Katiusza Rocket Launcher 1:35 Scale Italeri Model Kit #242 Review

2016 February 17
by Doug

Right On Replicas, LLC Step-by-Step Review 20160217*
Katiusza Rocket Launcher 1:35 Scale Italeri Model Kit #242 Review

Review and Photos by Steve Hardwick Steven Hardwick

After the adoption of 82mm rockets in June 1938, they developed a piece or mobile artillery that could deliver a volley of rockets in a target area and then move again to relocate. These were called the BM-13 in Aug 1939 by the end of the war they could mount it to: ships, tanks, river boats etc. This weapon was inexpensive and could be manufactured in light industrial installations.  The design was relatively simple,. It consisted of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position.  Each truck had between 14 and 48 launchers with a 132-mm diameter M-13 rocket 132-mm By the end of 1942, 3,237 Katiusza (also called Katyusha) launchers of all types had been built, and by the end of the war total production reached about 10,000.


For the Modeler: This is the Italeri Katiusza Rocket Launcher kit #242. It is 1:35 scale, and a Skill Level 2 recommended for ages 10 and up, and a piece count 225 plus. Although they are no longer in production they are available at online auctions or larger 000b hobby stores. This kit gives you three crew figures molded in green.  There are three parts trees, one rubber tree, one clear glass tree, and one waterslide decal sheet.  Instructions come in a quad-folded, double-sided black and white layout with 16 steps and separate areas for decals, painting instructions and the three figures. As far as older kits go Italeri has hit this one out of the park with added detail and superb part fit. An extensive part count moves this out of the novice builder’s range and brings it to the intermediate to expert level.  I have built the kit to replicate the box art. Also, I added some optional weathering (NOT required) but really helps make the kit look amazing. As an example of detail, just the driveline alone consists of 62 pieces, not counting the 10 tires and rims. This is a glue required kit and the colors suggested are Model master; Black, White, Khaki, Grey, Bare Metal and USSR Khaki. The completed dimensions are; 9”L x 4” H x 2½” W with the rocket launch rack lowered.


Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; alternate assembly sequence suggestions for fit and ease of finishing; complete paint and adhesive selections and applications; test fitting; complete wheel and suspension construction; instruction errors explained; detailed rocket launcher construction and finishing; decal version considerations; where “not” to use glue, wheel assembly sequence; weathering methods explained; crew figure painting scheme; working with fragile pieces; making realistic looking tires; wheel assembly orientation; detailing the cab interior; construction techniques to avoid gaps; simulating wood grain; blast shield assembly; launch rail construction detail; rocket installation methods explained; spare tire construction and installation; headlight grill placement; how to use old decals successfully; avoiding decal silvering; assembly and orientation of the driveshafts; decal preparation and  application; dullcoat and weathering sources and techniques;  are all fully examined in this 21 page, full-color Step-by-Step review in PDF format.


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