Stalinetz ChTZ-65 Tractor 1/35 Trumpeter

Since I first built D9 Doobi bulldozer by Meng in the summer of 2013, I fell in love with model tractors. Not just because every boy likes heavy machinery or construction vehicles, but because from the modeling point of view, tractors are very interesting subject. They are heavily used in real life, and in the same time poorly maintained. On top of that, this particular model  – ChTZ-65 – was build in tens of thousands in USSR. It was a copy of a Caterpillar design. On the field it had many add-ons and there are also many different options you can recreate. That makes it almost certain, that whatever you decide to build – it would’ve existed somewhere at some point. This is artillery towing tractor, and besides towing the guns, it was put into a lot of different activities, and as you might guess Russians didn’t payed much attention to its looks. Dirt, rust, chipping or whatever! Modeler’s dream!

There are many built kits out there, and every single one of them has charm and is one of a kind. As a stand-alone model, or a diorama, it is perfect because
it immediately grabs attention and sympathy. Amazing items were towed with those: from tree branches, through howitzers and even houses! You can check for reference!

So, to make mine different, I decided to add scratch-built hood and add extra hooks for tow chain in the back. I’ve seen a lot of different versions of that out there, but decided to stay away from the cliche. In my mind was building one with whatever I can find, as if I owned the real tractor and had spare materials in my back yard just lying around. I thought this should add specific and personal touch to the model.

I built the hood from sim card holder. Yep, cell-phone SIM. Not the with the card in it of course. The struts are made from wood and from spare plastic parts, and the bases for the four columns are thin metal plates, similar to PE parts. The hooks are metal too, and the chain is an aftermarket item of which I have some for sale, but a bit more weathered.

The structure of the hood was separated until the very last moment, when I placed the exhaust. I did that to make it look more real – the tractor itself and the hood wasn’t together all along its service life, and were made from different materials, therefore, they were weathered in different conditions, and their worn is in different stages. Painting and treating of the parts was also different.
To blend it all I used some final touches of pigments, pastels and dust weathering.


The installation of the hood was kinda tricky, since it has to be attached to already weathered part of the model. I wanted to do some damage on the side plates /or skirts, whatever their name is/ but then – the hood might just not attach itself nicely onto a bent parts, so I skipped the idea.
At first the tracks and the wheels were movable, but then I glued the wheels just for safety /long transportation distance/. The track line is click-click system and can be removed and placed again. So if tracks needed a change of appearance, instead of turning the wheels, just remove and attach the tracks again.

The model is nice, but in order to make it look perfect, you need to get aftermarket engine for it. Not just due to the “resin fever” running around last couple of years, but because the real tractors tend to overheat, and was driven with side panels of the bonnet off. Since Trumpeter left an empty engine compartment, LZ Models come as a saviour. They make engine set, as well as other goodies for that kit. If you are interested in it, you definitely should check them out. They have very cool GAS conversion of the model, as well as Caterpillar SIXTY conversion, which is great looking tractor.

I’ve built two more of these, besides the one shown here. They sold pretty fast, so now I built them upon request. Scratch built hood or OOB, as well as Nazi captured version. Feel free to contact me if interested. The prices start around $190 and up, and depend on how much aftermarket or scratch do you want to put in the model.
Hope that you like it!