I found this monument by accident Google-ing about Stalinetz ChTZ-65 pictures. I was searching if there is any ChTZs near by, so I can go and visit in order to make my own walk-around pictures. While I was doing that, I got two more models of artillery tractors – Voroshilovets and Komintern. So I decided to go out and drive 180 miles to visit the place. This is one of the first tractors in service in Bulgaria, or at least that’s what stories say: First tractor in service. It is HTZ, which means Harkovskii Tractornii Zavod, or Harkovski Tractor Factory. As far as I know, Komintern model which I got from Trumpeter represents vehicle that came from that same factory and it was pretty close in appearance. So once at that monument, I decided to take few shots because they should do the job as a reference. Maybe not so close to Voroshilovets or Stalinets, but still – Russian made tractor.
Most of it is still here
I have no clue is this vehicle was maintained in some way while displayed as a monument, but it seems that it was not. You can easily note the chips and streaks that it has, and the fact that it misses most of its cockpit.
The front panel, which Trumpeter did very nicely on their models
Rear part of the cockpit where the seat must’ve been
It appears that the track were painted in the same color as the whole thing, and this is clearly visible from the pictures. Maybe the engine was painted that way too. As I mentioned it is hard to tell was that tractor maintained in some manner or not.
The starting handle /crank/ is still attached to the front, and it seems that the whole structure of the thing is pretty solid. Paint was a good mix as well – after all those years and not-so-nice weather and climate, you can see that most of it is in shape worth admiring. The streaks are visible and easy to be done with burnt umber oil paint, as well as with the many aftermarket weathering products out there.
You might notice that one of the chips are dark grey, close to german gray, not black or brown. The other are rusty. It is sure, that if you are building a monument, that’s the way you cannot go wrong with.
The tractor is kinda small, or at least to me. I expected it to be bigger than that. Cockpit is tiny, and I imagine it was noisy and unpleasant feeling to operate that thing.
Engine compartment is small too, and no wonder why most of those tend to overheat. As far as I know, they were without side cowling 99% of the time. Not sure that all the models were like that, but for Stalinetz, that is certain.
The pictures are not many, but I think I got the general idea of it. It is neither the tractor I needed, nor the color, or even the place and time it was used. But still it is HTZ – a Russian made tractor which I assume it is pretty close to what I need. Even if it’s not, its the best I got at this point. There aren’t many leftovers out there to get close and personal with.
I believe that the shots of rust and other weathering will come handy for other modelers out there.