Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bolt Action: Russian AFVs

The T34 and SU76 were the two most abundant Soviet AFVs of WWII: over 150,000in the case of the T34.

The T34 was arguably the world's first main battle tank, a paragon of mobility, sloped armour and a dual purpose HE and AT gun that could defeat all extant enemy AFVs. The only drawback was a two man turret: only the Germans had woken up to the need for a three man turret for a commander free of other jobs. This was rectified with the uparmoured T34/85 fitted with the ZiS 85mm gun.

The SU76 was a SP artillery piece with the same ZiS 3 76.2mm gun that origially armed the T34. It was not entirely liked by its crews, who nicknamed it 'the little bitch' or the 'bare-arsed Ferdinand', but it was undeniably effective. The AFV was based on the T70 light tank chassis. The T70 was an obsolete death trap used to fill out the Soviet tank brigades in '43.

These two AFVs did more than any other to win WWII.

The models are both Bolt Action soft resin models and are superbly detailed. They come with crew - look at the cynical posture of the tanker leaning on his vehicle hatch.  They should add some much needed punch to my Soviet battlegroup.


  1. Cynical tanker is not impressed. ;)

    1. I believe he is listening to the Commissar's speech on how the next attack will sweep the fascists into the sea. He's a veteran. Heard the speech before.

  2. Nice work! Looks like one of my friends picked up Russians and I may be facing some of those soon!

  3. Dear John,

    Why does the gun look so much larger on the SU than on the tank? I thought it might be foreshortening in the top picture, but I get the same impression from the individual shots.

    My recollection is that the SU-76 was driven by a pair of gasoline (sorry: petrol) engines which was a less than satisfactory solution.

    Dave (Drake)

  4. Could be artistic licence but I know there were a bewildering number of different 76.2 mm variants. Nice to see you on the blog, Dave.

  5. Dear John,
    I've been lurking on the site for years.
    Back when I was 14 I scratch-built an SU-76 from balsa wood, using photos as my sole reference. The result wasn't bad for line, but I didn't know the fighting compartment was open-topped.
    A silly thing to do, I suppose; but I've always had a soft spot for the SU-76.

    1. Dear dave
      I was an Airfix kid. They started with the Spitfire when I was about ten or so. Happy days.

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