Cut price katys 1

I fell back in love with my Udarny Strelkovy over the weekend following a game with Chris and new dad on the block, Paul.  Paul, a dedicated model-kit man, had done Chris the service of repainting his Sdkfz 251s and Panzerwerfer 42s and wanted to see how a game of Flames of War went.  Who were we to refuse? 🙂

Anyway, I digress. I’ve been conscious that my Late-War Soviet horde lacked one of the iconic weapons of the Great Patriotic War, the fearsome BM-13 Katyusha:

There are  2 main reasons for this:

1: the relatively fiddly nature of my preferred supplier’s kit, Battlefront’s SBX07, and

2: the cost!  To get 8 of these on the table with their respective crews to deliver that most desirable of double-template devastating bombardments I’ve only once had the pleasure of dropping on an opponent before would set me back anywhere between £64 – £80!  Hard to justify in the current economic climate.

Well, about 6 months ago I clocked a range of 1/100th kits manufactured by Russian model maker Zvezda.  Zvezda make a range of early- to mid-war snap-fit German and Soviet soft-skin and AFVs, including 1/144th aircraft, for their wargame, Art of Tactic (check out their disturbingly comic promotional video. It’s wrong, really, really wrong).

What actually caught my attention was the price, just £2.99 per kit!  I looked them over but moved on thinking that the vehicles in stock were generally too early for me and, rather snootishly, figured that you get what you pay for.

Whilst I’m a little bit slow on the uptake, even I’ve noticed how plastic kits have recently been taking the 15mm WWII wargaming fraternity by storm.  World War II Central have done a really nice piece briefly comparing Zvezda’s tanks wth those produced by the very popular Plastic Soldier Company. 

With this in mind, I started to trawl and read some very encouraging reviews in Wargaming in the Mechanised Age and Military Modelling about Zvezda’s July 2011 release of a BM-13 Katyusha in 1/100:

Interesting.  So, let me get this straight. I could get 8 of these babies and a ZiS-5 truck (also included in the range) for under £30?

KERCHING!  Welcome to my new modfelling project!  Before I knew it the adrenaline had kicked in.  Where could I find the crews?  Could I convert some existing artillery figures? What would the kits be like to build?  How would they paint up?

Before you know it you have a world of blog entries: a review, a step-by-step assembly guide, a painting guide, a research project and –  best of all –  a tub-thumping artillery headache for Chris! 😀  Stand by for successive entries on sourcing, assemblingpainting and basing as I plod my way through another Soviet odyssey!

P.S. And for those of you that know, ‘model kits’ aren’t ‘little men’, didn’t raise a carefully plucked eyebrow and must, I conclude, be exempt from the embargo 😉

P.P.S And before you ask – yes, I did win.  AAR to follow? 🙂

12 Responses to “Cut price katys 1

  • At least give me time to bury the dead, Its been 24 hours and I’m still hard at it!

  • Yep, I’m starting the Soviet exactly for this reason… it has become affordable to purchase hordes at a good quality with plastic. Very interesting.

    • Nice to see your collection mate, keep up the good work. Didn’t know that there were IS-2s already made up and base-coated out there.

  • paul moore
    6 years ago

    Cracking models will look good on the board

    • Fingers crossed Paul. Will do an unboxing when they arrive. Ordered a P4 for the boy to. We can have a look at that too 🙂

  • I’ve had my eye on some of these Zvezda models for a while, but have resisted so far as I have a huge pile of German and British models still left to paint. I’m going to follow this closely to see how you rate these models.

  • You and me both Harvey. It’s like a little shop out the back, in the dark 🙂 I’m flitting between US paras and Soviets. Variety being the spice of life, I guess. Must. Focus.

  • I’m going to break cover on this one…

    I’ve not seen any of the Soviet kits but the Sd Kfz 251/1 and the 3 ton truck are very good value for money. They’re easy to find at £2.75 (+ P&P) so for that price they’re ~£5 cheaper than other offerings. The models are good, quick to assemble and whilst the quality isn’t up to BF and, I suspect, PSC when they arrive they’re really not that far behind. They’re plenty good enough for the table top.

    The only downside that I have with the 251/1 is the lack of crew but Skytrex fill that gap handsomely so there is a little extra hidden cost, the front gunner even comes with a gun shield which fits perfectly. The other thing missing is decals…

    Love the site, keep up the good work.



    P.S. Happy to supply pics of these for those who want to see them, can’t vouch for my paintwork mind….

    • I knew we’d flush you out sometime! 🙂 Useful post, if you could send photos that would be great. If you could send comparison photos of BF / PSC vehicles next to Zvezda products that would be fantastic:

      For my part, I’ve got a P4 and T34 coming for the Boy which I’ll compare alongside BF T34s. I can also compare the ZiS-5 against a similar BF truck. Should be interesting.

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