The SU-100U was a prototype SPG based on the T-100 multi-turret tank chassis. It has a fixed casemate that mounted a 130mm B-13 navel gun for use against fortifications. One prototype was made and rumored to have fought at the Battle of Moscow 41/42 as part of an independent artillery division though no records nor photos exist of it in action.

 

 

Build description:

The kit is Trumpeter’s 1/35 SU-100U which by today’s standards is pretty basic. No interior detail , no open hatches, solid plastic intake screen, and generally poor details. I found enough photos of the surviving prototype to know an accurate build would be more work than I ever wanted to get into, but I needed to do something about how plain this kit is, so I got selective with correcting details and added a few of my own for fun.

A quick look at a few reference photos showed the kit rear fender and intake vents are fantasy. I cut out the kit vents, changed their profile and used fine aluminum mesh for the screen. The fender bracket was replaced with styrene strip. Rivets lost in the process were replaced with ones punched from foil.

The next major area was the drivers hatch and armored vision block. The kit has the hatch raised while it should be flush with a thin flange on the edges. I sanded the kit hatch off, Sketched out the correct profile and added the missing flange and hinge detail. The armored vision block was undersized compared to photos, so I bulked up the armored slab, replaced the periscope, and made a new rain shield from copper sheet. I also corrected the brackets for the light and horn based on the museum piece though I suspect the horn is a latter model. The plumbing was added from solder wire. I also sanded off rivets on the front fenders that were not supposed to be there and added rivets that were.

Only a prototype was built so I felt the crew in the fighting compartment needed a few luxuries like top hatches, ventilation, and periscopes. I added these from the spares. Antenna pot is from BitsKrieg. The pioneer tools included with the kit are… gross. Out of scale with the most basic details. I replaced these with tools from the spares and detailed with wingnuts.

The kit shares the lower hull with the T-100. The T-100 has bolted on tow points while the SU-100U has welded on tow points like a KV-1. I scraped off the kit details and punched new disks for the tow point mounts. All welds were replaced with epoxy putty. The armored plate was textured with thinned Tamiya grey putty. The metal edges of the museum sample are ground smooth, but I added flame cut texture Grab handles for additional interest. Grab handles are 0.5mm brass wire. The engine deck was corrected best I could based on available images.

The gun barrel was a two-piece job with a wicked seam. I tried to clean up the seams but gave up and splurged ($13) on a turned aluminum barrel from Timos Model World found on eBay. There is no rifling detail which should be visible on a barrel of this size, but it was better than a nasty seam and no rifling.

No aftermarket tracks exists so I had to use the kit ones. A little cleanup and they fit together OK. The road wheels have separate inner reinforcing rings. There are small thru holes which are only dimples on the kit.  I drilled out the holes on the front half rings as the back side will never be visible.

 

Airbrushed base color and markings.

 

Hand painted details and first wash.