Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tempting buy, Soviet monster truck for my Finns!

Blimey, this modelling lark puts a lot of temptation in your path! I am trying 'to be good' this month and have clamped down on spontaneous purchases as I try very hard to clear some of the backlog of half completed projects that are cluttering up my workbench...However...

I mentioned yesterday that I need a *lot* of trucks for my Finnish wargame army project and that appropriate kits - of vehicles that were actually used by the Finns at the time - are a bit hard to come by. So when I actually do see a kit that accurately represents a rare vehicle that was used by the Finns my fingers start gravitating towards that 'BUY' button!

Such is the case with a very rare 1/72 YaG-10 made by an obscure Russian model company.

The YaG-10 (JaG-10) was a 5 ton behemoth of a truck which had been designed in the 1930s as heavy artillery prime-mover for the Soviet army...

There is a story behind why this got me all excited. First of all I am short of heavy prime-movers for my Finn's artillery - I am already having to convert a couple of kits of Soviet Zil-156 trucks because they are based on a 1940 American International Harvester K-7 heavy truck design - so am always on the lookout for likely additions to my army. But what really made me sit up was a photo I came across by accident on the excellent SA-kuva archive of wartime Finnish photographs...

A Finnish soldier proudly stands beside his capture Soviet booty!
This 'mystery truck' - which the archive caption enigmatically calls, simply, a 'Soviet truck' - sparked a flurry of Internet research on my part to track down what it was. I could tell straight away that it was a BIG muther flipper, and the fact that SA-kuva noted that a couple of these monsters were 'liberated' from the Red Army by the Finns really had me quite giddy!

It didn't take long before I tracked down my elusive giant, two web sites in particular were a great help in identifying the model Engines of the Red Army and Armchairgeneral.com.

What I was actually looking at was the YaG-6, the 2x4 version of the family of Soviet heavy trucks (the series ranged from YaG-3 o YaG-10, the nominature changing depending on engine type and/or wheelbase). More Googling ensued...Could I find a 1/72 kit of this beasty?

Phew! It turned out to be a bit of a quest - and thank goodness for Google Translation - as I burned the midnight oil and I descended into the murky world of Eastern European resin short run kits.

What I eventually found were two manufacturers that did various models in the YaG series, the first was Legato Armour (Czech republic) and the other was Zebrano (Russia). Both are pretty hard to get hold of, are 'expert' resin kits (fiddly to make in other words) and are quite expensive.

The Zebrano kit here is a YaG-10 version.
At €29 plus shipping this was a bit of an 'Ouch!' moment and a annoying end to an enjoyable evenings research. And really this put pay (pun intended) to my near frivolous spend. It was time for a Kitnoob 'Plan B'...

There are three things I could do; wait until next payday and grit my teeth and press the buy button, attempt one of my Frankenstein-esque kit-bashes* or attempt a full scratchbuild (there are a full set of plans for a YaG-6 on the Armchairgeneral web site).

* Airfix Scammell to YaG-6 conversion? 

...At this point I am unsure which of these courses of action I will take! But in any case I am pleased to have discovered a 'new' potential truck for my Finns.

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