This sample that Zvezda sent to Jim has found its way to me for review. Since I know almost nothing about the real thing, a build review is really the only way to go, so I thought I'd blog it as I go, then wrap it up at the end with a summary build review.
So this is the box top - same illustration as their 1/35 version:
That box is actually a flimsy end opening sleeve for a useful hinged corrugated "pizza" box within. Straight away we can see this is a different type of kit from the Zvezda WWII snap together kits: the box is much bigger, and it says it has 197 parts. This is the view inside:
I'll save sprue shots for the review, for now I'll proceed with the first steps of construction:
This is so different from building something like a Panther that I'm unsure what everything is called, although it does have a turret (I think). We start by inserting the base of the turret into the turret superstructure, and then something that might be a box attaches to the back:
That glue looks a bit messy, but it is the underside that will be hidden.
Then we have some other sub-assemblies to be built in preparation for later stages, so 1-a is to be used in 1, 2-a and 2-b to be used in 2, and so on. So 2b is a structure that will attach to the upper rear of the turret and which will, I think, serve as the base for the mounting of the main weapons systems:
Those fitted together very precisely, and are followed by this, probably a housing for some electronic equipment or something, attaching to the front:
Then we get into something that may be a bit of a theme with this kit, in that when you feel like you've been dealing with a pretty small component, the next one is much smaller. These two, possibly optical devices, attach to the sides of that structure:
Having managed that without losing either of them, a rest is in order.