In-Box Review
IS-1/IS-2 upgrade (for Dragon)
WWII Russian JS-1/JS-2/JS-2m Basic (For DRAGON 6012/6018/6052/9108)
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by: Jurjen Zuijdendorp [ JURJEN ]


This set was released in August 2012 as a basic upgrade for the Dragon JS-1 & JS-2 (see photos below). The PE set is packaged in a sturdy box to protect the parts. Personally, I don’t like that Voyager Model shows other upgrade sets in their range on the front side of the box (in this case fenders and metal barrel). They clearly state though that you need to check the back of the box which parts are actually included - but still it can be confusing.

A few years ago I built the Dragon 6018 JS-2m and I used this model as a reference to compare the Voyager parts with the kit parts.


The upgrade set is packaged in a cardboard box. The photo etched sheets are very well protected and packaged in zip-bags. Voyager did a good effort protecting the parts and preventing them from ‘flying around’ in the box.

So what do you get?
• A4 format instructions (4 pages)
• 7 photo-etched sheets (sheet A: medium thickness, sheet B: thin, C: medium, sheet D: medium, sheet E: very fine)
• 1 plastic rod (1.0mm x 8cm)
• 2 plastic rod (0,5mm x 5cm)
• 1 steel wire (0,3mm x 8 cm)
• 2 copper cable (2mm x 15cm)
• 1 (solid) brass rod (0,7mm x 2cm) Note: it is not a tube as mentioned on the cardboard box
• 3 brass armor plugs
• 12 brass bolts
• 4 resin fuel tank plugs
• 12 resin spare track holders

the set

Tow shackle mount (p. 1)
This part is easy to assemble and definitely an improvement over the kit part.

DshK & ammo box (p. 1)
If you want to install a Dshk on you IS-2 you get a few parts to detail it (see instructions). The most difficult part to assemble may be the ammo box: it can be difficult to correctly bend the PE around the lower corners (see red circle on the photo). An ammunition belt is included but we all know that PE is flat and ammunition is not. Choice is yours whether you want to use it or not.

Exterior fuel tanks & fuel mounts & handles & resin fuel caps (p. 2)
With this upgrade set you can replace all four kit exterior tanks. From the instructions point of view this seems an easy assembly, but it is not, unless you have the right tools to bend PE to a perfectly round shape. Another tricky operation will be inserting part PEA12 into the tube. If the shape of the exterior tank is not exactly round as the shape of the dish, it won’t fit. This assembly will be a challenge, but when done properly - you will be satisfied with the result. If you don’t have special plans to fully use the benefits of PE, the styrene kit exterior tanks will still be a good second choice (and easy to assemble!).

No doubt you will use the PE handles. The resin fuel caps do also look better than the kit parts. The fuel tank brackets are definitely better than the (oversized) kit parts.

Engine mesh (p. 2)
The metal engine mesh is bit shorter (0.8mm) than the molded mesh on the kit upper hull. I’m not sure but probably this is the same mesh as used in PE35222 (For TAMIYA 35289, released in April 2008). It won’t be a problem though. First, no-one will see the difference in size and second you need to remove the molded mesh anyway. So you can adjust it to the mesh size.

Spare track mounts (p. 2)
With the resin spare track mounts you can store two single tracks and a length of four tracks on the front of the lower hull. You need to use a PE strip (part C8) and the supplied (12x) brass bolts to secure the tracks. Be careful, the bolts are very small and easy to lose.

Brass armor plugs (p. 3)
I really like the brass armor plugs (used as plug for the pistol ports on the turret). They look really great and will draw viewer’s attention. A photo etch chain is supplied but instead I would use a very fine sized brass chain.


With this upgrade set you get everything you need to super detail your Josef Stalin. I have discussed the parts which are, in my opinion, worth extra attention. I haven’t paid attention to self-explaining parts like hinges, clamps, mounts, tool replacements, tow cable, hatch covers, PE cast numbers etc. These do all look very good and are a desired replacement for the over sized kit parts. What I do miss in this upgrade set is a brass DP 7.62mm machinegun barrel as an extra option (located at the back of the turret). Some assemblies like the DshK ammo box and the exterior fuel tanks will be a challenge for some. This upgrade set is recommended for anyone wanting to extra detail his Josef Stalin.

Price 19.99 USD (

For a review of the fenders for this kit look Here.

Highs: Extensive set to replace all the necessary kit parts. Brass armor plugs. Fuel tank brackets. Spare track mounts.
Lows: Exterior fuel tanks may be difficult to assemble.
Verdict: Recommended for anyone wanting to upgrade his Josef Stalin. Some parts (fuel tanks) may be difficult to assemble.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PE35351
  Suggested Retail: 19.99 USD
  Related Link: Voyager Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 07, 2013

Our Thanks to Voyager Model!
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 Jurjen Zuijdendorp (Jurjen)

Hi! My name is Jurjen Zuijdendorp from Groningen, Netherlands. I started building models when I was a kid and my main interest today is Soviet/Russian modern armour. I studied Human Geography and spatial planning and currently working as an assistent project manager at the spatial planning departmen...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jurjen Zuijdendorp [ JURJEN ]. All rights reserved.


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