Model: IS-2 (Joseph Stalin Heavy Tank) Publisher: Modelik Scale: 1:25 Format: Unknown Designer: Waldemar Rychard Parts Count: Approx. 3650, less w/o individual treads The IS-2 tank was popularly known in the USSR as the "Victory Tank" because of its association with the end of The Great Patriotic War. The tanks of the IS (Joseph Stalin) series were the largest and most powerful tanks fielded by the Soviet Union during WWII. They also formed the basis for the Soviet tanks of the early Cold War. The IS-2 was armed with a version of a Soviet 122mm artillery piece. This gun was modified for use in tanks, and in a test against a captured Panther it easily punctured the front glacis plate, traveled through the engine, and penetrated the rear hull plate as well! And this was at a range of 1500 metres! The IS-2 was capable of engaging tanks at ranges of 3000 meters at which range the Tiger I was vulnerable. This model depicts a tank from the 7th Guards Tank Brigade which took part in the fighting in the center of Berlin at the end of WWII. The 7th Guards symbol is a white polar bear on a red star, and that is depicted on this model along with the white band and cross on the turret used to prevent strafing by Allied aircraft. Cyrillic writing on the rear of the turret is translated as "friends in battle". I am very impressed by the new Modelik models. This model was released last month, and the designer takes advantage of the new computer design techniques in designing this model. I was impressed by the quality of the printing as well. The printing is neat and precise with excellent registration. There are 4 pages of written instructions which is a lot compared to most other models I have seen. Of course they are in Polish, but they might actually be of use if they were translated... There are a further 6 1/2 pages of construction diagrams, and over 24 1/2 pages filled with thousands of parts. No photos of the completed model are included though, although there are several pictures of the actual tank for reference. The Modelik website has photos of the completed model, several of which I have included in this review. This model is very detailed. The complete interior is modeled, and the barrel appears to be capable of elevation as well as full turret traverse. The suspension is very detailed and the wheels appear to be capable of functioning. It appears as if some thought has been given to the design of the suspension arms to reduce the problems with sagging and separation from the hull. Axles are mortise-and-tenoned into the suspension arms, and the drive wheels and the idler wheel axles are all tenoned into the hull itself. There are two tread versions included in this model. Option A is to build the model with the simpler "belt" style treads. This reduces the number of parts considerably, and this option might appeal to the modeler who is "patience challenged". Option B is to build the model with individual treads. I believe there are over 180 individual treads required for this model. Each of these is made from 6 individual pieces. If the idea of months of repetitive work appeals to you, then this is your ticket! The engine is also modeled, but the engine compartment and the vehicle interior do not appear to be as detailed as the Halinski Panther or Tiger I. However, they still have a lot of detail that should challenge a skilled modeler. Artwork on the Modelik models appears to be getting better with each model, however, there is still no weathering on this model. The real IS-2 was painted a solid dark green color like most Soviet vehicles, but it would be nice to see weathering, especially on a tank that belongs to a unit that was engaged in the fighting in Berlin at the end of WWII. Again, the Modelik models would be a good choice for the individual who likes to personalize models or do their own weathering. I was very pleased with the quality of this model. I like models that have lots of detail, and I need a model that challenges my abilities in order to keep my interest through the long construction time. This model fits those requirements nicely. I am also pleased to see this subject being modeled. While German tanks and armored vehicles are nice to see, there were countries other than Germany that operated armored vehicles.... I am glad that model designers are starting to depict these vehicles as well. This model is definately not a beginner or even a intermediate skill level model. I would reccomend it for advanced modelers who have built other armor models, due to the level of detail and the number of parts involved. But for the skillful and patient modeler, this should yield a very nice looking model ready to do battle with the Halinski Tiger, or just about any other WWII era tank for that matter! As soon as I finish my current model, I will build this one, and do a construction review as well. Instructions: A All sections appear to be addressed. The written diagrams appear to be fairly comprehensive for a card model, more so than usual. Construction photos would be a nice addition as well. Paper Quality: A Level of Detail: A Almost as detailed as the Halinski Panther. Very detailed suspension and treads. Print Quality: A Good registration, uniform color. Artwork: B- It is nice to see a little bit of artwork, to show that this is a specific tank from a specific unit rather than just a IS-2, but I hope that Modelik starts weathering their models soon. This is a very nice kit, and the addition of weathering would put it in the same league with Halinski and the new GPM models. Value for money: A I have always thought that all paper models are underpriced when you consider how much work goes into designing them. Skill Level: Very difficult due to the number of parts, the repetition involved, and the detailed interior. Patience definately required. Armor models in general are much more challenging than aircraft models.