The 2S14 was a BTR-70 variant that was intended to be a hit-and-run anti-tank asset for the wheeled portion of Motorized Rifle Divisions, the Naval Infantry, and for the Airborne forces.
Ok, but why did the Soviets even look into this? Well, they were concerned about the lack of dedicated MANEUVERABLE anti-tank platforms in the late 1960's. The AT-3 Sagger (9M14 Malyutka) ATGM was a nice man-portable missile BUT it was short ranged and slow flying and so was a disappointment (initially). While there was development of both an improved AT-3 and the follow up AT-4 Spigot (9M111 Fagot), in 1968 the Soviets commissioned the Central Research Institute Nizhniy Novgorod to work on a new anti-tank gun setups that allowed for better mobility on the battlefield. This came down to 2 towed ATG's, one based on the D-44 85mm gun (Zhalo-B designated 2A55) and one based on the 2A45 125mm gun (Octopus-B). They also designed a mobile version of the 85mm gun(2A62). They found that while the 2A45 was 150% better in ballistics, it was a large and cumbersome piece in the field and, as a towed piece, it was still too static and exposed for the envisioned battlefield of manoeuvre.
Considering the 2A45 was ALSO being incorporated as the new MBT main gun, it was decided it was not acceptable as a towed ATG. The 2A55 towed gun was less cumbersome, but that was its ONLY virtue. The mobile system, built on the BTR-70 APC, incorporated a new lightly armored turret, had a pepper-pot muzzle break that was found to be 80% effective (meaning less stress on the turret/hull when fired), and retained the speediness of the original wheeled chassis. It was eventually designated the 2S14 Zhalo-C (Sting-S). The 2S14 was found to be good EXCEPT that the 85mm gun could NOT penetrate the frontal armor of then current tanks, hostile or domestic. In the same time frame (1968-1973), both improved AT-3 missiles and the AT-4 missile system came into production and relegated the 2S14 Zhalo-C ultimately to obscurity. Even though it had a production designation, it never made it to actual production. There were at least 2 prototype / pre-production vehicles made, maybe up to 4. 1 restored copy currently resides at the Kubinka Museum (Moscow).
The kit has 18 cream colored pieces including a new one piece upper hull, 2 piece hollow turret, a few turret interior pieces, the main gun, and several detail pieces.
First off, the one piece hull is VERY nice. I found only 1 air bubble on the entire piece. The attention to detail is also readily apparent: for example, the periscope openings on the Trumpeter BTR-70 early kit are open: you can use them by sliding in the clear periscope piece or you can cut off the cover and replace it with the provided PE...well, the SP Designs upper hull retains these openings EXACTLY as on the Trumpeter kit. They have a small amount of flash (used to keep the openings hollow when casting) that need to be cut out, very easy, and the Periscopes from the Trumpeter kit slide right in, no fuss. Same for the engine hatches, the vent pieces, everything I test fit onto the resin hull fit just as well as it did on the Trumpeter plastic hull. On the inside of the resin hull, a extra piece was molded on to help reinforce the casting. This was slightly off in my sample and required me to remove a small portion of it on the passenger side (interior) so that it mated perfectly with the lower hull. I would pay attention to this area if you decide to add the interior as it may interfere with pieces (like the engine fire wall part J21). Also pay attention to what holes are needed for the build, consulting the Trumpeter instructions, as this is MOSTLY a BTR-70. It will require a few holes get filled by each of the light guards, just like in the Trumpeter instructions.
The turret was rendered in 3D and the master was 3D printed. It is a simple, 2 piece setup with a few interior pieces to make it look less empty if you put a figure in the hatch. The interior bits are the breech and its guard, along with 2 sights that match up to the two periscopes on the roof. The sights are flat molded into the resin wafer that holds them and will require some care when removing them, best to use a flat piece of sandpaper on a block. There is one hatch with a 2-piece collar and hatch. The hatch has detail on both sides, so it can be posed open without worry. The turret lift rings are molded on and will have to be drilled out. When gluing the 2 turret halves together, it is best to line up the front so that the left side (facing you) is smooth and even. Then make sure that the left/right lines up with the shell ejection door slot. There will be some overhang to the rear, this is CORRECT as per the prototype (see resources). The shell ejection door is well done and fits its area perfectly.
The gun is all resin in 2 pieces. As with all resin main guns, it is not straight out of the box but can be straightened with some heat without issue. The barrel needs to be drilled out and the muzzle "holes" will also need to be drilled out if you want them to look see through instead of just painting them black. A bit of a pain, as pepper-pot muzzle breaks always are. The exterior mounted recuperating cylinders are correctly reproduced with its thin sheet metal cover.
The box on the hull side (part 16) goes on with the latch facing the rear. The barrel lack is the only real disappointment...it is too simple. It should have 2 bolts on it, 2 layer casting, and it narrows from bottom to top. It is also missing the hinged lock down "jaws".
A very nicely cast resin antenna rounds out the parts.
Highs: Only conversion of its kind, excellent castings, very good details, easy conversion to use.Lows: Poorly rendered gun lock.Verdict: Very nice conversion of a fun prototype. Good candidate for a first time resin conversion kit.
About Jacques Duquette (Jacques) FROM: MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES
The first model I remember building was a glow-in-the-dark P-38, running around my bedroom in the dark flying it, and stubbing my toes. I do a lot less running around with glowing models now. I mainly focus on 1/35 armor and figures, with Modern Russian military vehicles being my favorite. I a...