Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review; Trumpeter Swedish Strv.103 b Stridsvagn 1/72 Model Kit Modern Auto-propelled artillery tank

Welcome to another modern tank review, this time the STRV 103 from the Swedish Army. One of the most remarkable and different designs from the modern era tanks.

       The Box 

Trumpeter boxes are always very dull. Just the kit made to good standard in the most common version. I would probably have more Trumpeter kits if the box artworks would have been better, the box leaves me completely cold, it doesn't transmit any sensation, and it doesn't the dull grey at the sides of the box.

The Kit 
Trumpeter kits are always very well detailed, and this is no exception. The fine detail and parts are superb, and you can specially see this in the mud rails at the top of the tank, which are beautifully made. 
One of the other great aspects of Trumpeter are the high quality elastic tracks, why you need to glue dozens of track links when rubber can do the job? Trumpeter demonstrates that you can do quality rubber tracks without losing realism. If you want to represent the tank in idle position, you can always sag them by heating the track (with hot water) and then placing plastic bars or any other object to leave them in position.
It's a wonderfully easy model to make, as there is very little flash to speak about, and everything fits nicely. The most tricky part are the small hooks, which tends to break, and you will have a job cutting out of the sprue in one piece. Fortunately, you are given some spare ones so you can even afford to lose and break one or two.
Trumpeter also makes other versions of this tank, so you will have some spare parts. 
Be careful with decals, if you don't Micro Sol products to fix them, or you don't seal them with varnish, they will break and fly off in a couple of months.

My version
I was in a mood for something different, so when I saw this "Ikea" version (it truly exists!) I said to me "why not make something different?" and "I won't be painting any other tank like this", so, even if there was some interesting alternatives, it was to be yellow and blue for  me (maybe someday I'll build the other version with reactive armour and track covers, with a white and bright green camo). You will notice the strange anti-aerial turret, and this a invention I made with a spare turret I was given. I will add shortly pics of the model with it's conventional turret, which I forgot to bring with me in the photo session up in the mountain. Everything was painted in plain colours, but it looked too new and plasticky (which was quite realistic, but looked bad) so I applied various layers of black inkings, and then I painted highlights of light blue and yellow respectively to get a more realistic, sun-lit appearance.
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