Scrapyard Armour...

...Modelling Scenes from a Russian Armour Scrapyard, by AFV Modeller Publications, via Casemate

Title: Scrapyard Armour

Author: David Parker, Mark Neville, Andy Taylor

Publisher: AFV Modeller Publications

ISBN: 978-0-9935646-0-4

This new paperback book from AFV Modeller Publications is a super one for all modellers interested in post-war Russian armour.  The basis of this one is a set of photos showing a scrapyard full of rusting and part dismantled Russian tanks. Of the 116 pages in the book, the middle section holds the key to the whole book, with about 40 pages filled with modern colour photos of a tank scrapyard believed to be from Ussuriysk in Russia.  With fading paintwork, plenty of rust, parts already dismantled and an interesting mix of tank types, this section will hold lots of interest for modellers as well as anyone just interested in Russian post-war tanks.  One of the thoughts it brings to me is this final resting place for so many of the tanks which must have cost so much during the Cold War, a battle which thankfully never happened.

What this does is to provide the inspiration for three beautifully finished model dioramas.  David Parker builds an old T-62 that has had the turret removed and the hull cut into three sections ready for the final stages of the scrapping process.  This build also has meant adding a scratchbuilt interior to the Trumpeter kit of the T-62.  All this in turn leads to a requirement for lots of detail painting let alone the effects of the weather and scrapping process that has exposed all this detail.  So the build and the scratchbuilt details are all explained and illustrated, and then the task of painting it and creating all the effects before setting it on a diorama base and adding the figure of a bright orange suited scrapman looking at the work that remains for him to do.

The next one is another T-62, this time by Mark Neville, and under the title of 'Green Around the Gills'.  No internal detailing on this one, so not much about the build of the basic kit, but concentrating on the painting and finishing of this faded green example of a T-62 BDD Model 1984, and again inspired by one of the examples seen in the photos of the real scrapyard.  Then the third and final build, this time a T-55M seen at the Kharkov tank factory in the Ukraine and built by Andy Taylor.  This is based on the Tamiya kit but with a number of scratchbuilt modifications which are explained and illustrated as well as the work involved in creating the faded and heavily rusted look of a tank left out in the yard in all weathers.

The three models are top quality work and beautifully illustrated so you can clearly see all the work that has gone into them from all three modellers.  If you want inspiration for trying your hand at these heavily weathered effects the excellent set of photos from the scrapyard itself will tempt you I am sure. The variety of tank types is great, as you can find T-55, even the early ones with the overhang on the rear of the turret, then T-62 and T-64.  With the wide variety of kits of Russian tanks on the market these days from Trumpeter, Tamiya and MiniArt.

Thanks to Casemate UK for my example, a real modellers book this one.