After the collapse of the German Army at Stalingrad, the Russian Army had hundreds of German Panzer IIIs in its inventory. At this point in the war, the PzIII was already outclassed on the battlefield so was of no real use as-is. The Russian Army converted one to two hundred (depending on sources) PzIIIs to mount the 76.2mm F-34 gun in an armored casemate.
I was pretty excited when Dragon released their SU-76i. I was pretty underwhelmed when I finally got it. The new tooled parts that make this vehicle unique are pretty bad. Soft details, poor or nonexistent alignment features, incorrect roof, blobs for hinges, terrible fuel tanks, etc. It was like Dragon had a late 1980s Eastern European model company tool and mold the parts. To rectify this, I switched gears mid build and used the MasterClub resin conversion. The detail is crisp, the features are accurate and the casting is flawless. Unfortunately, it is designed for use with the older Imperial series Dragon kits and suffers some fit issues with the casemate and accuracy issues with the fuel tank brackets. I was willing to overlook these just so I could get something built.
Since it was never going to be as accurate as I would have liked without a complete redo, I decided to have some fun with this and model a re-captured SU-76i pressed back into German service. The Pz.Jg.Abt. 128 had at least one where they added two antenna mounts which I assume was for field command.
I added some extra details to spruce this one up.
Fenders and buckets - ET Model
White metal winterketten tracks - Fruil
Barrel - RB Model
Cast Drive Sprocket ModelKasten
Stamped Drive Sprocket - Dragon StuG III Ausf A
Cast Return Roller and Damaged Road Wheels - Panzer Art
Fender Stowage Boxes - Aber
Stowage - Value Gear and misc
Cable clips and Jack Mount - ModelKasten
Ammo Box - MiniArt
Anything white is styrene
The website Warspot.ru has just published an article about the history of the SU-76i. It can be found here: SU-76 on a Trophy Base The article is in the Russian language only. I used Google Translate.
Here are a few shots of earlier construction steps.
The resin fender boxes were replaced with Aber PE.