Wednesday, October 9, 2019

New Toys

The two 5-vehicle military truck sets from China.
 These interesting items arrived from China onto my doorstep yesterday. I had seen them on an Army Men group on facebook, noticed the Katyusha, and thought to myself of the Katyushaless state of my own Red Army.  The thing comes as part of a set of 5 trucks, the others of which I thought might also be of interest.  As the price seemed not too exhorbitant, I ordered two sets. The Company indicated the package should arrive about 10 October; I received them a day early.
Katyusha mounts.  Not quite right, but near enough for mine.

Let us then examine the loot. Well... It turns out the Katyushas weren't ...quite ... the thing: seven rockets placed between the rails instead of on them, and none underneath (16 rockets in all).  Looking up their mounts, I find that apparently the Katyusha frames could be mounted on any platform, pretty much. Most of the examples seemed to have been on 6x6 or 6x4 drive trucks. I found but one image of a 4-wheeled portee: 
That will do! For the rest, if it looks like what it's meant to be, then that is what it is: BM13 Katyusha rocket platforms.

The two flat bed trucks were welcome logistics or transport vehicles - no comment needed there. By the way, though, these are quite frankly toys, not models. They are made with a kind of friction motor. Draw the vehicle backwards along a flat surface, floor recommended, let them go, and watch them whizz across it. 
AA vehicles in the set.  Technicals in the service of
Tchagai perhaps?

The other three comprise a Quad AA mount, a large gun mount and a large (SAM?) rocket mount.  What to do with these? The only Quad AA mount for the Red Army I could find was the quad Maksim arrangement, arranged in a single row. Apart from the bracing struts, this looked more like the German Quad 20mm AA piece. Did the Soviets ever stick any captured examples on the back of trucks? The thing seems plausible enough, but what evidence is there that they did any such thing?

The big gun does look like a heavy-ish AA on a portee mount, and as I have seen such images, e.g. 
we might, just barely, accept these into our Soviet inventory. This and the other two, I rather suspect, will fetch up in the inventory of the Army of Tchagai as technicals of one sort or the other. Unfortunately, the big gun is fixed in 'carriage' mode, though it can swivel, and can't be elevated to look as though it's ready to shoot anything out of the sky.

Heavy stuff!  SAMs?  The nabob of Tchagai might well
be happy to add these to his arsenal.
This big rocket mount looks so cool, but I can find no images on the internet cognate to such an arrangement - certainly not for World War Two!   
A battery of ... erm ... 'mortars'...
Finally a couple more pics of the four vehicles likely to see a deal of action as time goes on. I simply haven't been able to find 1/76:1/72 scale Katyusha kits anywhere else, and it seemed to me that they were just the thing to equip my Guards Mortar units. Not precisely 'models', they offer the impression of Katyusha launchers. That'll do me.
You can't have too many trucks...


  1. Interesting haul. Must ask where you find toys like these? Been considering looking out for suitable toy substitutes as cheaper alternatives to kit sets where possible.

    Also note on the guad AA guns. I have seen some similar set ups on technicals and trucks. Trying to remember where. But those were post war for sure. There being the ZPU-4 which was a 14.5mm gun system. There was also the larger ZSU-23 which did have a quad variant but I am not sure I have seen that one mounted on anything.

    The rocket reminds me of some of the very early soviet SAM systems. Although even the later systems, although they look nothing like this, do appear to be rather unwieldy and unless you knew they were genuine you'd think they were a movie prop.

    Also on the note of acquisitions I have just purchased for myself (at great cost but I am celebrating my first pay day for my new job) some fine kits. Pay was more than expected so I concluded the IS-4 vs IS-7 debate with "why not both." Also bought a new Challenger 2 to supplement my fleet and some BMD-2s.

    The IS tanks and the BMD-2s will be added to the armed forces of the Pan Andean People's Republic. With the BMD-2s serving as the most advanced APCs/IFVs available to the PAPR.

    1. OK: post WW2 kit those extra things are, with either the Pan-Andean People's Republic or Tchagai. Tchagai is likely to accumulate a fair amount of Soviet-made equipment in its conflicts during the 1950s and 60s...

  2. If I say it’s a load of tat you know that’s high praise, right? Well done!

    1. Well, it's quite a nice load of tat, and fairly high quality tat, and all. I admit, I had tended to reserve the tat for the Army Men project, but I seem to recall the old days, when people had to make do. After all, all my Soviet Zis-3 artillery is still made from cardboard, balsa and assorted bits and pieces...

      I shall accept the meed of praise you offer with all the humility (i.e. pride) I can muster.

  3. I would say that there is a lot of potential sitting there. You can never have enough trucks :-)

    Regards, Chris

    1. I strongly agree! The open bed and katyusha are good for WW2 (they look a bit like Studebakers, which I gather were Russian favorites for mounting rocket racks); and although most were on 6x4 vehicles, I have seen pics of four wheeled vehicles mounting them.