This subject is one of my favorites. As you might’ve seen, I’ve uploaded several tractors so far, among which there were few ChTZ-65s. This one is a bit different. I got the idea to make it captured. I haven’t seen many Nazi ones build out there, but in the same time one of the options in the box is exactly that. It should be dark German gray, with swastika on the back and license plates. My plan was to make it with crosses, not with a swastika, since that particular symbol is not so warmly welcomed in Western Europe. That means, that either I should cover the tractor with something to hide it, while on a show, or not go at a show at all, which actually kills most of the joy of building a different project. So – no swastikas. Only crosses. And that was pretty easy with the masks I produce, since I have plenty of crosses options.
The next interesting thing involved is the resin engine set from LZ models. It features complete engine, radiator, radiator grills and side plates /above the track skids/ This is very popular option, and explored a lot, so in order to keep the eye on the tractor I needed to keep it as simple looking as possible.
The resin set has plenty of parts, and looks comlpex project at the beginning, but the matter of fact is, that it is not. Its kinda easy going resin set, which is a rarity. The parts are well casted with not much of troubling areas. The fit is tricky, but if you are careful, /and you should be, since you are already into resin stuff/ this won’t be a problem at all.
Photo-etched side plates are better than the original ones, BUT you must know, that if you have the patience to thing the original ones, the difference its not worth the hassle. Yeah, I know, PE is better, but not in this case. With the grill, the story is completely different. Here we have more depth, more detail and actually is very attractive.
The kit itself is a easy project, and even with all those bells and whistles, it keeps it simplicity.
One or two things I decided to add in order to make it look more “alive” but nothing serious. Like spark plug cables, or the headlights cables. I added a bit more thin lines compared to the ones LZ provided. But you shouldn’t bother doing that. LZs are just fine.
You might note that the resin radiator has side markings with word СТАЛИНЕЦ fixed, since Trumpeter wrote it СТАЛИNEЦ. Otherwise, everything is almost the same.
The thing with the engine is, that in the real world those tractors had the tendency to overheat, and that is what caused the crew to remove the side doors. So, the resin set gives realism as well as more attractive look to it. In other words -not only one reason to get it.
Anyway, one of the most interesting parts is the color modulation for that project. Grey, and especially German Gray is dark-ish color, so you need to choose your modulation colors wisely, not to over-lighten it. This happens easily, especially when you like the result.
In order to save myself of getting trapped in the joy of painting, I made a rust chipping, with rust color covered with green /original tractor color/. Then, I applied hairspray again, and very carefully, exposed the chipped rust and russian green areas.
Small cables on the headlights can be seen here
Not that they are so visible /actually only at clear daylight/ but they add some touch to the whole deal.
Then, I applied the crosses. Masks, white and then a little chipping. One behind the driver’s seat and one on the hood.
The weathering from then on is pretty much the same as on all of my other projects. Streaks, spots, sponge and pigments. I started add more oils, but that’s something which everybody who keeps an eye on the tendencies of armor modeling should know – Rinaldi’s books tells that story on and on. And thank you for that sir!!!
He is the guy who helped me rise my level, through his books, and I encourage anybody out there who consider buying one of his volumes, to do it. Its the greatest helping tool for modelers I’ve ever saw.
But back to the tractor.
The crosses, as you can see on the last picture, looked a bit highlighted. Which, on a tractor isn’t supposed to be. And… I applied oils. A lot of oils. OPR mostly. Not only streaks with AK or AMMO, but oil directly from the carboard and rubbed with a brush. Again – Rinaldi.
And, at the end we are supposed to have one beaten and dirty tractor.
I am not sure how good I did it, but you can judge from the pictures below: