Finally! We have come to the end of this series. I hope this has been enjoyable and informative for you. We get to wrap this up with a discussion of one of my favorite AAA systems. A radar controlled quad 23mm machine gun!?!?!?!? Battlefront serves up another Soviet system for their Team Yankee version of Flames of War. Now its time to talk about the ZSU 23-4 Shilka AA Platoon boxed set (TSBX05) where I give a little review and share my thoughts and tricks and tips on this model.
Bottomline up front...Yet ANOTHER great resin kit. This is a solid resin and metal kit where the turret and hull are resin and the main gun barrel and tracks are white metal.
- Flash on the Tracks and Gun Barrels. This is getting to be pretty standard. Both of these items had a good bit of flash, especially the tracks. The tracks could be cleaned up easily; going in between each road wheel. The barrels had a little flash that cleaned up nicely. Be forewarned! You might think the barrels are miscast towards the bottom, but that odd "L" shape is supposed to be there. Just lightly file over that.
- Gun Placement. The barrels stack on top of each only one way. At the bottom of the barrels one section has 2 nubs and the other has 2 holes. The center piece has a single nub & hole. Just line those up and the guns are done. Then just glue it into the turret with the flat side of the gun base on top.
Build Plan. These are the old school resin style. Build the guns, mount the guns to the turret and the tracks to the side of the hull. Very simple.
Magnets. You have 2 magnets on this model and it couldn't get simpler. If you've been following along, you know my simple magnet tricks by now, but if you're new check out the article on the T72s, BMPs, 2S1 Carnation, SA-13 Gopher, and the SU-25 Frogfoot
- Place the magnets on something metal so that they keep the same orientation throughout your assembly
- Mark the top of the magnet stack with a Sharpie
- Put the first magnet into the piece with the deeper hole first
- Put the second magnet so that the opposite side shows (marked/clean or clean/marked)
For the Shilka, you need to drill a little hole in center of the turret...deep enough for the magnet to sit. This makes it harder for the magnet to just pop off. After the hole is drilled, glue the first magnet, marking the top of the magnet first as well as the next one in the stack to help you maintain polarity orientation, to the hull. We do the hull first because it is the harder of the 2 pieces to guarantee placement of the magnet. Since the hole is deeper in the hull, the magnet could flip very easily and trying to get it out could be a pain.
If it does flip, not to worry...we can guarantee positive placement on the turret since it has a much smaller hole. Now just glue the magnet into place and mark the top of the magnet stack (I cant stress marking the top of the stack each time enough). Make sure the magnet has the opposite up from what you see on the hull magnet's top. If the hull is marked, glue the unmarked side facing out on the turret...and if the hull magnet has the unmarked side up, make sure the turret has the marked side facing out.
Paint Plan. I used the paint plan from the Team Yankee book (pages 116-7) as a guide.
- Vallejo Surface Primer Black
- Basecoat of Vallejo Model Air 71.017 Russian Green.
- Then I hit it with Ordnance Shade From the Team Yankee Color set.
- Then a hi lite of 75% model Vallejo Air Russian Green 25% AK Interactive Dunkelgelb Light Base coat AK-007.
- The road wheels are Vallejo Model Color Black 70.950, then a little hi lite with Vallejo Model Color Black Grey 70.862.
- I did the tracks like the book. A dirt brown with a metal hi lite and then an Ordnance Wash. Very nice way to do metal tracks.
- Glass areas/Vision Slots: Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black, Vallejo Model Color 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform, Vallejo Model Color 70.943 Grey Blue
- Night Vision lights: Vallejo Model Color 70.979 German Camo Dark Green; Vallejo Model Color 70.968 Flat Green; Vallejo Game Air 72.732 Escorpena Green
- Next the model is gloss varnished.
- Decals are now applied. Micro Sol used were appropriate to kill the edge and make the decal melt into any detail and when dry a little gloss varnish applied over the decal, ensuring this layer covers the decal and goes over the decal edges. This helps keep those edges from coming up.
- A pin wash of Black was applied to the detail areas. A pin wash is a very targeted wash, just to those detail area and any excess that gets on top is wiped off. My wash is a pretty traditional "Magic Wash" of 10-20% Acrylic Floor Was (I still have a bottle of Future Floor Wax I use) then the rest distilled water. I add a drop or two of Vallejo Model Color Black 70.950 to the mix and there you go. The Gloss coat on the model pulls the floor wax in the wash (and the rest of the wash with it) into the detail doing a lot of work for you.
- Lastly seal it all with an anti-shine spray. I LOVE Army Painters Anti shine. About the best I have seen. I use mine through my air brush with no issues and have never frosted a miniature as can happen with spray cans of anti shine. Don't go heavy with any anti shine...too much and can get a shine and defeat the purpose.
Well...that's it for the Soviets for now...I am working on some West Germans for the Master...I mean Luke...and y'all should be seeing some Tips and Tricks for those in the not too distant future.
Jeff Flint "SonBae" has been a long time contributor to WWPD and admin on the forums. A long time gamer and painter and recently a new studio painter at Mastermind, Model and Miniatures in Huntsville, Alabama. Just trying to keep the cats herded in WWPD-South!