Book Review
Russia J-S2
Step-By-Step Finishing Russian Armor: Russia JS-2 Model 1944 ChKZ
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


The IS-2 or JS-2 Josef Stalin super-heavy tank was developed as a response to Germany's Panther & Tiger tanks, and their 88mm anti-tank gun. Sporting sloped 120mm-thick frontal armor and packing a 122mm gun capable of taking out an entire time zone, the JS-2 was the culmination of tank technology, and pointed to the heavy tanks of the Cold War and today.

The Tamiya kit is not only recognized as a very good rendition of the JS-2, but it also presents some excellent opportunities for painting and weathering. Into the balance has come another in the "Step-by-Step Finishing Armor" series from master modeler Glenn Bartolotti, this one on the JS-2 and authored by Rick Lawler.

what you get

As with the other entries in this series, you get a 14-page PDF file with color photos, a brief introduction on the JS-2, and detailed instructions on how to paint and weather the model.

the review

Unless you're a very experienced modeler, this booklet will have something for almost everyone. The novice can have a brief Master Class that includes pre-shading, painting and weathering, while those with experience in these areas will have their skills honed and reinforced.

The photos are all quite clear and detailed, and the materials explicitly identified (none of that "weather and chip as you think appropriate"). I especially liked the parts on pre-shading, which bedevils many modelers. What works at 1-1 scale doesn't work well at 1/35th scale, so finding ways to make plastic kits look more like real tanks is appreciated by this reviewer.

One "knock" on the series is the heavy use of MIG pigments and oils (MIG sponsors the series). While this kind of product placement might annoy some, I have used MIG products and can't say there's any reason NOT to call out good products where appropriate.


This is a very good series, and for the money ($1.95 each), you can't go wrong. Even if you're not planning on building a JS-2, the tips here will help with almost any green-based paint scheme for almost any tank or time period.

Thanks to Glenn Bartolotti for providing this review sample. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.
Highs: Clear, step-by-step instruction on how to finish a specific model to look like it was done by a master modeler.
Lows: None.
Verdict: For the price, incomparable.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: Vol. 27
  Suggested Retail: $1.95
  PUBLISHED: Nov 22, 2011

Our Thanks to Armor Models by Glenn Bartolotti!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Can't open Link ???
NOV 21, 2011 - 12:46 PM
Not sure why, it opens fine for me.
NOV 21, 2011 - 01:01 PM
Dang rookies Should work now.
NOV 21, 2011 - 01:09 PM
cool, great to see Rick's work.
NOV 21, 2011 - 01:20 PM

Click image to enlarge
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