Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Keeping things in proportion

SHQ's white metal T20 Komsomolets, a very simple 11 piece model of the
WW2 Soviet light artillery tractor.

I have mentioned my slight confusion about what constitutes the 20mm scale and how I came to understand that it is actually closer to 1/76 than 1/72 (something which is easily confused as several online retailers seem to think all three scales are interchangeable). This issue came into focus when I wanted to add to my Finnish field guns project, first with the crew and now with the transport.

I wanted several models of the Soviet T-20 Komsomolets light armoured tractor - the Soviet equivalent of the Bren Carrier - to tow my light guns. A great many of these little machines were captured by the Finns during Winter War in 1941 and the Finns found them very useful for navigating the tight forested tracks. However, there aren't many options by way of models in Braille Scale.

The one model I was able to source was SHQ's white metal kit and although their web site is a little vague about the scale of their WWII range I think it's fair to say they are accepted to be of the 20mm or 1/76 range.

However, when my SHQ Komsomolt arrived and I checked it against the scale blueprints I had I found it was actually just a smidgen off 1/72. This poses a bit of a quandary for me - it's just a little off 1/72 so do I pretend that it is and just buy three more I need, or do I follow through my original idea and use the SHQ model as a template for a my first attempt at a 1/72 scratch build?

Above: The SHQ T20 tractor among a mix of 1/76 and 1/72 figures - does the
mixing of scales really matter?

Looking at the photo I took on the T20 along side some 1/76 and 1/72 figures you have to ask if the slight difference in size - particularly when dealing with such a small vehicle anyway - is going to really matter. I feel that because the SHQ T20 seems to lay somewhere between the two scales it can easily suit both.

The real clue that it is a little under-scale for 1/72 is the fact that I have placed a HaT 1/72 gun crewman on the rear seating and while - on his own - he doesn't look too out of place this seating was designed to accommodate three men on each side. Three 1/72 seated figures would not comfortably fit on these benches - three 1/76 figures would.

T-20 armored tractor Komsomolets. Source: Wikipedia
Still, the point here is - is it now worth me attempting to scratch build my own T20 when the SHQ one is a knat's whisker out of scale? The clincher might be that the SHQ model is just £6 so I have to balance the amount of my valuable free time against six quid.

Link to SHQ's 'Russian' (Soviet) WW2 vehicles section


  1. I didn't know SHQ did these.
    Have you looked at the T-20's from Shell Hole Scenics or from MMS?

    1. Many thanks Peabody, I will look these up. :)

  2. I decided to go with MMS as they come with a nice little ammunition trailer; an atractive bonus model for slightly higher cost.

    1. It does look really nice! But as I need at least four of these I decided to try the Shell hole Scenics cheap version first. It arrived the other day and I will do a review of it compared to the SHQ one in the next few days.