Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Review - Model, S&S 1/72 2S3 Akatsiya

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 Models
S&S current Price List Jan 2013
Orbat - 1980's MRR and TRR, Part 4 Artillery


  1. May I ask where I can find this kit?
    Also I'm afraid the SA-4 and GMZ-3 have a longer chassis, there are 7 road wheels instead of 6 on the 2S3, 2S4 and 2S5.

  2. The S&S Models link in the references should get you there if not sales@sandsmodels.com will, just drop Shaun an email, they take paypal.

    You are absolutely right about the length, which is well observed. From the data I have the 2S3 hull is 6.5 m long whilst the GMZ 3 hull is 7.00m long and as you point out it has an extra road wheel. I have generated these numbers from drawings and models as opposed to facts so if you have more accurate dimensions they would be gratefully received. The other bit I am not sure on is whether that extension affects the hull front or just the hull rear, as the size of the commanders cupola in relation to the space available on the 2S3 model also looks challenging, I have not been able to tie that one down yet but writing this has given me an idea.

    For the conversion at scale if you don't add in the extension that leaves you 6.9mm short, or you can extend the tracks hull and add the extra road wheel. In addition you have to build a new rear hull and of course the mine plough which was the bit I found tricky. There are some reasonable dimensioned drawings available on the GMZ 3 which together with some of the photo sets provide sufficient hull top detail to complete the model.

  3. I don't have the exact data either, I found this because I was thinking about convert a Balaton kit into an 2P24 SAM launcher.
    Thanks for reply anyway. I'll let you know if I got anything new about the extended chassis.