2S3 Akatsiya was the Soviet counter to the M109, only in this instance a 152mm Howitzer. It entered service in 1973 and formed the core component of Soviet Divisional Artillery regiments as they evolved to their end state at the back end of the 1980s. It had a maximum range with rocket assisted projectiles of 24km and was equipped with a dozer blade that allowed it to dig itself in. The Soviet propensity for the employment of SP Artillery in the direct fire role in both defensive and offensive operations means that you really aught to own a few if your gaming Cold War Soviets. In addition to wide spread use as an artillery platform the hull was used for a wide range of other systems including, SA-4, GMZ, 2S4, and 2S5 so plenty of oppourtunity for conversion.
Until recently the only available kit was a balaton offering which was both expensive and some what large. S&S now offer a 2S3 which is a simple and effective representation of this artillery piece. The model consists of 4 resin components which are relativly free of bubles and flash, the tracks being the component requiering the most attention. In addition there are 4 white metal components which includes the main gun, commanders MG, Barrel clamp and dozer blade all were flash free. Price currently in the UK is £10 which includes P&P.
Assembly is very straight forward with no issues. All the hatches are molded closed so a bit of effort is required if you want to crew the beast up.
Stowage and markings are minimal and I painted mine in Vallejo Russian Green and based them on pre cut MDF bases. The only markings I have added are turret numbers, which are becoming a little difficult to find in white. I am currently getting mine from Scotia
Bases are painted GW calthan brown and highlighted with Vallejo Desert yellow before static grass and tufts are added.
2S3 Walk around
2S3 Walk around 2
S&S current Price List Jan 2013
Orbat - 1980's MRR and TRR, Part 4 Artillery