On the 17th of September, 16 days after the German invasion of Poland, the Soviets followed suit and attacked it's beleaguered neighbour. This action was deemed necessary by Moscow 'to protect it's fraternal population', nobody was fooled ...least of all the Poles... and running battles between the two continued until the end of hostilities on the 6th of October.
The odds for the defenders could'nt have been worse, ca. 1 weakend Polish battalion vs 1 Soviet Corps.
Saying that, Stalins recent 'purges' of the officer corps, the ongoing border war with Japan, inadequate training, a lack of specialised personel, unorganised mobilisation, a shortage of spare parts for machinery and a lack of trucks, reduced the once formidable Red Army to a shadow of itself.
Their resulting poor performance did not go unnoticed to the world, especially their then 'allies', the Gemans, who took full advantage of their constitution almost two years later.
The fact that the Soviets lost 15% of their armour in what should have been a walk-over in Eastern Poland makes one think that a lot of the 'Backstabbing' was self-inflicted.
Completed: July 2016
Part of my reserch for this one was the exellent Osprey book by Steven Zaloga, after that things went downhill !
The Eastern Express T-38 kit was a bit of a lump to build, so I just relaxed with it and made the best of a bad job as it were.
It occurred to me during the build, that as it was all a bit old and rough, I might as well 'adorn' it with much of the same. Ancient Zwesda figures, Italeri water pump 'relic' plus a pair of geese from the Tamiya archives all contributed to give this Dio a retro aura.
We'll start as ever, with the internals (I can't seem to leave them alone)!
Nothing special, just plastic scrap and a few spare parts.
For such a small model it was surprising how much detail was missing.
Here we are then, primed, painted and 'chipped'. The good side of models like this I feel, is that because you have to work out the detail yourself you learn more about the actual vehicle, whereas with a top expensive kit one is inclined to take things more for granted... and thereby gets lulled into a false sense of security.
Right, now it's time for more imperfection... very much in line with the depicted army.
One of the things that have botherd me over the years is rivet making. On the pictures below you can see my particular 'cabinet of horrors'. I've tried chopping off (sometimes egg-like) to casting. From 'raw punching' to a homemade stencil. I've used the best ones on the T-38 and have placed some of these beauties on the front glacis for a laugh. They remind me of the shape of the little tablets I had to take at the end of this session.
But wait folks! All is not lost!
Introducing (again) the trusty RP Toolz rivet maker ... a great help being able to punch rivets from 0.6 - 2mm.
I know what your thinking... the thing is I only read about the set AFTER I got to this stage, still better late than never.
I could'nt resist a couple of Polish geese in this scene... 'Backstabbers' come in many forms!