Saturday, 10 March 2018

Soviet silliness

Somewhat inspired by the Portable Wargame a few weeks before, I thought I'd finish up a couple of silly Russian 15mm projects that have been lying around for a while.

First up, the mighty Zis-2 57mm AT gun. Not that silly perhaps, but I always thought the barrel looked disproportionately huge. 

This is one of the PSC 76mm guns made up with a 57mm barrel. A nice simple model which looks the part and paints up well. John kindly donated this as he had a spare.

Next,  a command bus for the Russians. This was inspired by a photo I found of a command vehicle based on a Gaz AA in 1944 where the occupants had essentially built a garden shed on the back of the truck. They looked so happy with the monstrosity they'd built, I thought it deserved commemorating.

Essentially I just added a 6mm extension piece to the edges of the rear bed of a Zvezda Gaz AA truck, plonked on the tilt and made up a window and rear door from plastic card. It looks rather more professional than its real life counterpart! I'm sure the HQ chaps will welcome the ride.

Next, that triumph of socialist labour efforts (helped by a spot of spying on the Vickers Independant), the T-35 Land Battleship. 

This is a truly monstrous model. I did have go at doing the radio array but it just fell to bits. Well, it was an optional extra anyway. I left it fairly plain (the supplied decals also fell to bits!) but I'm pleased with the weathering on the side panels, which is a mixture of mud and dust.

It has no less than five moveable turrets, which lets it shoot in all sorts of directions at once. Lack of central fire control must  have made that an interesting experience in real life.

None of your Battlefront or Zvezda rubbish here. This is a proper Premo model, with the instructions in Russian. Which makes them a bit hard to read, so it is a good job there weren't too many parts.

Finally, I thought the chaps could do with some encouragement in the battle to defend the motherland from fascist oppression. I knocked up this chap with a megaphone to bellow out suitably comradely messages of inspiration. Well, I blame Enemy at the Gates.

He is a PSC 'pointing and shouting' Russian officer with a megaphone made up out of scrap plastic.

I rather enjoyed making all of those, and most of them will hopefully be gracing a gaming table in the weeks to come. I've even found a decent scenario to use the T35.


  1. I have always been fascinated by the T-35 and I like the weathering on yours - just done to the right degree to look natural.

    1. Thanks Norm, it is just drybrushing. I suspect the rivets would have benefitted from a wash but I didn't want to end up staining the base colour. The T-35 isn't a very sensible tank from a wargaming pov as there were so few of them. I'd much rather someone made an affordable T-28!

  2. Very nice work- if you are stuck for ideas for the T35 there area couple of scenarios inthe Skirmish Campaigns book that use them.



    1. Thanks. I've actually got a brigade level one covering the death ride of the 34th tank division, so it can make an appearance in that.

  3. Martin,

    The gun looks very good, and I love the conversion of the lorry.

    All the best,


  4. Thanks Bob. The PSC Zis guns are things of beauty, and the truck is actually an old one of yours which came my way via Tim G! It is one of the older ones with the horrible bonnet assembly.

  5. I'd recommend Francis Pulham's 'Fallen Giants' on the T35. There are some curious combinations of vehicles in the units, 4 T35s were grouped with some KHTZ-16s at Kharkov, the 67th Regt also had T27s and T37As, the 68th Regt had 30 T35s, 16 T26s, 12 BT7s and 3 KHT-26s. At least half of the T35s broke down before getting into action. Two fell off (or possibly through) bridges.

  6. Thanks Nigel. I'm not going to be overly historical with this as so many of the vehicles broke down before contact, but I've got Bob Mackenzies soviet OBs for Barbarossa and I'll go with ratios of the various tanks based on their strength returns but reduced 80%.