Russian SG-122 1/48
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder by Russell Eden
I fancied something a little different for my next 1/48 project and write-up. After purchasing a very cheap Stug III B, from Amazon of all places, I started checking out the aftermarket manufacturers’ conversions as I’ve already built a “standard” Stug III B. Hauler had a rather ugly Russian conversion on a Stug which caught my eye, the SG-122. This tank/ self-propelled gun pre-dates the SU-122 which was based on the T34 hull. The Russians only made about 30 of these beasts and after trawling the net and my rather huge pdf book collection I have found only one photo
The more observant of you might have noticed the rear wheels are different – maybe Hauler have more images than I’ve found. Still, no matter, with hardly any information available I can do what I want, within reason. The conversion was obtained at a very reasonable price from Track48.com
To add a little something extra I bought the Voyager aftermarket set for the SU-122 – this gives me a machined barrel and extra fuel tanks -which are cast already dented – superb.
I wanted this be an extremely battered tank having been owned and used by both sides so before I started assembling it I removed parts of the mudguards on the hull. This also shows off more of the nicely detailed tracks. I unfortunately I got carried away and chopped off too much as I forgot the conversion covers some of the mudguard – oops. Luckily I have some etch mudguard plate left over from my Nashorn build – this will save the day and as it’s etch I can bend and batter it. Problem solved.
Chopped up hull
Assembled lower hull
The hull is assembled as per the kit – I’ve built a few of these and am still impressed by how easily they go together and I love the track sag that Tamiya moulded into the top track.
The upper was assembled next. Fitting of the main conversion part can be done one of two ways – either read the very basic instructions and cut out a large chunk of the plastic hull part or as I’d trimmed the mudguards down, which would have weakened it considerably I mounted the conversion to the interior hull plate. In this case I needed to trim a large chunk of resin from the bottom to make it fit – no hardship with a decent razor-saw. With the main hull parts glued together I added the etch side plates and the etch mudguard where I was overzealous previously. I also added a battered and bent up mudguard to the rear and assembled the rest of the hull as per both sets of instructions. I found some etch grills in my spares collection and although one is damaged I used both – the damaged one fits the overall theme. I also added a spare piece of track and holder to the front hull from one of my old Stug kits.
The mantlet was drilled out to accept the metal barrel – the resin one is fine with no mould lines but as I had the metal one it would have been rude not to use it.
Onto the detailing – From the conversion I added the lifting hooks and attachment plates for the gun shields – these were etch parts. I replaced the etch handles with wire as these look better. I then added one spare fuel tank from the SU122 kit and from my an old german KV-2 conversion I added some shell containers to the rear hull, with etch straps. I glued the tools, a spare wheel and I then added some spare track to the front hull as the Germans and Russians welding spare track links on as extra armour to a lot of their tanks.
That’s it – build finished.
With the assembly finished, it was onto the painting. I gave it a grey undercoat and then a coating of dark green humbrol spray. With this dry, I gave it a coat of gloss lacquer and got on with the decalling.
Very few russian tanks used red stars in WW2 – this was reserved mainly for victory parades. After finding a few photos of some russian tanks with stars, I decided to use some. This would also help with recognition as the tank is based on a German chassis. When the German’s used captured armour they usually painted huge crosses on them to save them from friendly fire, although this probably gave their respective enemy something to aim at. Anyway, I digress.
I used a small red star on each side and one on the rear of the superstructure. I added the name of a famous russian general Suravov to the hull sides (these decals came from my Gasoline Russian armour set). I then added some political, I hope, slogans from an old 1/72 white scout car kit I had a kid. I then got a bit carried away and added two tank kill markings to the gun shield. Before I could add any more decals I matt coated the tank to seal in the decals.
Once dry I gave it my usual black & green washes and light green dry brush to highlight the detailing and got on with the other non-green parts of the tank – I painted the canvas a light grey and the tracks, inc spare ones a mix of grey/rust. These were then black ink washed and highlighted. All the worn parts of the tracks were painted silver and the spare tracks and exhaust were rusted using the Tamiya rust pigments. Lastly I went over the tank with panzer grey to show a bit wear on the green paint.
Before mud…. (note the road wheels are one colour)
With the main painting done it was onto the mud. I wanted a muddy battered tank straight from the front. I used my MIG pigments, as ever. They have lasted me several years and numerous bases/vehicles so are worth their initial high cost. To the MIG pigments I added a large splash of my new mud wash. This is very thin and when used on it’s own needs building up in layers. Mixing the pigments and wash together I gave the lower hull a liberal coating and then using more Pigment than wash I built up the clumps where they should realistically form. You do lose some detailing here which was why I didn’t bother to paint the rubber on the road wheels. The pigments dry a lot lighter so once dry I gave various bits a dark brown ink wash.
With dried mud.
Conclusion – A nice little conversion of and odd and rare tank.
I will get round to putting it on a base at some point – I have many finished military vehicles in need of bases so it will join the long list….