've ripped the blister pack open and soaked the pieces in warm soapy water.

That's the Komsomolet chassis, Zis 2 gun, gun shield, 2 crew, and a Hull MG per unit.  Crew without circles on their feet is a nice touch and I'm quite please about that.  A quick attempt at a dry fit shows the bases of the crew have a lip which fits nicely onto the chassis, so should form a strong bond.  I must remember to paint them at the same time as the chassis.

There's quite a bit of flash cleaning up to do and barrel straightening, I'll crack on with that and assemble the units.

Make sure you glue the hull MG on first as trying to put it on after you've glued the Zis 2 gun in place is very fiddly.  Speaking of glue, I've stopped using cheap 50p "super glue" from the pound store and bought some Gorilla Glue.  Definitely worth the extra cost, putting stuff together is so much easier.

These went together simply enough, cleaning up the hull MGs was quite fiddly because they're just so darn difficult to grip.  The barrels are never going to be as straight as a plastic moulded barrel, but you get that with any resin/metal model.  As you can see I decided to leave the crew off the model for now, we'll see if that was a wise decision later on.

Part II
And here they are painted up.  I've been wanting to try out a distressed winter white wash scheme for a while now, so these and Adam's chipping fluid gave me that opportunity.
You really get a good feel for a model when you paint it.  These were a delight to paint for the most part. The crew let this model down as they were not well cast and slightly detract from the overall coolness of the model.

Overall I like them, in an ideal world I'd swap the crew for some winter themed fellas, but with the bases forming part of the model that would require some conversion skills.

I tend to build armies based on what models I like.  These definitely fit that criteria, so when I eventually get around to a Soviet EW army, these will feature.  Being armour 0 all round, they are very vulnerable, AT11 means you've got something to hit the big nasty tanks with, but at AT 4+ I think you'll want some infantry knocking around to take advantage of any the bailed results.

Unfortunately they are awkward layout, meaning they can't move and could mitigate that by moving half up and leaving half to provide covering fire, but hen-and-chicks gets in the way of that.  Volley fire is cool, but you can't use it in ambush.

If you desperately need high AT in EW, then I guess these fellas will help with that, but AT guns are probably a better purchase being potentially more survivable (at least a 5+ save) able to move (thanks to roll up the guns) and can move and fire...sad.

Hope that helps



  1. They look really good and even better with the painting you did. Crew on these types of vehicles can be a pain to attach but it looks like some thought went into these ones.
    cheers. great review.

  2. I like how those crew connect. It's a pity they don't come with the part to build them with different crew but it is great that they have a solid and easy connection point.

    The models look well painted. I am often a bit torn about whitewash vehicles as it is tricky to make them look neatly painted. I've done a few but I'm never totally sure about them. I'll be interested to hear how they perform for you. What are you running as a list in Early War for Soviets?

    1. Yeah first stab at whitewash...good experience, want to do more, but next time I'd take even more off and do more definitive thinner streaks. As usual they look better in the flesh, but despite buying a new camera I still can't take a good photo :(

      My early war plans for next year are to go Polish...lots of great painting opportunities with Cavalry, dismounted cavalry, recce tanks and of course a train :)

      These Zis30s were more of a palette cleanser, I enjoyed the simple panel airbrushing approach as opposed to the more intense modulation and it was great to bash something out quickly although I rushed the crew a bit.

  3. 100 SU-60 were built. 371 Zis-2 guns were made. The ammunition production was messed up and production, which had started in 1941 ended 1 Dec 41. So, two things. First there weren't a lot of these guns, SP or towed, on the Front and second, AT was probably 8 not 11 due to the manufacturing problems. The 1942 45mm was introduced to replace the 57mm and earlier 1938 model by adding a longer barrel for more velocity. When the 57mm ammunition was fixed the gun was introduced again in 1943 with the AT11 HVAP.
    Also, the Soviet 14.5mm ATR started deliveries in Mid-1941 or about the same time as the German invasion, so Soviet ATR Teams would have been scarce up until October 1941 outside of Moscow. This explains the Soviet infantry's problems with Panzers - no protection except anti-tank guns and the 1938 45mm the most common gun available. And availability was what, 12 -36 guns in a division?

    Historically, you might keep the above in mind when doing battle in Barbarossa.

    1. Flames of war isn't a historical game, it's ahistorical. So numbers of tanks built doesn't come into it, that's why would can go to a late war tournament and see all the king tigers that were operational on any given day and no one bats an eyelid.

      Still cool facts for those who didn't know about it.


  4. as for mounting crew figs, I pin them in place and they stay on great. just drill a pin hole in one foot and the model and your ready for a day at the races.