Zvezda 1/72 ‘Iskander-M’ SS-26 ‘Stone’

The second and more successful attempt to replace the long-serving Scud missile system, the ‘Iskander-M’, SS-26 ‘Stone’ entered service with Russian ground forces in 2006. A versatile ballistic missile system, the Iskander has a number of conventional warheads including cluster, fuel-air explosive enhanced-blast, explosive-fragmentation, earth penetrating and electromagnetic pulse warheads. Each Iskander is armed with a pair of 9M723 ballistic missiles, each with a range of approximately 415km although it may be as high as 500km. Each missile can travel at a speed between Mach 6 and 7, is completely under control during all stages of its flight and when closing in on the target will automatically carry evasive manoeuvres to avoid anti-ballistic missiles.

The real vehicle is 24ft long so even in 1/72 scale, presented here by Zvezda, this model will be 18.3cm long. A new tool for 2017, ballistic missile systems always make impressive models and this is no exception. Very nice artwork greets you on the front of the box sleeve and images of the completed kit, both painted and unpainted make the rear of the box just as nice. On removing the outer packing you are left with a sturdy brown, top opening box which contains our kit. Inside you find eight main sprues which include one for the glasswork and two for the eight tyres, a decal sheet, a piece of netting and an A4 mono instruction booklet.   

Do not treat this as a quick build, as unlike other subjects similar to this there is no large chunk of bodywork to get the ball rolling quickly. You will have to build this kit from the ground up including chassis, drive trains and even individual shock absorbers which are pretty fiddly for a build of this scale. The engine is only in two parts and is fully concealed so at least you are spared that! Internal detail of three seat cabin is good and from that part of the build onwards, the kit quickly transforms from a pile of parts into a convincing looking ‘Iskander-M’. At this point you have the options of displaying the missiles deployed with vehicle stabilisers down or concealed within the vehicle; I think most of you would want to produce the former! At the end of the 27-stage build you have a half-page ‘colour-guide’ which is still in black and white but has enough information with regard to the Humbrol paints needed, to replicate the impressive specimen on the rear of the box.     

This is another good value for money kit from Zvezda which portrays a modern and deadly piece of military hardware that is still in production. Special thanks and a welcome return to The Hobby Company who are the UK distributor for this kit. www.hobbyco.net.


Product: Plastic kit

Ref: 5028

Scale: 1/72

Parts: 247

Price: £26.99 (eModels)

Manufacturer: Zvezda

Website: www.zvezda.org.ru/en/