In-Box Review
Russian Self-Propelled Gun SU-76M
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Self-Propelled Gun SU-76M was first released about 30 years ago by the now defunct Russian model company Alan. By the kit number 001 I believe it was their first kit. I think it is the first injection-molded 1/35 model of this Soviet SP.

This isn't a normal review. Think of it as more of a public service announcement. It is an abbreviated review of this model that Mr. Cookie Sewell referred to as "a dog" about 15 years ago, although he also highly recommended it for Great Patriotic War modelers. Tamiya and MiniArt now offer a 1/35 SU-76 so this review is mainly for curiosity. I haven't found many reviews of this kit; I took the accompanying photos in 2012 just before I gave the kit away, and have been meaning to put this review on, so here it goes.

The Kit
If you find one for cheap or nostalgia, this is what you can expect. First, there are about 400 parts, most of them the individual track links.

Molding was without flash, although you can see some ejector circles and hefty seam lines. (Note the closeup photo of the machine gun.) I read that the parts are fairly thick.

The model has a fair amount of detail. The hull is built up with 11 plates. I count 30 parts to built the 76.2mm gun. Several rounds of ammo are provided, too. Alan included several parts to fit out the fighting compartment. There is nothing inside the driver compartment.

There are 200 track links. I read that the plastic is very easy to damage with model glue.

Decals and Instructions
I recall there being decals for a half dozen or so vehicles. I apologize that I did not make any notes as to the quality of the decals.

There are eight (8) assembly steps, illustrated in exploded style with line art. I think the instructions are effective.

Aside from Mr. Sewell's review, I have not found any online. After seven (7) years of carrying around the photos, I decided to post this review for those of you who might be debating whether to acquire, or build, this kit. I hope this review is helpful.
Highs: Lots of parts to build up a detailed main gun. Individual track links.
Lows: Thick parts, ejector marks and seam lines.
Verdict: I have read that a fair model can be made with this kit. The Tamiya and MiniArt kits are no doubt better.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 001
  PUBLISHED: Jan 22, 2019

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


I think this review was still useful. Information on old kits is a good thing.
JAN 22, 2019 - 08:53 PM
I agree with both of you and further it by wondering why I'd be interested in ever buying one of their kits with the field absolutely awash in terrific kits. Mediocre looks so much the worse in comparison.
JAN 23, 2019 - 06:59 AM
Should be noted that this kit has seen a lot of reboxing under different labels. Maquette, Eastern Express, Ark and even Dragon have all issued this plastic under their label. It's a 1990 kit when it was the only game in town which is the main reason it was recommended all those years ago. With better alternatives available of this subject give it a pass. If you want a true nostalgia modeling experience might as well get a Renwal armor reissue because this thing was about the same level of quality.
JAN 23, 2019 - 10:14 PM
Thanks Gents, You each provided thew kind of insight I was hoping for. You may save a unwary modeler from a few hours of trauma.
JAN 24, 2019 - 04:36 AM
I learned my lesson on an Eastern Express BT-42. I quite fancied a BT-42, but the Tamya one seemed too expensive, so I took the opportunity to buy an Eastern Express version when I saw it going cheap. To be fair it isn’t a terrible kit. But detail is basic, and some features just plain wrong - for example it uses the BT-7 chassis including the BT-7 fenders which are wrong for the BT-42. Annoyingly the artwork shows the correct fenders. I built it, it looks okay, lacking obvious detail such as the perforations on the gun muzzle, and it took me a lot of extra work to assemble and get the fenders looking roughly correct. I concluded in the end that my extra time, the approximate resolution of the fenders and the limited detail was not offset by the saving over theTamiya version. I will not buy the like again. Cheers, Nigel P.S. I have the Tamiya SU-76.
JAN 25, 2019 - 04:46 AM
Alan, Maquette, Eastern Express were the only game in town for these subjects 20 years ago. These. I remember how excited we were over the EE KV-85 and BT-42 that wasn't a solid block of resin. I still have a bunch in the stash as their chunky assembly and detailing is easy on my eyes. But no matter nice it looks in the box, there's always some assembly that is just baffling or doesn't fit without a great deal of elbow grease. We really do need a bunch of new reviews of these kits. Most online now date from 2000 or so when they were worthwhile attempts at the subject matter. And the molds have only degraded since and the Ark reissues lack the photoetch screens. And some Alan instruction sheets are vague and Eastern Express kits have nice decal sheets with absolutely no information on what they are. Best left for nostalgia building, if anyone has nostalgia for Eastern European kits of the 1990s.
JAN 25, 2019 - 06:08 AM
After I bought that SU76M as a Dragon re-box around 1999 I found refs that the Alan original supposedly represented a post-WW2/Korean version... maybe “representation” is too strong a word, “impression” is better. Putting it next to the excellent/accurate MiniArt kit (WW2 version) I built a few years ago was illuminating & trying to correct the former is strictly for masochists. Its only virtue is solidity - I tried to blow it up in one of my pyro dios in 2017 without success, it’s totally indestructible
JAN 25, 2019 - 11:20 AM
The Su76 does not hold much interest for me but personally I like seeing reviews of old kits even if they have been surpassed by newer kits because it will allow me to judge if it is worth saving money buying an older kit rather than a new technology kit.
JAN 26, 2019 - 09:08 AM
The kit is only good for building a completely wrecked SU-76!
JAN 26, 2019 - 10:59 AM

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