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Towards the mid of the 90s, Tamiya introduced to the market their JS-3 (Ref. 35211), which since it was coming from the first manufacturing batches, could not be painted in other way than the classic soviet green. Jaguar tried a resin kit to convert the JS-3 from Tamiya in the JS-3M post-war version, however it was nothing but a failure owing to the great deal of mistakes it featured. We had to wait for the new century to see a real JS-3M, and this time from Trumpeter (Ref.316).
When opening the box, I came across a typical Trumpeter mold, modest plastic quality, with a great deal of small parts. Cleaning these parts means an extra task. Nevertheless, the hull and turret are a good base to work. The tracks, without any doubt the weakest point of the kit, are mediocre.
To achieve an accurate and detailed JS-3M model you may choose among three ways:
To convert the Tamiya JS-3 from scratch . Difficult but not impossible.
To improve the Trumpeter kit (with or without aftermarket).
To use both kits, taking the best parts from each one.
On this occasion, I decided the second option, the simplest, and within every modeller's reach.
Unfortunately, this kit is not the best from Trumpeter. Although it’s far from being impossible to build, it requires much work.
If you want to save some work, you might opt for the following aftermarket:
For the Trumpeter kit, a good choice of PE for the JS—3M would be the ones from Eduard ref.#35571; and for the Tamiya's, you may use the ref.#35136 from Eduard or #35035 from Aber.
As for the tracks, an available metal option would be ATL-34 from Friulmodel or Modelkasten (SK-14) and Armour Tracks Models.
For the aluminium barrels, here you have three references: Barrel Depot (35048), Jordi Rubio (JRR-20) and Model Point (#3510-1).
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