The ZU-23-2 "Sergey", is a light towed 23 mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon. Developed by the Soviet Union in late 1950s, it was designed to engage low-flying targets at a range of 2.5 km as well as armored vehicles at a range of 2 km, and for direct defense of troops and strategic locations against air assault. The ZU-23-2 design is centered around the pairing of two 2A14 series Afanasyev-Yakushev 23x152mm autocannons on a towed two-wheel carriage.
The excellent portability of the ZU-23-2 means that the system can be towed by a vehicle but also mounted onto a variety of vehicle types – particularly flatbed trucks or improvised fighting pickup vehicles known as “Technicals”. This makes the ZU-23-2 a highly-mobile, low cost and easy to operate air-defense gunnery platform solution which is still used by the Russian Army and by more than 20 other armies, seeing active performance in hot spots of Africa and Middle East.
is an aftermarket company from Poland, specialized in producing high quality metal turned barrels for model scale aircraft and ships. The company recently ventured into 1/35 scale with their new “Ground Master” line. This review covers their second release in the new 1/35 scale series: ZU-23-2 'Sergey' 23mm anti-aircraft twin-barreled auto-cannon barrels (35002)
Master Model sets are packed in a zip-lock bag supported by a hard cardboard backing. This particular set consists of:
- 2 turned metal barrels,
- 2 metal ring adapters,
- 2 metal flash suppressors,
- instruction sheet.
Upon closer inspection, all the pieces in the kit look really good and the level of details delivered in 1/35 scale is really amazing. The instruction sheet is concise and short, but gives a good overview how to assemble the barrels. As mentioned earlier, ZU-23-2 features two 2A14 Afanasyev-Yakushev 23x152 autocannons. Based on the 23mm rapid fire aviation gun, the 2A14 gun consists from rifled 87.3 caliber length barrel (2010mm) with left and right barrels identical except the feeding mechanism position. The barrels are air cooled and fitted with a quick change mechanism, also featuring prominent muzzle flash suppressor.
The assembly of the ZU-23-2 barrels is pretty much straightforward. The metal ring adapter fits well to the barrel muzzle and provides an anchoring point for the flash suppressor. Attaching flash suppressor to the adapter is a tight fit, but it ensures the proper geometry of the whole barrel assembly. The only thing to pay attention to in the instructions is the correct orientation of the ring adapter and the flash suppressor on the barrel. The instructions also indicate how to cut off the plastic barrel from the original kit piece and which size drill to use for drilling the hole in the plastic in order to insert the metal barrels.
There are a lot of 1/35 scale kits featuring ZU-23-2, from some old SKIF, Eastern Express and Alanger models, to Trumpeter and Meng. I can’t comment on the fit of the Master Model barrels to all those models, but I’m pretty sure an average modeler can make it work… and it would be a well worth effort as Master Model‘s ZU-23-2 barrels are simply astonishing.
EDIT: Master Model also produces empty casings and two type of 23mm rounds for ZU-23-2. Here is the review of that set, a great companion to these barrels: link