The ZU-23-2 "Sergey", is a light towed 23 mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon. Developed by the Soviet Union in late 1950s, it was designed to engage low-flying targets at a range of 2.5 km as well as armored vehicles at a range of 2 km, and for direct defense of troops and strategic locations against air assault. The ZU-23-2 design is centered around the pairing of two 2A14 series Afanasyev-Yakushev 23x152mm autocannons on a towed two-wheel carriage.
The excellent portability of the ZU-23-2 means that the system can be towed by a vehicle but also mounted onto a variety of vehicle types – particularly flatbed trucks or improvised fighting pickup vehicles known as “Technicals”. This makes the ZU-23-2 a highly-mobile, low cost and easy to operate air-defense gunnery platform solution which is still used by the Russian Army and by more than 20 other armies, seeing active performance in hot spots of Africa and Middle East.
Master Model is an aftermarket company from Poland, specialized in producing high quality metal turned barrels for model scale aircraft and ships. The company recently ventured into 1/35 scale with their new “Ground Master” line. This review covers their third release in the new 1/35 scale series: ZU-23-2 'Sergey' ammunition - shells and two types of rounds (35003)
, which compliments nicely Master Model 'Sergey' metal turned barrels reviewed here: link
Master Model sets are packed in a zip-lock bag supported by a hard cardboard backing. This particular set consists of:
- 20 shells,
- 10 rounds (type I),
- 10 rounds (type II),
- instruction sheet.
Wow! is the first thing that comes to mind after close examination of the kit contents. The details on these tiny 1/35 scale shells and rounds is absolutely astonishing. The set includes 20 empty shell casings and 10 rounds of two types of ZU-23-2 ammunition: high-explosive incendiary (HEI, or OFZ) and armor-piercing incendiary-tracer (API-T, or BZT). The instruction sheet shows the rounds making it easy to detect visual differences between two types. The ammo is fed to the ZU-23-2 system by a belt from ammunition boxes located on the sides of the twin autocannons. Each belt carries 50 rounds, with a typical loading of ammunition belt consists of 40 OFZ and 10 BZT rounds.
This realy is a no brainer: every ZU-23-2 in 1/35 scale craves for a set of Master Model barrels and a set of 23mm shells and rounds. These two aftermarket additions will inevitably take the Russian air-defense gunnery platform to a next level of realism.