The greatest armoured force that the world has ever witnessed, owed it's roots to nothing more than the wrecked and abandoned leftovers of their capitalist adversaries.
As the Russian civil war unfurled in 1918, the allied powers decided give support to the Tzar and bring a halt to Bolshevism. The prime reason however, was the continuation of the war on the Eastern front, something that the 'Reds' were dead set against. Failure to do so would result in the freeing up of thousands of German troops that could be deployed against them on other fronts. The first armour (French Renault FT-17's) arrived in December '18 with the British and Americans following. These detachments were dispersed mainly in the North and South of the country.
Allthough much of the fighting was attributed to infantry and cavalry engagements, the tanks played a central role in stabilizing the fighting against an ever growing enemy.
The other 'dinosaurs' let to roam free at this time were gigantic armoured trains that often transported the tanks. Most battles of this conflict occurred within 20 miles of a railway track.
Despite this support, the 'shelf-life' of these early tanks, having to road march long distances, was a short one. Some fell prey to enemy artillery but usually they broke down or became bogged down. Their Tzarist 'White' owners were then forced to destroy them (when time permitted), having little or no recovery/factory capabilities themselves.
"Make do and mend" was my thought with this particular British Mk V Tank.
I've hidden the eye-sores (Oversize male sponson and rear doors. Wrong radiator louvres etc) and 'raised' the internals. The starboard Female sponson is from Takom - smashed up beyond scrutiny as the difference is over 5mm in height.
One thing I have noticed during my research was that tanks in the North had unditching rails and beams with vertical Tzarist colours on the 'horns'. Tanks of the Southern forces were devoid of these rails and wore the tricolour horizontally.
The figure exiting the hulk is an officer of the Red Army's motor transport corps. To assist him in his salvaging, I've given him a couple of dubious characters with questionable uniforms. This was the time when everything was patched-up and flung together. The inane lump aloft has donned a new pair of flying boots (almost) with his simple friend clad in a French (former dog blanket) greatcoat. Atop this bespectacled form rests an early Budionovka cap. Soldiers wearing such a garment were often referred to as 'rod heads' as they took on the form of a lightning conductor. The joke being the higher the point the smaller the brain. Being more interested in smoking and illusions of grandeur, he fails to see the impending 'chewing-out' by the officer.
To round things off , I've pasted some propaganda of the time around the sides. This mind weapon also played an important role in the conflict. The Red approach was to target the individual and his responsibility to the revolution. The White's could only appeal to citizens to stand together under the Tzar and the old order … both things that brought them surfdom, suffering and WWI. Not that the other side turned out to be any better, probably it was thought that a change was as good as a rest.
Gradually, the communist workshops took charge of tank recovery and with many rescued parts from other vehicles started to club together their own versions. The rest they say is history.
Normaly I should place this in an INTER WAR category, but as I don't have one (yet) it's going to into WWI.
So, I hope you've all had your 'pound of flesh' with this one … thank God I only bite my nails.
Remember this one … ?
… I've been trying to forget the swine!
Better find a good swamp to hoof this bugger into - once and for all!
Time to lay the table again ...
I guess you could say that I have a love-hate relationship with MiniArt. On the one side they have done a hellava lot for the diorama builder. On the other, their kits do require quite a lot of donkey-work in the way of cleaning and fitting. Many of their figures are a pleasure upon opening the box whereas others are a disappointment. This kit belongs to the latter as they are grossly undersized and very plain.
Why buy them then?
Well by leaving one figure in it's original size and bulking up another you can get a good contrast with these basic forms. BTW ... the figure on one leg is a relic from Tamiya's Gaz kit.
Here's a few snapshots of the carcass:
No hints where we're off to on this one ... apart from Blini's and Vodka.
Time to pick the flesh off this one again ... Black primer - white interior:
Fighting compartment pre weathering (note the 'Soylent Green' tone):
Bits (ignore Meng's Hotchkiss ammo boxes, the real ones are just simple steel oblongs):
The small side tabs on the inside wall kept getting in the way of one of the covers, so I had to remove it. If ever you have the same trouble, you may like to chop off the lower tabs as well. Whatever you do, don't remove the front and rear tabs (in blue) as you'll have no control when you join all this together.
This may seem a drastic measure to counter a bad fit but the pressure on the model is minimal.
BTW ... please be carefull when using clamps. Too much pressure will push a joint apart and they can also move and loosen when your back is turned. Trust is good – control is better.
In modelbuilding as well as the real world, old clamps/faulty application have caused tragedy.
Right then, that's the left-overs done with - time for dessert:
The last culinary trip before completion ... The roof is ready to be fitted:
Main body has been emerged in the 'stew':
No profiled frame for this one, just a wood panel:
Right then, that's filled the belly of the beast. I'll be seeing you next time … er... for dinner.