Anti-Aircraft Sewing Machine

Soviet Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun

ZSU-23-4M Shilka

Zvezda 1/35, Ref. 3635

Here is a great addition for those interested in Soviet armour, even if it’s not the first one on the market, since Meng released a 1/35 Shilka back in 2016.  The lower retail price of this new kit is certainly a major incentive if considering the making of this vehicle at this scale.

‘Shilka’ is the name of a River in Russia. ‘Zeus’, derived from ‘ZSU’ is a common nickname for the vehicle but it is also known as the ‘Sewing Machine’ because of the noise made by its guns.

Upon opening the box, one finds 6 rather large sprues, plus the bottom hull, cast in a medium grey plastic, plus a decal sheet, a piece of nylon thread for the tow cable and one transparent part for the driver’s windshield.  If the kit appears well designed an shows some really nice details, it can be regretted that an ejection ring mars the inside face of each and every one individual track links, 192 of them… Certainly many will be hidden but concealing the others will take time.

No less than six options are offered with the decal sheet, two Soviet machines (1987 and 1988), plus one each for Russia (2002), East Germany, Hungary and Viet-Nam.  With over 6,500 Shilkas built, having operated in over 40 countries since the late 1960s, the number of other possibilities is almost limitless!

Review by Domi Jadoul, pictures by Domi Jadoul and Zvezda

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