PST 1/76 Zis 5 and 122mm M30 Howitzer (1/72 to 1/76 conversion)

Construction Blog

The PST kit is boxed as a Zis 6 cargo truck towing an M-30 122mm howitzer. The truck can actually be built as a 6x4 Zis 6 or a 4x2 Zis 5. There are also parts to make the simplified Zis 5V with wooden cab and square fenders. As a 1/72 kit , the model has serious dimensional flaws.

scales to 1/72:
  • wheelbase
  • cab length
  • cargo bed width
  • fender width (marginally)

    scales to 1/76
  • wheels
  • cab width and height
  • cargo bed length and height
  • chassis rear (from the cab back)

    This makes building the kit as 1/76 a relatively simple affair. Much of the difference in cab length came from the bulk head and the overthick (even in 1/72) radiator. The hood actually did no match the bulkhead being wider. This provides an opening for a modification. The bulkhead can be sanded back and still fit the hood. The radiator has a taper matching the hood so cannot be tampered with without leaving an ugly step.

    Main construction completed:

    I'm adding a crew to the truck. This is adding significantly more work but the result should be worth it. All these tank riders were expecting to ride a T-34. They will end up on a lowly Zis 5 instead.

    Oct. 11, 2011

    Main bodywork completed. The 3 window panes have been cut, adjusted and dipped in Future. The towing pintle had been scratched based on photos. The front bumper has been removed. Two holding bars for the spare tire have been built form plastic strip. Next up is the headlight assembly.

    Oct. 13, 2011

    Headlight mount installed. It is made from 10 thou plastic rod and two pieces of 2thou strip. I could have used 8thou brass rod and/or thinner strips on the side but using CA (for the brass) looked messy. I discarded thinner 10thou strips on the sides as they just wouldn't stay in place. The headlights in the kit are oversize and will need some diameter reduction to look the part.
    8 hinges on the cargo bed sides complete body assembly.

    Oct. 18, 2011

    Final assembly completed. The kit's headlights are way too big. They make the truck look cartoonish. I used two from two PST IS-2 kits that I used as roadwheel donors to replace the undersized ones in the Fujimi kits. They look much better.
    Two tow hooks were made from steel wire, sanded on each side to make it look flatter. The wire comes from those twist wires used to seal packaged bread.

    Oct. 21, 2011

    Paint and decals done. Decals just applied, needs some setting and touch-ups. The rear numbers look big but I know nothing about Soviet truck markings so have to trust PST for their accuracy. Next is a coat of Future. I will hold off on what would be the next step (dust/earth weathering) as I work on the load and the figures. The iphone pics will serve as a model. There will be a standing figure holding on to the driver's door. That figure was hiding somewhere when I laid the others on the truck. I'm thinking of adding the 122mm M30 gun that also came in the box. It scales out to 1/76 as well (apart from the tires, which need 1mm in diameter removed)

    Oct. 23, 2011

    Truck load painted and glued in place. The 200l drums are from the Fujimi accessory kit. They've been lying around for at least 20 years> I never thougth I would ever use them. The crates are from a very useful CSMC resin set. Perhaps Ian will reissue them.

    The gun is pretty fiddly to build as the plastic is very soft. Small parts tend to break when cut from the sprue. Ejector marks and sinkholes are plentiful and need to be filled. There were two ugly round ejector circles on the gun barrel and two symmetrical ones on the inside of the gun shield. They were filled with CA glue and carefully filed down.
    Only mods at this stage are
    - tires filed down 1mm in diameter
    - brakes filed down 1 mm in thickness to reduce the overall width - rivets on the trails removed to depict welded model (that or add 200+ rivets to the sides of the trails)
    - shield sliding door mountings remade from 10thou strip
    - upper reinforcing bars made from thinner rod.
    -handwheels drilled with 4 holes each (reshaped a bit with a sharp pointed hobby knife to look like wedges)
    The breech is a mess and needs reshaping and detailing. The other area that screams for improvement is the gunsight. First it needs to be cut and repositioned since it doesn't align with the aperture in the shield. Detailing will be mostly adding bits of rods and strip to reproduce the complexity of the real thing.
    Now is time for the base. As usual it is made of two layers of 40thou card, one of which is a 1/8in grid, which makes measuring and cutting easier. The second layer is plain card, which is cheaper. The third layer is from adhesive magnetic business cards. This base is long so only the grid card is one piece. The others are patched together. The base really becomes useful for this composite model as there is otherwise no way of moving it.

    Nov. 2, 2011

    The gun has been detailed. It involves gazing at the photos of the Primeportal walkaround and using a variety of plastic rod and strips to reproduce some of the details. I focused primarily on the breech, the gunsight area and the front of the trail. The idea is to mimic the busy-looking aspect of a gun. The trails and wheels received 2 grabhandles each (8 thou brass wire) . At this stage it only lacks the tools (kit parts) and a small storage box on the right trail.

    Tools installed and gun ready for paint. I skipped the stowage box as it only appears in Primeportal's gun and not elsewhere. The shovels were flat and were scraped to give them a convex shape. The parts are surprisingly fine. I was ready to replace the attachments with styrene strips but did not need to do it.

    Novenmber 11, 2011

    Painting completed and the two models superglued to the base. The gun is in Humbrol 116, which is a lighter apple green, close to the late war Luftwaffe RLM 82. It appears much darker after a black/burnt umber wash. It contrasts well with the quasi khaki drab truck.

    Paint touch-ups and headlights are next, then after a couple more coats of flat varnish, the window inserts that have been lying on the workbench for a month. Amazingly I didn't lose them. I'll take a break and complete some of the other models before tackling the figures.

    Novmeber 20, 2011

    Completed model. The latches holding the cargo sides have been added. I missed them despite having spent quite some time gazing at drawings and photos. I guess you only catch what you are focused on.