Saturday, September 22, 2012

More Soviet vehicles than I'd thought ...

I thought I might take a look at just what I have available for the mid war eastern front 20mm Spearhead project.

Ouch!! More than I'd realised.

I'm not a great fan of those "line 'em up and photograph what I have" blog posts (pretty boring really), so this is more for me to use to review progress than anything else.

There are 10 x T34s ( a mix of early and mid war variants), and I found another one assembled long ago by someone else, but in desperate need of a paint job. That will make 11, and enough for a mid war armoured division tank brigade. There are four BT7s, and two 'lend lease Stuarts (one M3 and one M5), good for the recon elements of the brigade. Then there are the two extant KV1s, used for a Heavy tank regiment, or a breakthrough brigade, except that I need four or five to make a complete unit (hence my attempts at assembling those fated Fujimi kits).

So, the project is much further advanced than I'd thought.

Where to from here? There is some 'earthquake damage' to be repaired.

Side guard to be re-glued to this KV1.

New barrel required on this T34 D/E conversion (a 1980s job done using the T34/85 turrets .. remember those days?)

Here is the T34 collection less the recently unearthed extra vehicle which is undergoing the repaint. However there are a few errant paint jobs here too, and of course these were painted 'way back in the day' (as some of my young students are fond of saying) when we used brown khaki rather than the more correct Soviet olive green colour. Not sure if I'll repaint them all, maybe just the 'more bizarre' of them.

And then there are these few 'interesting' vehicles that were conversions that I did in the 1970s and 1980s. In this shot, from right to left - an SU76i (a 76mm gun mounted on a captured StUGIII chassis IIRC), a JSU152 (the barrel is a Bic pen refill), and a T48 (a 6pdr mounted on an M3 half track)

Finally this JS1 conversion, completed almost entirely from photos using an Airfix JS3 chassis, in the absence of plans. For those of us of a 'certain age', doesn't this take you back? No kitsets available, so we just had to 'make it up' as best we could. "You try telling young people 't today that, they won't believe you".

Here are the recon elements. The BT5 at the front was a scratch build job. I remember the trials and tribulations of getting the hull front correct.

And the two lend-lease recon vehicles.The M5 Stuart at the front was another of my scratch build projects. The hull rear and the turrent were 'challenging' as I recall.

It's all good fun. Now where's Stan with those quick assembly KV1s?


  1. Ah, very good. Perhaps. Only got me three PV IVs (plus your three)...can I take my Tigers? Please?

    Then there's my Kiwis potentially facing off the Russians in Trieste...

  2. Nick
    We'd need to check the lists/OOBs but there would be room for a Tiger battalion of 3 Tigers.. that's actually not unreasonable. Just can't recall off hand how they fit into an OOB.. they count as a heavy tank battalion.


    1. Well, yes, beats me! I've been through the official lists and I still haven't got my head around where or how the Tigers fit...

  3. Nick

    I've sent a query to Keith, but they were essentially used as independent heavy tank battalions, and at most you'd likely have only a few of them on the table (whether Tiger I or II. From Wikipedia (and pretty much as I recall this):

    Early formation units experimented to find the correct combination of heavy Tiger tanks supported by either medium Panzer III tanks or scout elements. In 1942 this consisted of 20 Tigers and 16 Panzer IIIs,[verification needed] composed of two companies, each with four platoons of two Tigers and two Panzer IIIs. Each company commander would have an additional Tiger, and battalion command would have another two.[1]

    Later formations had a standard organization of 45 Tiger Tanks, composed of 3 companies of 14 Tigers each, plus 3 command vehicles. Maintenance troubles and the mechanical unreliability of the Tigers posed a continuous problem, so often the units would field a smaller number of combat-ready tanks.[1]

    The limited number of these heavy tanks, plus their specialized role in either offensive or defensive missions, meant they were rarely permanently assigned to a single division or corps; but shuffled around according to war circumstances.

    Hope this helps


    1. Yep. Makes sense. So, three fighting stands plus an HQ tank?