The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Zis-42 Russian half-track truck - case report

Товарищи!! (Tovarish!!)
      Good news !!! My new home is almost done and my new workbench almost installed and ready. So I'll be back to my new projects, soon. Meanwhile, we see the building of a very interesting kit of 2008. A Russian beast !!! 
For the Motherland!!

      I love the aspect of the ZIS-42, the Russian half-track truck.
ZIS-42 new in the factory depot, awaiting shipment
      In the beginning of the twentieth century, Russia was largely agricultural, with little heavy industry, and what industry there was, was heavily damaged in the First World War and the ensuing Russian Civil War. Forced to build an industrialized society out of virtually nothing, the Soviet Union freely sought technical assistance abroad. One aspect of this was their automotive industry: rather than attempt to start from the very bottom, they decided to get a “jump start” by building tried vehicles under license. The ZIS medium truck was a slight adaptation of an American Autocar company design.
       ZIS was the Soviet counterpart of Mack, Volvo or Mercedes trucks. ZIS stands for Zavod imeni Stalina, which roughly translates into Plant of Stalin's name. This name was adopted in 1933 to kiss up to the Boss. Prior to this, the truck factory had started in 1931 as AMO (Automobil Moscow Obshchestvo (Enterprise)). Their first product was what became the ZIS-5 flat bed lorry, a loose copy of the American Autocar truck. ZIS-5 mass production started after the name change in 1933 and this ubiquitous truck came to play a huge role in the Great Patriotic war together with the GAZ-AA truck, both becoming the transport backbone of the Soviet Army. ZIS produced 532,311 trucks of this model since 1933 to 1948. The Russians called the ZIS-5 "Tryohtonka" for its 3-ton payload capacity, a 3-ton (tonka) truck.
ZIS-5 (pre-war model)
      Instead of continuing to purchase new and improved designs abroad (an expensive business) the Soviets preferred to develop and improve the basic designs they had purchased already. The ZIS-5 truck thus begat the ZIS-6 truck with dual rear axles, the ZIS-5V wartime version (designed to be produced more cheaply and using fewer precious resources), and at least three different sorts of halftracks :ZIS-22 (1938-40), GAZ-60 (1939-40) and ZIS-42 (1942-44), the last and most common of which is the ZIS-42.
      The ZIS-42 half-track army tractor was built from 1942 to 1944 with a short production run of only 5,931 vehicles. It shares the cab and front end with the ZIS-5. During war years such amenities as windshield wipers, bumpers and right head light were omitted, and plentiful Russian wood replaced hard to get steel that was needed for tanks and artillery. Despite being a half-track, the ZIS-42 remained a cargo truck and was never armored as the American and German half-tracks. The ZIs-42 was built in response to the Red Army’s demand for a truck that wouldn’t get bogged down in the Russian snow drifts of winter and the muddy roads of spring.
ZIS-6 dual rear axles
ZIS-22 half-track truck
      ZIS stands for “Factory named after Stalin.” After de Stalinization, they changed the name to “Factory named after Lenin,” which some might recognize as the ZIL factory.

     In the autumn of 1941 the production line in Moscow was stopped due to the threat of the advancing Nazis and ZIS was moved east to Ulianovsk and to Ural, to Miass, Chelyabinsk region. This last plant started production in 1944 and became the UralZIS or UralAZ plant that up to this day is in the business of making trucks, the circa 1963 URAL 4320 being their main staple.
      The Ulianovsk plant became UASZIS or UAZ and produced trucks from February 1942 until its closure in 1955. The Moscow plant was reopened in April 1942 remained open until 1948. Every one of these plants used their own trademark labels on the radiators. Political correctness does not only afflict the Western democracies but is found in totalitarian regimes too. In 1956 ZIL replaced the ZIS name. Stalin was dead and the Kremlin felt that the teachings of Comrade Lenin had been neglected during Stalin’s years, so the truck plant was renamed ZIL for Zavod imeni Lihacheva (Lihachev's or Lenin’s Plant).
      The ZIS-42 was not as good as it was expected. It had problems through snowfields and swamps. That is why there wasn’t any more attempts to combine wheels and tracks after the ZIS-42. That is why there wasn't any more attempts to combine wheels and tracks after ZIS-42 and GAZ-60 in Soviet Union and seems in Germany (Opel-Blitz Maultier) too.
ZIS-42 - the early version of this halftracked truck
      Perhaps the last ZIS-42 was still serving for one of factories in 1961 in Kameshkovo district of Vladimir region. The ZIS-42M was the result of modernization of the ZIS-42. It was produced in 1942 –1943, and had a more powerful ZIS-16 engine and a number of small improvements (for example: a protective style grill in front of the radiator and headlight). 
Zis-42 M - late version
     Due to the fact that the ZIS-42M version consumed 55 to 60 liters of fuel per 100 km traveled on roads, the trucks were equipped with a 300 liter capacity fuel tank. From 1942 until 1944 production of ZIS-42 and ZIS-42M trucks amounted to 5,931 pieces.

ZIS-42 / ZIS-42M
TypeGeneral Purpose halftracked Cargo Truck/ Artillery tractor
Place of origin   Russia
Service history
Production    1942-1944
Used by    Russia
Wars World War II
Production history
Manufacturer Zavod imeni Stalina factory
        Number built                                         5.931
Weight5250 kg

EngineZIS-42 - 73hp/2300rpm, 6-cyl, 4-stroke, 5555cc, watercooled.
ZIS-42M - 85hp/2600rpm, 6-cyl, 4-stroke, 5555cc, watercooled

Wheel base
4x2 speed
7.50x20 inches
rubber with metal shoes
415mm wide
Maximum Speed

Fuel consup.

Max. range
ZIS-42-  35 Km/h
ZIS-42M- 45 Km/h
ZIS-42- 55L/100 Km
ZIS-42M- 60L/100 Km
500 km

The Kit:
   For this project, I used the kit from Eastern Express. The kit was very crude, with some details that would shiver of fear the strongest ...
The art box
The parts...

Oh, Gods...Notice the quality of the molds...
The tracks (vinyl) are awful...

The decal sheet is good...

The tyres: rigid plastic !!!
      Well .. Let's stop crying and let's peel the pineapple ...Starting the saga...

Building the chassis
Adding details with cooper wire...
The hooks of the hood in metal...scratch !!!
Much better !!!

The details in metal
Cutting the cargo bed stringers
      The rear suspension are awful!!! The parts simply not fit... After blood, sweat and tears...
The rear bogie ready

The real bogie (internal transmission view)
I used metal pins made with cooper wire...
      In the instructions, the exhaust pipe is listed in the wrong side...I used a blueprint to fix the exhaust and to do the stering bar:

Zis-42 chassis blueprint
Exhaust fixed and more detais..
Building the steering bar with wire leads

Details in plastic and metal...all scratch !!!
Building the cabin floor...

The cargo bed under surgery...
The rear of the cabin

Inside View: Fixed injection marks and carved wood lines....
Cutting the sides of cabin...
...and cutting the rear portion of the chassis...Notice the injection (blue arrows)
More details in the chassis
spare wheel...

almost ready...

Cutting the footboard for the rear fenders
       Now, it´s time to improve the tracks. The most difficult, I thought, it would be the repair the vinyl tracks, but in the end, it was super-fast: I used an abrasive tool in Dremel to consume the vinyl and the pin-marks disappeared and got two rabbits with a one shot: the removal of the pin-marks and an burned aspect in the tracks....For great problems, small solutions!!! !!!

Used tracks...
       Painting the chassis in matte black ...

       Gluing the bogies in the truck: the most important is the alignment of the parts. I used a soft elastic band league to maintain everything aligned:

The important is the elastic band not to be very tight....
       After the russian green, white cammo in zebra pattern:

      After the Future, decals:

        On the right side, I had to do the numbers with brush and stable hand:

Fingers crossed from my spare parts

      As the Zis-42 is classified as an artillery tractor, I decided to build a cannon for her:  a 76mm Regimental Gun 1943, from ICM.

      And after the weathering:

      This girl is very laid ... Let's put a load for her load!!

Styrofoam as cargo...
tracing paper and PVA glue for canvas...
Zis-42 with 76mm regimental gun, ready for action !!!

      I was forgetting to dirty the wheels of the gun. And I took advantage and made a protection for the mouth of 76mm with "canvas".

By Motherland !!!!
Mission accomplished, Comrade!!