After the French girls, let's go to the East...
For the Motherland !!!
While I was looking in my closet for a particular kit to build (I confess... I was looking for a Russian KV-1, from Trumpeter), this kit from Maquette fell at my feet ... literally.
|Zis-30 SPAG (Self Propelled Antitank Gun) - Maquette|
I had this kit I did an exchange with a colleague (very very cheap ...), but remember that it was very, very bad. After building the MENG and Tamiya models, I thought: a bit of suffering would not hurt (certain mistake!!). And remember too that had a 57mm AT gun from MiniArt and a metal gun from RBModels. Why not face the challenge?? So, let´s go !!!! By Motherland!!!!
First of all, the real weapon and his importance in the history...
|Zis-30 57mm SPAG (Self-Propelled Antitank Gun )|
At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War Red Army had neither tank destroyer nor SPAG in mass production. Before the war, several projects were developed; some of them were built. However all of that projects were abandoned later for various reasons. That's why, in July 1 of 1941, the Minister of Weapons signed an order to develop and produce a 37mm SPAG, an 85 mm SPAG and a 57mm TD (tank-destroyer). All projects were to be finished not later July 15, 1941. The development of a 57 mm TD was assigned to the Factory #92 in Gorky (today - Nizhnij Novgorod).
To accomplish this task a special group of engineers was summoned to the factory's design bureau. The head designer was P.F.Muravev. In a very short time the new SPAG was designed and realized as a prototype.
It should be noted that two different prototypes were built: the ZIS-30 and ZIS-31. The ZIS-30 was a light tank destroyer based on the "Komsomolets" tractor.
It was armed with an open high power 57 mm ZIS-2 AT-Gun, protected only by the gun's shield. For better stability the TD was equipped with two extendable skids. The ZIS-31 had the same armament but was based on an armored truck GAZ-AAA. Comparison tests were done of the two machines in July and August. They showed that the Zis 31, when firing, was more steady and had a greater grouping of shots in comparison to the Zis 30. However, the cross-country ability of the Zis 31 was poorer than the Zis 30, so preference switched back to the Zis 30.
The Factory #92 was ordered to begin ZIS-30 production by September 1, 1941. However, a new problem appeared: at that time the only one factory produced the "Komsomolets" tractors - it was Moscow factory #37. However, in August 1941 this factory switched its production from tractors to tanks, so no factory in the USSR produced this type of tractor any more. Then the decision was made to collect tractors from Red Army's units. We can imagine the condition in which those tractors were received after their use in the Army!
As a result the production of the ZIS-30 tank destroyer began on September 21 and continued up to October 15, 1941. During this period the factory #92 produced 101 TDs (including one experimental TD) with the 57 mm gun and one TD with a 45 mm AT-gun. Further production was cancelled because of a lack of tractors.
The ZIS-30 tank destroyer served from the end of September 1941. Some of anti-tank batteries and 20 tank brigades of the Southwestern and Western Fronts were equipped with these TDs. Notice at that time this TD was called the "ZIS-2 57 mm AT-Gun".
The new tank destroyer was very successfull because of its excellent gun (in 1941-1942 this little TD could penetrate any type of German tank from long distance).
However, this TD still had several disadvantages, such as:
|Zis-30 in action...Small, but deadly.|
- poor stability during firing (vehicle is jumping);
- overloaded chassis;
- low fuel capacity;
- low ammunition capacity;
- unprotected crew;
- lack of radio.
By the summer of 1942 most of these TD's were lost. Some were destroyed during battles, other were lost because of technical failures, although a few survived until the end of the war. They were extremely helpful and efficient weapons.
|Zis-30 in the winter of 1942|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|57 mm ZIS-2 gun|
|7.62 mm DT machine gun|
As I said before, I had this kit in my stash, but did not encourage me to build it because of the terrible characteristics of Maquette kits (they are usually simply awful). I also had a Zis-2 57mm AT Gun of MiniArt (much better) and a metal gun of RBModels. I thought build this anti-tank gun isolated, but I decided to mix the kits to improve the little monster ..
|The players: Maquette kit (jurassioc Moldova mold) and MiniArt gun|
Caution: explicit and shocking images !!
And you ask: why not use the Komsomolets tractor kit from Mirror Models?? Honestly, the reports about this new model are not the best and I already had the Maquette kit in my "ark of lost souls"... So, it's always interesting we test our nerves in an uncompromising construction ...Let's start the penance:
|Startind the suffering. The kit is awful...|
|A picture is worth a thousand words ...|
|Notice the gaps ...|
When I started building the suspension, I almost had a heart attack...
|The kit is so awful that makes the strongest cry ...|
The parts are too small and badly injected. The tracks are unviable and indescrible.... When I saw the garbage they were the track links, I decided to throw out everything: I would not miss two days of my life at that filth ...I did not photograph the track because considered the image obscene.
But when I was almost crushing the garbage, I found two tracks of vinyl in my box of leftovers that were similar to the tractor (I really do not know where they are ...). Here is the result of my suffering:
|Tractor with vinyl tracks...|
|Time to build the gun ...|
To complete the horror, the Maquette kit comes with the sprue-trees of the 76mm gun from Zvezda. The guns Zis 2 and Zis 3 were similar.
|Zvezda Zis-3 76mm AT gun - Precambrian kit|
As the barrels of Zis-2 and 3 are different, the Maquette graciously provides a long-barreled caliber barrel to replace the original. It's the worst thing that made these eyes have ever seen!!
|Comparison between the barrels of the guns. The Maquette gun is a bad joke!!!|
|The MiniArt gun kit - Much better !!!|
|To use RBModel metal barrel, is required surgery in plastic and in metal...|
The RB Models barrel is very thick in the posterior portion. My solution: As I have a mini lathe, I wore the posterior portion of the RBModels barrel. The wear was enough to fit in the plastic part.
|RB Models after surgery|
If you do not have a mini lathe, you may have performed this service in a workshop. After surgery:
From top to bottom:
- MiniArt barrel (gray)
- Maquette white gun (indescribable)
- RBModel metal gun in the gun (the distorcion is an optical effect)
Gun built, the horrors of Maquette still: look at the support of the gun tube
|Gun support: will be replaced by a part in scratch|
In the four pics above, you can see the little gap in the top of the recoiling recoiling cylinder (just above the barel). This is not a defect!!!
It's represents the real gap in the metal protective cover of the recoiling cylinder. See the image below: the red arrows pointing to the gap and the green arrows pointing to the little metal tabs that join the two parts of the covers by the top.
|Notice the gap and the tabs...|
Now, see the real thing: Notice , in this Israeli gun, the protective cap (red arrow) and the recoiling cylinder. The gap is there (blue arrow).
|Notice the gap between the covers|
|The gap and the tab|
|Again, the gap and the upper tab|
I also found some examples of guns without the protective cover ( with the recoil cylinder exposed) , like this in the Primeportal's walkaround. Notice the screw holes for the covers in the red arrows.
|Notice the four holes for the caps...|
The MiniArt kit shows the gun with de metal caps. I almost rectified the gap, but the Holy Google saved me!
|I used parts of MiniArt gun to make an ammo trailer in scratch...|
|Next step: painting...|
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG|
18th Separate tank brigade - vehicle number 3
Russian Front, 1941
|За родину - For the Motherland !!|
Again, notice the real gap between the cilynder covers
Finally, I finished this little project...As I said before, My goal was not to correct the model (because the Maquette kit is incorrigible and the life is short ...), but trying to build a replica of the Zis-30 to my collection. It was fun and I think I could "carry the message".
Let's know the Zis-30 57mm - SPAG, vehicle number 3 from 18th Separate Tank Brigade - fighting in the Russian Front, Summer, 1941.
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG, vehicle nbr. 3 from|
18th Separate Tank Brigade - Russian Front, Summer, 1941.
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG - left side|
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG - rear view|
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG - right side|
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG - grafitti: For the Motherland!!!|
|Zis-30 57mm - SPAG with Kojak and Rover, the dog.|
|ammo and fuel trailer - field adaptation|
|Thanks for monitoring, Comrades !!!|
And the little Zis-30 with his big brother, the T34/ 57 tank destroyer: two AFVs with the same gun; I built this T34/57 tank destroyer in 2003...a long, long time ago...
|T34 / 57 1941 "White 20" of major Mikhail A. Lukin, |
Hero of Soviet Union and
Zis-30 57mm - SPAG, vehicle nbr. 3 from
18th Separate Tank Brigade - Russian Front, Summer, 1941.
|To the West!|
|Kojak and Rover with the two Soviet girls...|
For the Motherland !!!