The JS-2 Heavy tank was the Soviet Union’s response to the German Tiger and Panther tanks and traces its lineage back to the original KV series. The JS-2 was designed with thick armor to counter the German 88mm guns and was equipped with a massive 122mm gun. The JS-2 was mainly utilized as a breakthrough tank and was very effective as a bunker buster. This grill set from ABER is designed to replace or enhance the grills on 1/35 JS-2, JSU-122 and JSU152 kits from various manufacturers. In this review I will use the recent Tamiya release of the 1/35 JS-2 Model 1944 ChKZ to evaluate the set.
The Aber Grill set comes packaged in a plastic sleeve 6” long and 2” wide. Inside is a photo etch fret with two sets of grill screens (one for each side) and 12 hinge attachment brackets. Instructions are provided in color on an 8” by 6” fold out sheet. The instructions recommend soldering the parts together (detailed instructions for soldering can be found on Aber’s website) although most modelers will probably use cyanoacrylate (superglue).
The grill set looks fantastic and is a step above most aftermarket photo etch grill sets. The design is pretty ingenious as the grill frames are to be folded over onto the screens, thus matching the depth and thickness of the real thing. Each grill screen has three connection points to the grill frame which will become part of the hinge assembly. You’ll need to fabricate the hinge pins from .4mm wire (not provided) which the grill links fold over to make the hinge. The hinge wires are attached to the engine deck utilizing the 12 hinge brackets provided on the photo etch fret.
I have the Tamiya 1/35 JS-2 Model 1944 ChKZ in my stash, so I can only write in depth on the use of this grill set with the Tamiya kit. The ABER grills are an improvement when compared to the grille screens offered in the kit. There are hinge parts molded into the engine deck so you’ll need to carefully remove them with a chisel blade or sanding sticks in order to utilize the PE hinge brackets. You’ll need to study your reference photos and Aber PE parts carefully to determine how long to cut the wires which you’ll need to provide yourself. It would have been nice if the instructions had given some indication of how long the wires need to be cut however it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure it out.
This grill set from Aber is certainly one of the most realistic and best engineered grill screens I’ve seen and they should really look fantastic when installed. Kudos to Aber for designing the grills such that the frames fold down over the screens to accurately represent the look of the real thing.
Highs: Great engineering, excellent detail, Lows: No hinge wires included in the set.Verdict: Excellent grill set, a step above the norm.
About Scott Espin (Spiff) FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES
I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa.
My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...