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.

T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank - case report

Brothers in Arms!!!
      Continuing with the "Russian Wave", we see (in parallel with T-37A ) another "pearl" of the world of models. The T-38 Soviet amphibious light tank.
T-38 Soviet amphibious light tank - 1937
      The T-38 amphibious scout tank was a Soviet amphibious light tank that saw service in World War II. Designed in 1934–36 by N. Astrov's bureau at Factory No. 37 in Moscow, the T-38 was a development of the earlier T-37A, based in turn on the French AMR 33 light reconnaissance tank.
      The tank was powered by a standard GAZ (Ford) engine and was cheap to produce. Buoyancy was achieved by the large-volume hull and large fenders. In water, the vehicle was propelled by a small three-bladed propeller mounted at the rear.

T38 amphibious light tank - rear view

      The tanks were intended for use for reconnaissance and infantry support. As a scout tank the T-38 had the advantages of very low silhouette and good mobility through its ability to swim.
      The T-38 was also intended to be air-portable; during the Kiev maneuvers in 1936, the tanks were transported by Tupolev TB-3 bombers, mounted under the fuselage.
Tupolev TB-3 with a T-38 in her womb
      Infantry battalions were each issued 38 T-38s, with 50 being designated for each airborne armored battalions. However, the thin armor and single machinegun armament made the tank of only limited use in combat while the lack of radios in most T-38s was a serious limitation in a reconnaissance vehicle. The T-38's limitations were recognized, and it would have been replaced by the T-40, but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that only a few T-40s were produced.
T-38s in patrol - Notice the absence of radios...
Nevskaya Operative Group, Separate Light-tank Battalion, September, 1942
T-38 "white 22" from museum-diorama
 'Breaching of the Blockade of the Leningrad'  near Kirovsk
Notice that restored T-38 reproduces the real tank of the pic above...
      Around 1,500 T-38s were built, illustrating the importance of amphibious scout tanks to the Red Army. Some were up-gunned with a 20 mm ShVAK gun, and designated the T-38 SZ or ShWAK.
T-38 SZ (ShWAK) light tank - preserved in
Central Museum of Armed Forces. Moscow.

Service history:
      The tank served with the Red Army in the Winter War with Finland in 1940, but was unsuccessful due to its light armament and thin armour, which was easily penetrated by rifle and light machine gun fire.
T-38 captured by the Finns and used against their former owners.
      In the confined terrain of Finland, the tank was a real deathtrap; it also did not do well in the early stages of World War II, and large numbers were captured by the Germans during Operation Barbarossa. The German Army did not generally use captured T-38s as gun tanks (unlike captured T-26sT-34s, or other more valuable vehicles), but as support vehicles in the rear. It is reported that some were re-used by converting them into self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery, mounting a 37 mm anti-aircraft gun on the T-38 chassis, although this would seem to be a very large piece for the chassis. .
T-38 in German hands - medical/sanitary vehicle
T-38 in German hands. Notice the track, (stationary vehicle) very well
tensioned , quite different from the form used by most Soviet crews
      In 1941 the T-38, together with the T-37A, served in the reconnaissance subdivisions of tank divisions and allmost all were lost by the end of this year.  The T-38 was rarely seen in direct combat after 1941 and mostly relegated to other roles such as artillery tractor, although it was reported to have been used in the Dnieper River crossing of 1943.
      However, the last combat employment of T-38 took place in 1944, when one battalion of these machines together with the battalion of the equally amphibian Ford GPA participated in fighting the Finnish Army at the Svir river.
Two T-38s in his natural element...
      During World War II, the main amphibious scout vehicle of the Red Army was the Ford GPA amphibious jeep, an open unarmored vehicle provided through Lend-Lease.
      Production ceased in 1938, but.started again in 1939 with the improved T-38M, which used the power train and engine of the GAZ-M1. In all, from 1936 until 1939 were finished 1340 T-38 of which an even lower proportion were fitted with radios than in theT-37A, only 165.

  • T-38RT (1937), version equipped with radio.
  • OT-38 (1937), flamethrower-equipped version.
  • T-38 SZ or ShWAK (1941), equipped with a 20 mm ShVAK automatic gun.
  • T-38M1 (1937), prototype with superior planetary transmission, considered too complex for production.
  • T-38M2 (1938), modification improving the gearbox and replacing the engine with GAZ M1.
  • T-38TU, command version with extra radio antenna.
  • SU-45 (1936), experimental 45 mm self-propelled gun.
  • T-38TT (1939), experimental remotely controlled tank (teletank).
      A very, very interesting film about the rescue of the T-38 "white 22" from the bottom of a river (2005) can be seen here: The film is a bit long, but worth it...

       Another movie (shorter): a T-38 tank running with a great walk-around and interior details:

T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank
Place of origin                                   
Service history
In service
Production history
Nicholas Astrov & N. Kozyrev, Factory No. 37, Moscow
Factory No. 37
Number built
3.3 tonnes
3.78 m
3.33 m
1.63 m

3–9 mm
40 hp (30 kW)
12 hp/tonne
sprung bogie
230 km on road
130 km off road
12 h in water
40-45 km/h on road
25 km/h off road
6 km/h in water
The kit:
      As I said, I found a packet of old kits packed in bags (bag-kits) on my catacombs, and one of them is this baby: T-38 Russian "small" amphibian tank, from Cooperativa :
A kit from the "dark-ages" of  scale models
      Gents...the kit is unique !!!! The bogies were molded in one piece !!! Check the parts is almost a religious experience ...  But, let's have some fun...
Starting by the chassi... OMG...
Incredible: the kit have a little sheet of PE (Eduard)...
       The icing on the cake: the bogies molded in a single part !!!  Jesus !!!
I just believe because I was seeing ....
       My goal: improve the bogies with metal springs (made with cooper wire, just like in my T-37A project...) and open the holes in the bogies arms...
The bogies with suspension arms drilled (see the original in the insert) -red arrows
I'll cut of the plastic springs (green arrows)
Plastic springs out...
...and with metal springs (green arrows)
Notice the arc (yellow arrow) in the actual  pic and in the kit
The spring cover (red arrow) was not a constant part...
The new suspension ready...
       The turret simply fits into the hull without any locking. As I've had an accident with the fall of a turret, I decided to make a locking system that keeps the movement. 
I cut strips of plasticard with 1.5 mm thickness and
glued the plastic inside the turret and the upper hull.
      I the punched the geometric center of the plates, wherein the bigger orifice is located on the hull 
and smaller (for the small screw) inside the turret.
The screw was screwed into the hole of the tower
       I opened a hole in the bottom of the hull for the screw, along with the Phillips screwdriver.
The hole in the hull, for the screwdriver and screw...
       The screw crossed the plasticard of the upper hull and held the plate of the turret, preventing its fall, but keeping its rotation.
The turret rotates but does not fall ....
The turret rotates but does not fall - Preventing accidents is a duty of all!!
       ...and, to complete, I decided to replace the plastic machine gun (just awful) by a needle, cooper wire and aluminum foil.
Notice the MG in plastic (red arrow)
Unbelievable !!!
The Panzerserra MG...
       I made the top of the tool box with aluminium foil, too
scratch...scratch...Notice the PE parts in position...

With tracks...(awful, but...)

and the two russian amphibians girls, side by side...

Notice the differences...
Time for painting...
T-37A with surface primer Vallejo White. This girl will be Russian
The T-38 with surface primer Vallejo Olive Drab with tonal variations. Finn !!

Painting details...
      In honor of my great Finnish friend Maximex, this girl will present the colors of Finland, in the summer of 1942.

T-38 Finn - rear view - Notice the red propeller
Allies of Finland : Long nights, winter weather
Well, Gents...The little girl was done, ready for action. As I said before, the kit was horrible, but the project was very enjoyable to run ... and the goal of the hobby is precisely that: fun!
      Know the T-38 Soviet amphibious scout  tank with Finn markings, in Summer, 1942.
T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank

T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank - left side

T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank - rear view
T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank - right side

T-38 Soviet amphibious scout tank with Kojak and Rover, the dog
This girl is pretty tiny, is not it??
M4A1 with T-38, ffor size comparison...
      Thank you, Gentlemen, for joining me on this project!!
Nähdään pian!

5 comentários:

  1. Very nice sister for your T-37A. It's very intructive to see the two girls side by side to appreciate the differences between the two models. Good idea to represent the T-38 as one of the Finnish Army. Nice job Marcos, I greatly appreciate your work to upgrate the olds ugly models as a very good ones. Cheers.

  2. Moi = Hello
    To my first blogi friend, the distant and very big land
    Are cute, have to admit.
    In particular, the blue-white decorations are very nice
    But when this you work is still in first class, run out of my words to between...

    By the way, 1944 here was the use of
    T-37/29 pc
    T-38/19 pc
    T-38 - M2 3 pc
    T 38 - 34/9 pc
    T-38 - KV / 3 pc

  3. This blue swastika is an original ID.
    When Finland buy the planes, the original emblem was painted over white in color.
    Because they were round and white and onto blue painted swastika
    Created the Finland emblem.
    After the war (WW2), Finland is nothing required to remove this mark
    Finland wanted to change the original mark like overall European style, model for blue-white cockade

  4. One clue Jean-Charles Panzair:
    Hobby Boss released many new things.
    The Soviet model, such as the T-35, T-24, maybe there is even the T-40 full floating / swim models
    (set T-20?, T-30, T-40, T-50, T-60, T-70, T-80 )

  5. @Alain:
    Thanks, man !!! Always a pleasure reading your comments here on our Bunker ... Big hug !!!

    Thanks for your cooperation and additions. They are always very helpful ...
    Big hug, my Finn friend !!! Health and peace !!!