SKP Model are a company based in the Czech Republic that produce a small number of complete model kits, but a substantial range of accessories. Custom made replacement lenses for AFV lights are something of a speciality with now over 50 products in the range targeted at specific kits. Being model specific, they remove the need to search out various sizes of generic lens; instead you get all you need on one fret.
This set is intended for Trumpeter’s “Russian 2S1 Self-propelled Howitzer” (kit 05571), a vehicle more commonly known as “Gvozdika” - Гвоздика meaning 'Carnation', (note this word has been spelled incorrectly by SKP on both package and item). I suppose it would also be usable with the other kit of the same subject by Skif.
As usual the item is presented in a small zip lock bag stapled to card. Enclosed is a single metal sheet with the components etched and attached by small connection points. No instructions are included, as is normal for these products from SKP, more of a problem for the likes of me reviewing the item in isolation from the kit it is intended for; normally of course you’d have the kit with you and it would be obvious what each item is for. I’ve tried to provide a bigger photo than that on the SKP site so that you can see the detail for yourself.
The tiny lenses, parts 7 (red) and 9 (green) appear to be for the twin lamp clusters that are on the top outer edge of the vehicle at front and rear. I have to say though, that looking at photos of the real thing, while one lamp of the pair is red, I’m not totally convinced that the other one should be such a straight green; it seems to me to be more like an amber / yellow colour.
The two silvery half circle lenses (part 3) are headlamps that sit within the recesses at the corner of the front plate, and I believe that the semi-circular metal components (part 8) are shades that fit over the other half of the headlamp. Within the same recess are what appear to be infrared lamps, and I assume that these are the pair of red lenses (part 2).
The big red lens (part 1) is for the turret mounted IR lamp and comes with a mounting ring (part 6) that includes some recessed bolt / screw detail, and should provide a nice thin scale appearance against the semi-translucent lens; photos certainly suggest that this lamp is often shrouded however. That leaves parts 4, a red lens with considerable reflector pattern detail within it, and 5, a metal mounting disk, possibly for the same lens, and these may be for a rear facing turret lamp.
Several things are impressive about these items: the precision of manufacture, the clarity and translucent depth of the lenses, and, where appropriate, the patterned reflector plate that sits behind the lens at the back of the lamp, embedded under the surface of the lens; the silver half lamps are especially nice looking. I do have reservations about the colour of the tiny green lamps, although there may be circumstances where green is correct, and I have seen a few photos of models with green lenses, though none of the real thing.
Obviously without having the kit for which these are intended I cannot comment on the precision of fit. Certainly there are photos of models of this vehicle where some of the lamps are just painted plastic, and these replacement items do look as if they will provide a much more authentic looking alternative to the lamps included in the original kits. The price isn’t too steep and if you are considering building this kit and intending to buy individual track links for it, then you may well consider adding this lens set to your aftermarket stash.
Armorama review of Trumpeter 2S1 Howitzer
Ukrainian 2S1 Gvozdika SPG
by Michael - Parade @ Kiev. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Samohodna haubica Gvozdika
by Suradnik13 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons.