Test fit of the cannon, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

The double hitter: the construction part 1

Last time I presented you the idea of recreating a model from a historical photo. Use the link below if you’ve missed this post. Now let’s move on to the construction.

My version of ZSU-57-2 will need a lot of scratchbuilding, but I leave it for later. I started the construction with wheels and undercarriage which is boring, but well, it has to be done. You might want to leave the tyres unglued for easier painting later. As I’ve already mentioned the tyres have a wonderful tread which you’ll sadly need to get rid of unless it’s a brand new tank you want to recreate.

Details on the wheels

The fit on Takom’s model is really spectacular. I built the main hull without any problems. Then I ignored the instruction and went directly to the fun stuff: the cannon. Takom went to town with the details here. It’s pretty much a model by itself. Again, the fit is very good but the job is tedious: it’s over 150 part to clean up and assemble! Once you finished, the part is really fragile, so take caution handling it.

Cannon in construction, ZSU-57 by TAKOM
Test fit of the cannon, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

I had to take a break at the fenders to consider my options. The kit parts are naturally a little bit too thick and unrealistic. On the other hand, I don’t know of any aftermarket PE fenders for ZSU-57-2. And I wasn’t hardcore enough to build them all by myself.

I decided to use the plastic fenders but thin them down considerably and make new hinges as well.

I sanded both ends of the fenders from the bottom side. A (pardon my metric) centimetre or so will be enough to create a good visual effect.

The bottom side of the fender, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Then I cleaned the upper side from any details. The original hinge had to go anyway.

Fender with details sanded, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

The rear fender was a little bit more complicated, because I had to cut off the lower part. Easy thing to do though. I used a razor saw.

Reworking the rear fender, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

I made the hinges from a PE set from ABER which conveniently comes with a magical ‘bend-a-hinge’ device.

Bending Aber hinges, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Then I used some copper wire and random PE part to finish the hinges with all the details. Is the effect worth all the extra work? I have my doubts. Takom has done a pretty good job on those parts.

The rest of the fenders went according to the instruction manual. From now it’s really some basic modelling. There are some PE parts along the way, but they are super easy to work with.

The model after attaching fenders, ZSU-57 by TAKOM
Details of fenders 1, ZSU-57 by TAKOM
Details of fenders 2, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

On the back of the vehicle I added some wires running to the position lights. Again, very easy stuff. Just remember to drill holes for the wires. The joint will much more durable.

Details of the rear fender, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

From now on the kit pretty much builds itself. So let’s talk about something more interesting, shall we?

It was the time to start building the custom parts for my Serbian version of ZSU-57-2. I’ve already described the mods in the introduction to this project.

First, I looked at the armoured structure at the back of the turret.

ZSU-57, rear structure

There’s not much info to work with here. I could have been the original net box only reinforced with metal plates. But I imagined a symmetrical, improvised structure that was put together from old rusty metal and then welded to the turret.  I don’t know if it’s 100% historically correct, but it sure will be more interesting.

I built the thing from styrene sheets and rods made by PLASTRUCT. You can probably save some money and find parts like this in your ‘one-day-I-will-definitely-need-that’ stash. But for more demanding project I would advise purchasing some dedicated parts. They aren’t that expensive.

Scratchbuilding rear cover 1, ZSU-57 by TAKOM
Scratchbuilding rear cover 2, ZSU-57 by TAKOM
Scratchbuilding rear cover 3, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

Finally  I made some scratches and dents on the surface. It isn’t a brand new Ferrari after all… I used a hobby knife, file and some sanding paper. And the part is finished!

Dents on the metal, ZSU-57 by TAKOM

This is the end of the part 1 of the construction. Part 2 is coming soon.

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