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.

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with BS-3 100mm soviet field gun - case report

 За Родину!!!

    Let's revisit this classic subject of Russian military forces. As characteristic of the Soviets as Vodka,"Rasputitsa" or "General Winter"... Let's see again the Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 truck, performing his patriotic duty as an artillery tractor, towing the 100mm BS-3 multi-purpose gun, in the final days of the Great Patriotic War!!!   For Motherland!!!

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 truck

History of Studebaker US6 U-3:
    The Studebaker US6 (M16A) is a class of 2.5-ton trucks manufactured by Studebaker during World War II, produced in the United States from 1941-1945 and in the Soviet Union beginning in 1942.
Restored Studebaker US6 U-4 with American colors
    The US6 had a Hercules JXD built six-cylinder gasoline engine that produced 94 horsepower (70 kW), at  2.400 rpm, with a five-speed transmission plus a two speed transfer case.
Finely restored Hercules JXD six-cylinder gasoline engine
    The Soviet Union received almost all of the 105.000 trucks from production model 6x6 as well as most of the 90.000 6x4 produced, becoming the symbol of  Lend & Lease law. In Russia, the Studebakers were known as "Studer". They were extremely popular, due to its robustness, ability to receive loads beyond those provided and the ability to "digest" any type of gasoline.
    The most significant chapter in the US6 combat history was service in the Red Army. The first "Studers” arrived in the USSR in January 1942. These were cars from the British contract DA-W-398-QM-6 with a single right headlight, including the U2 and U5 modifications. 
A brand new "British-Soviet" Studebaker US6 U-3.
Notice the single right headlight 
    In just the first year, the People's Commissariat of Defense received approximately 3800 vehicles. Truly large-scale deliveries began in 1943 and continued until the end of the war.
    Large numbers of Lend-Lease Studebaker trucks were sent into the Soviet Union via the Persian Corridor. The Soviets found them a good platform for "Stalin Organ" Katyusha rocket launchers, although it was not their prime use in the Soviet Union.
A restored Studebaker US6 U-3 with BM-13 Katyusha
    It fulfilled many roles in the Red Army, such as artillery tractor and was renowned (and loved...) for its ruggedness and reliability. This adoration can be measured by the video below, in Russian (but with English subtitles)

   The truck came in 13 variations, such as 6x6, 6x4, with short (3759mm - 148in.),  long (4115mm - 162in.) wheelbase, with and w/o winch, as cargo and dump truck.
Studebaker US6 truck towing a 1938 M-30 122 mm howitzer

Studebakers US6 towing  76.2mm divisional guns ZiS-3 (M-1942)

Studebaker US6 towing a 57mm anti-tank gun ZIS-2 (M-1943)
through a German settlement on outskirts Berlin - 1945
Studebaker US6 U-13 side dump truck
   Studebaker US6 trucks were also used in the construction of the Burma Road as well as the Alcan Highway in North America.
Studebakers US6 and his driver in Burma Road

 Studebaker propaganda poster about
Alcan highway, from 1943.

   If you want to know a lot more about Studebakers and their variants, take a look at this more complete article here, on Panzerserra Bunker.


Studebaker US6 U-4
Type2+12-ton 6×6 truck
Place of origin                                 USA
Production history
ManufacturerStudebaker and REO
No. built18.779 (U-4)
Specifications (U-3)
Mass4,900 kg empty
Height2.210mm top of cab
2.690mm overall

EngineHercules JXD 6 cyl. 5.240cc 86 hp (64 kW) @ 2.400 rpm
Transmission5 spd. × 2 range trf. case
SuspensionBeam axles on leaf springs
Operational range
380 km
Maximum speed72 km/h

History of BS-3 100mm soviet field gun:
    The 100 mm field gun M1944 (BS-3) (Russian: 100-мм полевая пушка обр. 1944 г. (БС-3)) was a Soviet 100mm anti-tank and field gun. 
BS-3 100mm soviet field gun M1944.
Artillery Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
    The gun was successfully employed in the late stages of World War II, and remained in service into the 1950s, being replaced in Soviet service by the 100mm T-12 antitank gun and the 85mm antitank gun D-48 in 1955. 

85mm antitank gun D-48
Notice the 100 mm anti-tank gun T-12
in the left of pic.
Artillery Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
    The BS-3 was also sold to a number of other countries and in some of these countries the gun is still in service.  The development team was led by Colonel General V. G. Grabin. 
Vasily Gavrilovich Grabin
09/Jan./1900 - 18/April/1980
    A number of BS-3 pieces are still stored in Russian Ground Forces arsenals. Also, in 2012, at least 12 BS-3 guns are active with the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division, located on the Kuril Islands, used as anti-ship and anti-landing guns. The BS-3 was based on the B-34 naval gun.
Turrets with B-34 100mm naval guns installed on a Soviet cruiser (WWII)
    The gun was employed by light artillery brigades of tank armies (20 pieces along with 48 76,2mm ZiS-3 field gun) and by corps artillery.
76,2mm ZiS-3 field gun in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
    In the Second World War the BS-3 was successfully used as a powerful anti-tank gun .In March 1944, the first battery of four experimental BS-3 guns was fired off at the Rzhev training ground, and from April 15 to May 2, 1944, by order of the Chief Marshal of Artillery they provided for full-scale shooting at captured equipment: a heavy tank Tiger B and a tank destroyer Ferdinand/Elefant. During the tests, the following results were obtained: from a distance of 2000 m, the armor-piercing projectile confidently penetrated the Tiger's frontal armor.
Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B - SdKfz 182
Tank Museum - Bovington - England

Panzerjäger Tiger (P) heavy tank destroyer Elefant - SdKfz 184
US Army Ordnance Museum - Aberdeen - Maryland
    On May 7, 1944, by the decree of the State Defense Committee (GKO) No. 5822, the BS-3 gun was adopted by the Red Army. She became the first and only towed 100mm rifled cannon, created mainly to fight the heavy German tanks Tiger and Panther,  including the newest, heavier tanks Tiger Ausf B.

Ivans are happy: They have a big gun, now...
Against the dirty Nazi breastplates!! To the West!!!
BS-3 100mm gun with their smiling gunners...

 BS-3 100mm gun with many kills in his shield and barrel.
Notice some Studebakers in the background.

    The gun was also used as a field gun. Though in this role it was less powerful than the 122mm A-19, as it fired a smaller round, the BS-3 was more mobile and had a higher rate of fire.
122mm corps gun M1931/37 (A-19)
    Serial production of guns began at the Bolshevik Artillery Plant number 7 in May 1944 (275 guns were manufactured by the end of the year), later by the Arsenal plant of Leningrad, too.
BS-3  100 mm guns under construction
Artillery Plant number 7
May, 1944.
    The new guns had their baptism of fire in the battles near Lake Balaton, and they were also used in the capture of Berlin. 
BS-3 100mm gun on the streets of Berlin,
April - 1945

Soviet BS-3 100mm gun with full
gunners team posing for a photo.
Germany, 1945.

  • AP: BR-412
  • APBC: BR-412B, BR-412D
  • HE/Fragmentation

Projectile weight:
  • AP/APBC: 15.88 kg
  • HE/Fragmentation: 15.6 kg

Armour penetration: (BR-412B -30°)
  • 500m - 190mm
  • 1000m - 170mm

BS-3 100mm guns in battery fire
Surroundings of Berlin, 1945
    After the end of the war, BS-3 was in service with the Soviet Army for a long time, served as the basis for the creation of a family of powerful anti-tank guns, which are currently used in the Russian Armed Forces. 


100 mm field gun model 1944 (BS-3)
TypeField and anti-tank gun
Place of origin                     Soviet Union
Service history
WarsWorld War II
Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Production history
Mass3,650 kg 
Length9.37 m 
Barrel lengthBore: 5.34 m  L/53.5
Overall: 5.96 m  L/59.6
(with muzzle brake)
Width2.15 m 
Height1.5 m 
Crew6 to 8

Shell100 × 695 mmR
Caliber100 mm 
BreechSemi-automatic vertical sliding-wedge
CarriageSplit trail
Elevation-5° to 45°
Rate of fire8 to 10 rpm
Muzzle velocity900 m/s 
Maximum fire range20 km

The project: 
    My client requested a specific project: that of a 6x6 Studebaker US-6 truck working as a Red Army artillery tractor, pulling a powerful Russian gun. I found these historical references in my research...and the most interesting thing is that we talk about one of the weapons not very well known to the Russians, but the terror of the German heavy tanks, in its anti-tank function: the 100mm BS-3 gun.
Studebakers US6 artillery tractors towing BS-3 100mm guns
Moscow Victory Parade - June 24, 1945

Studebaker US6 U-4 towing a BS-3 100mm gun
Operation Spring Awakening - Hungarian front - March, 1945.
      The project will look something like this:
    And for this, I'll use the ICM kits Studebaker US6 U4 WWII Army Truck (#35514) from 2010 and...
Studebaker US6 U-4 WWII Army Truck (#35514) box art

... the Soviet 100mm Field Gun BS-3 (#35141), from 1999.
Soviet 100mm Field Gun BS-3 (#35141) box art

    With the necessary introductions done, it's time to work...The bald one is getting impatient...
Come on, Panzerserra... let's get to work!!!
    Early versions of this kit featured the tire treads in a weird and wrong alignment. I'm glad my kit is from the corrected version...
Tires with corrected treads... Wheels assembled...
The wheels construction system is great. Well done, ICM!!!
Marusia is very happy!! (thanks for the tip, Rafal!!)

Wheels and engine...
Marusia clapping for Kojak!

Another constructive marvel of ICM: the transmission system
(before being cleaned...). It greatly facilitates the alignment of the entire system...

And speaking of alignment: an aligned chassis is the core of a good truck build.
Keeping the main chassis spars in the correct position

Wheel bogies parallel to each other and correctly aligned to the chassis...
All very well squared... The wheels are in dry-run.

Keeping to Studebaker's build standard!!

The bald one is very strict... nothing scruffy!!!

Upgrading the wire rope of the winch...after all, this is a U4!!
Using Dremel with manual rotation only...

The chassis complete, perfectly aligned...

With the chassis ready, let's go to the cargo body!

Note the combat damage...

Testing the alignment and squareness of the cargo body on the chassis...

Everything fitting perfectly...

Cleaning and separating the parts of the next constructive steps...
First of all, paint the interior portions of the cabin...

Cabin interior parts

Cabin painting ready. Instrument decal dashboard and weathering ready.
Now we can "close" the cabin...

But first, let's separate the quarter-glass from the rest of the window glass.
Surgery time with Dremel.
Marusia patriotically shouts: All right!!

Quarter-glass in position...
Marusia confirms her opinion: All right!!

Closing a gap in the cab roof with stretched sprue...

Rear view of the sprue surgery...

I think Studer's cabin style is just beautiful!!!

Gluing the cabin in the front portion of the chassis...
The wheels are in dry-run

And everything fitting correctly

Get on your feet, soldier!!!
Indeed, this truck is very, very beautiful!!

Notice the rear mirrors, in scratch...
Right 3/4 front view...

Perfect alignment... right view
The truck is now ready for painting...
    As it's a double project, while the truck dries the collages, let's start building the BS-3 100mm gun! Kojak is not a lazy guy (but I am...)!!
The cannon is very big... Just look at the size of the thing...
And even though it's plastic and divided in half (by the length),
the barrel is perfectly aligned... 100 points for the ICM!!
    But on the other hand, the injection defects in the cannon retriever are simply horrible. It's not worth trying to fix it...It's best to replace the damaged part with a plastic rod of the correct size...
Injection failures in the cannon retriever. Horrible...
Shame on you, ICM!!!

The cannon retriever, after reconstruction...
Notice the "original" part...ewww!!

The cannon's recoiling system cradle , installed in its position...

And then, almost all covered by the armor...Grrrr......

Filling with putty the plastic shrinkage depressions in the breech.
 These are very evident and for sure if they are not corrected,
they will be visible... Left side

Filling with putty the plastic shrinkage depressions in the breech.
 Right side

Details in the breech. The ICM instruction booklet is horrible.
What saved me was Trumpeter's BS-3 instruction manual,
which you download from Scalemates!!!

    And now, a tense moment: my kit came with a part (very important...) missing: the left suspension arm (A7). As the kit is very old, there is no possibility of complaint... The way is to reproduce the left arm (A8), with the technique of reversible hydrocolloid and acrylic.
Preparing the A8 part for reproduction. Piece glued to a styrene bar
and the set glued to the edge of the acrylic form

The acrylic form filled with hot (and liquefied...) hydrocolloid awaiting
cooling and gelling before "casting" in dental acrylic.

The new arm in position (pink) , with the wheel bogies sticking
in perfect perpendicular orientation...

Notice the trails in the bottom carriage,
in perfectly level horizontal position.
Marusia "Ogoniok" was almost worried at this stage....

The arcs of elevation in position...

These handspikes are worrying me... Following the instruction manual,
but I think I'm going to have trouble with the truck.
Thankfully the collage was very delicate ...

The set barrel/breech  in position...
Everything ok...for now...

The trunions in position...close up view
left side

The trunions in position...close up view
right side

Equilibrators and aiming device in position...
left view

Right view...

The gun's shield in position - right side view

The gun's shield in position - left side view

Rear shield details...left side view

Rear shield details...right side view

    While the glue cannon parts dry, let's try to improve the look of the Studebaker. And, as always, Value Gear Details is a great choice...
I choose the German Cargo Truck Loads #3
Please don't be scandalized...
Ivan captured a lot of Kraut material on his move to Berlin!!!

The cargo kit fitted perfectly, after some minor adjustments to the width...
left view

Rear right view

The composition tractor and gun...
Hmmm...  As I suspected, these handspikes
are touching the rear of the tractor.

Kojak inspecting the job...
Time to redo it!!!

And the  handspikes in the pulling position...
Much better!!!

You can smile relieved now, Marusia

    Next step: markings and paintings!! 
    The Studer will bear a well-worn winter camouflage (it's April...), with faded white stripes over the Olive drab of American Lend Lease trucks, with the markings of the 1st Ukrainian Front (under the command of Marshal IS Konev), 3rd Guards Tank Army, 9th Mechanized Corps (Lieutenant General IP Sukhov), in the desperate final days of the III Reich, during the crossing of the Kanal Tetlow, in the suburbs of Berlin, on April 24, 1945. Not a step back!!

    The BS-3 100mm gun as it was a new piece, just released on the battlefront, it will feature a Russian Green pattern paint, without much wear and tear... It will work hard, from now on!!! Death to Fascists!!!
Tones of Olive-drab!!

Olive-drab (lend lease) - right view

Made in Russia!!  Russian green!

Tones of Russian green...

   Time to do the decals... The concept-idea is to make a rectangle in Russian Green with the inscriptions of the 9th Mechanized Corps in white, as if the Studebaker had been remarked (hence the reason why the rectangle is in Russian green and not in yankee olive-drab...). 
    After making the decal artwork in Corel Draw, I printed the colored portion of the decal onto a piece of transparent decal and made a rectangle with slightly smaller dimensions to serve as a background, as my old laser printer doesn't print the white. 
    You must ask yourself: What is the work of making the decal in two layers? Well, if I only use the transparent decal, the green color doesn't have the opacity and concentration capacity to stand out...and I don't have the white one, remember?? And if I print the colors on a white decal, when cutting the decal, the white edges are evident in the cut area. Therefore, I apply a white rectangle as the background and, a little bigger, the colored portion over white. Colors are crisp, the white appears and there is no borderline!! Here's the reason... But, let's go on with the party...
Decals just after out of the laser printer...

The background decal applied to the door...
The decals in color waiting the second step...

The background decal applied to the rear cargo door...

After the white decal has dried, I apply the colored/transparent over
the white background. Studer serial number markings are from ICM

Same process in the rear cargo door
    While the decals dry, let's pick a few more Value Gear accessories to make our girls even prettier...
A roll bags for the BS-3 100mm gun...

...and more Value Gear stuff for the Studer...

in the front fenders, too...

No one can say that I am not ecumenical with my materials...

The Studer, after layers of matt varnish...
left view

Right view...
I liked the solution to "remark" the vehicle...

Rear view.
        Now, it's time to paint the accessories.
Value Gear accessories painted...

This cargo truck is awesome...

And the rear cargo and rollbags in the truck.
Notice the wheels in position

Indeed, a nice touch... Right view

Notice the 100mm ammo, securely strapped to the sides of the cargo area...
Kojak is fearless, but not stupid...

The rollbag in the rear door is Tamiya...

Left view

3/4 front right view...

The BS-3 100mm gun also features a Value Gear detail on its shield...
Notice the chalk in the left wing of front shield:
За Родину!!! - For the Motherland !!!
The (damn parasite) People's Commissar will be happy!!!

Four kills!!!

Testing the composition!!!
Kojak is happy!!!

    And with the application of final details, we've finished yet another project: Kojak and I are pleased to introduce to you the Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with BS-3 100mm soviet field gun. This truck  belongs to 1st Ukrainian Front (under the command of Marshal IS Konev), 3rd Guards Tank Army9th Mechanized Corps (Lieutenant General IP Sukhov), fighting in the desperate final days of the III Reich, during the crossing of the Kanal Tetlow, in the suburbs of Berlin, on April 24, 1945.
Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
1st Ukrainian Front - 3rd Guards Tank Army - 9th Mechanized Corps
 Berlin, Germany -  April 24, 1945.
Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
left view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
up left view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
rear up left view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
rear left view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
rear right view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
rear up right view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
 right view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
front right view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
with kojak and Rover, the dog.

Note that Kojak can barely contain his enthusiasm...
He is very happy with the project!!!

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
3/4 front left view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
1st Ukrainian Front - 3rd Guards Tank Army - 9th Mechanized Corps
 Berlin, Germany -  April 24, 1945.
Towing position - right view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - left view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 front right view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 front left close-up view
For the Motherland!!!

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 front right view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 front right close-up view
Four killed Nazi bastards...

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 rear right view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Towing position - 3/4 rear left view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Firing position - 3/4 rear right view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun.
Firing position - 3/4 rear left view

BS-3 100mm soviet field gun with Kojak
Firing position - left view

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with
Two Studer girls, side by side...

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor with

Studebaker US6 U-4 6x6 artillery tractor 
1st Ukrainian Front - 3rd Guards Tank Army - 9th Mechanized Corps
 Berlin, Germany -  April 24, 1945.

Stay with us in the new projects, Comrades!!
Building scale models, despite the age
of the kits and tired eyes. Never give up!!