As a fan of self-propelled guns, howitzers and tank killers, I needed to mention this release of Hobby Boss, because it is quite attractive. The SU-18 /samokhodnaya ustanovka/ is based on the first Soviet designed Tank: T-18. It was based on the famous Renault FT, incorporating most of its features and most importantly in our subject here – its size.
Originally T-18 was designed as a “supporting tank”. In a matter of fact, the times were like that then – vehicles was considered “supporting” the people in the army, not the other way around like nowadays. So Soviets took what they could from the Renault FT design, modifying it for their specific needs and came up with the T-18. From it, they managed to squeeze a version, which is quite odd, mostly due to its small size. It is a two man crew vehicle – a gunner and a driver. Designs with 76.2mm, 37mm and 40mm guns were tested, but in the end the idea was abandoned.
SU-18 is based on that T-18 kit from Hobby boss
The reason for that was that the chassis is to narrow in general, and as we know now, howitzers, SPHs and SPGs need a steady, heavy and firm base for stable firing. However, we must not forget, that it is because of these vehicles, we know have that knowledge and modern weapons.
So Hobby Boss decided to expand its T-18 line with the SU-18, just to give us another armor vehicle in 35th scale. It is known, that their T-18 tank kit is good enough and has the same basic characteristics /as a kit/ as the Meng’s FT. The odd thing about the kit was the fact that there are no decals inside, probably because the real vehicles didn’t wear any. Too far in the history to be sure. But whatever the case – in T-18 we have photo-etch and separate track links, fine detail and brilliant riveting, so there is nothing less we can expect from the SU-18.
Every fan of the SPHs, like myself, should consider this add-on to his/hers collection. It might be small, but it will be nice looking once built. It won’t be long ’till SU-18 release too. After all, it is just a re-tooling of the T-18, so another sprue, another boxart…and there we go!