The ZSU-23-4M Shilka is an old Cold War warrior now having been around for 60 years or so, the vehicle type is still in use and has served in many armies and conflict zones. The vehicle is designed to protect ground assets against all forms of aerial attacks via its radar guided four 23mm guns and it would appear to be an effective weapons system against ground targets as well. When I opened the box I noticed that this is the Dragon Models release from 30 years ago and so will be restricted to good and bad aspects.
This offering from Zvezda arrives in an end opening carton, but inside there is a flip top cardboard tray protecting your purchase. The sprues are packed in two sealed plastic bags that have done their job. An initial inspection of the contents picked up three sink marked areas on the model that will need to be tackled; these areas are on the front right upper hull and raised hatch detail on the left and right side hull panels. These defects are not overly difficult to fix but are not of the standard that I have come to expect from Zvezda as there latest efforts have been of a very high standard.
The lower hull despite its age is an impressive moulding as the swing arms are moulded as part of the lower hull which I find impressive and does mean the wheels will all touch the ground. The pressed detail on the wheels is good on the outer face but devoid on the inner face. The tracks are non workable individual track links with good detail present. I was pleased to find two sprue gates only on each link. The upper hull is fair once the sink marks are tackled. The only other area of concern is the tow cable being made of string and plastic eyes and should be replaced. The turret seems ok from a visual inspection. One thing I would have liked to see was the barrels slide moulded, but alas not.
A good number of companies has released the ZSU-23-4M Shilka in 1/35th scale and I was wondering what Zvezda could bring to the party. I believe they have opted for a reasonably detailed model with a minimum parts count; this approach has been successful in most areas, but it has resulted in a few areas where sink marks have occurred in this example. This offering is as far as I can see the Dragon kit in a Zvezda box and is not up to the standard I have seen from them lately. If looking for a plus side then it is a very affordable offering that should meet the needs of the modeller on a tight budget willing to put some work into it.