Italeri 1/35 ZIS-3 76.2mm Soviet Anti-Tank Gun

KIT #:



$5.00 at a Model Show




Rick Reinbott


101 parts on 2 sprues


The design work of the ZiS-3 started in the end of 1940 on the Artillery Factory No. 92 under supervision of V. G. Grabin, the chief designer of medium caliber Soviet guns. There was no order for this work; moreover, at this time the attitude toward such development programs on the part of artillery commanders, such as Marshal Kulik, the head officer of Soviet artillery, was extremely negative. So the project was run purely on the initiative of Grabin, his design bureau and the Artillery Factory No. 92 head and his deputies. None of them informed state authorities about the ZiS-3 project.

The ZiS-3 was a combination of the light carriage from the 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun and a powerful 76.2 mm barrel from the previous divisional field gun F-22USV. In order to decrease the gun's recoil a muzzle brake was installed. This allowed the barrel to be mounted on a relatively light carriage without the risk of mechanical damage when firing. In comparison with the F-22USV gun, the ZiS-3 utilized better production technology. Many parts of the gun were cast, stamped or welded in order to reduce the amount of machine work. As a result, the amount of work required to construct a single ZiS-3 gun was three times less than that of the F-22USV gun. Furthermore, the cost to produce a ZiS-3 gun was only two thirds that of an F-22USV.

Combat experience showed the superiority of ZiS-3 over all other types of divisional level field guns. This allowed the ZiS-3 to be presented to a group of state authorities headed by Joseph Stalin and thus obtain all needed approval. After the demonstration was over Stalin said: "This gun is a masterpiece of artillery systems design." There was a five-day official state test run in February 1942. The result of this test was quite clear - ZiS-3 was adopted by the Red Army as divisional field gun model 1942 (full official name). Grabin and his team soon begun to improve on the technology used in the ZiS-3 mass production. Artillery Factory No. 92 was equipped by conveyor assembly lines, which allowed the factory to produce ZiS-3 in even greater numbers with a low qualification workforce but without significant quality loss.  As a result, at the end of World War II, the ZiS-3 was the most numerous Soviet Army field gun with total production exceeding 103,000 pieces. 


 Upon opening the box, you’re presented with one bag containing two sprues of parts. There are fifty-seven parts for the gun itself.  The kit contains three figures for the commander, gunner and loader consisting of twenty-nine parts which includes individual equipment for each figure.  The level of detail for the figures is on par with the figures from the Tamiya Military Miniatures kits.   There are five rounds of 76.2 mm ammunition plus four empty shell casings and an ammunition container.  The empty casings will need to be hollowed out.   All parts are molded in a cream color.   Though the kit contains some flash, it is kept to a minimum.  There are also the usual ejector pin marks on some parts and a few sink marks.  The overall detail of the parts is quite good.   The tires even include the raised detail on the sides indicating the manufacturer.   

The instructions are well laid out, with the construction being broken down into eight exploded-view steps for the gun and three views (naturally) for the figures.  Painting guides are included for the gun and figures with three colors (rust color, sand yellow, olive green) given for the gun even though it doesn’t specify where each color is applied.  Most Soviet armor and artillery was painted an overall dark green color so I would think that going with the olive green color would be the way to go.  As always, check your references.  There is also a numbered diagram of the kit parts which is always something that I appreciate in instructions.  Two close-up photographs are included of an actual gun although one of them is somewhat dark.


Although probably surpassed in quality by the the newer Miniart kit this is a nice kit in itself.  If you can find one at a model show or swap meet I recommend picking one up.    With the inclusion of the figures an ‘in action’ vignette can be made adding a nice touch to your model collection. This kit is recommended for all artillery fans.   


 Wikipedia –

Rick Reinbott

March 2014

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