Low-profile Bug Killer

TOR-M2/SA-15 ‘Gauntlet’

Zvezda 1/35, Ref. 3633

It is in a fairly large box that this kit comes in, packed with 334 parts laid out over six grey styrene sprues, one clear sprue, and two large separate hull ‘halves’. Added to this are two small sheets of mesh in two different sizes, a B&W instruction booklet, a full-colour A5 sized colouring and decalling instruction sheet and a decal sheet.

The parts are nicely detailed, and the hard plastic tracks, of ‘individual links’ and ’section’ types, are well represented, some sections featuring some sag. It is a large model. But what is it

The Tor missile system is an all-weather, low to medium-altitude, short range surface-to-air missile system designed to destroy low-flying airplanes, helicopters, drones and missiles. Designated 9K330 Tor, it is better known here under its NATO reporting name, SA-15 Gauntlet. It is reported to be equivalent to the French Crotale system, but consists of only one vehicle combining the radar, missile launching and command vehicles. Operational since around 2007, developed from the earlier Tor and Tor-M1 systems, it has been exported by Russia to a large number of customers around the world and has seen action in a handful of local conflicts.

Rather unfortunately, the kit does not provide the missiles, just closed off launch stations on the top of the turret. However, the radars can be portrayed deployed or folded down. A closed off or opened up driver’s front hatch is another option offered by this kit.

The running gear and tracks also allow for some ‘individuality’ and ‘flexibility’. There are lots of details to be added just about everywhere, and it must be said that the final product looks very good and imposing. Just lacking a bit of ‘sexyness’ without a large gun sticking out somewhere. Maybe some imaginative modellers somewhere will be able to turn this kit into a show-stopper with some super-detailing or a slightly more ‘in action’ pose.

There are two painting options given by Zvezda, while extra decals afford again a little bit more diversity; the options are a vehicle spotted at the 2017 Victory Parade in Moscow, and one operated by the Syrian Arab Republic. The decals are well printed with dense colours on a satin-looking carrier film.

This is all in all an excellent-looking kit, just lacking, to me in any case, a little bit of ‘peps’.

Review by Domi Jadoul, pictures by Domi Jadoul and Zvezda.

http://www.zvezda.org.ru

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