Russian Voroshilovets Tractor
Trumpeter 1:35 Scale Kit #01573
Review by Terry Ashley

The Voroshilovets Tractor was the heaviest of the Russian tracked artillery tractors with 1123 produced from 1939 to 1942 initially at the KhPZ plant in Kharkov and later at the STZ tractor plant in Stalingrad.

It had a crew of two plus seating for a 16 man gun crew or 3 tonnes of cargo in the rear cargo bed and was powered initially by the BD-2 400hp 12 cylinder diesel engine and later by the V-2V 375hp 12 cylinder diesel engine as used in the T-34.

With a combat weight of 15.5 tons and a towing capacity of 22 ton the Voroshilovets was used as the prime mover for heavy artillery such as the B-4 203mm tracked howitzer (Trumpeter kit #02307) and the Br-5 280mm tracked heavy mortar.

A few captured Voroshilovets Tractors were used by the German Wehrmacht but due to the small numbers produced these were a fairly rare sight.

The Kit:
This long awaited kit from Trumpeter has finally arrived as a companion piece to the previously released kit of the B-4 203mm tracked howitzer (kit #02307).

The kit consists of 212 parts in beige plastic, 21 in clear plastic and a further 150 parts in brown coloured plastic for the individual track links, plus a small decal sheet and the instruction guide.

The standard of moulding is very good overall with just a few visible pin marks bit most are hidden after assembly so of little consequence. There is some fine flash about the place which is easily removed plus the usual mould seam lines and the many plastic nodes which are now a common feature of current generation kits and help eliminate the need for pin ejector marks on the parts.

Detail on the parts is nicely done with clean crisp definition on detail such as the many rivet heads, the front radiator grill, the wood grain texturing on the cargo bay panels and the lower hull side panels.

Dimensionally the kit matches extremely well with the 1:35 plans in the Tankograd Tyagatshi book in all areas such as the running gear, hull/cab length, width and height with the only discrepancy being the length of the rear cargo tray. The plans indicate the kit cargo tray is short by about 1.5mm resulting in an enlarged gap between the cab and cargo tray front as the overall hull length is good, but his is not at all noticeable on the assembled kit as it sort of disappears in the overall scheme of things as all other dimensions are fine.

Lower Hull/Suspension:
The lower hull tub is one large warp free moulding with very clean crisp details on the side panels, the louver detail on the rear plate as well as the rivet detail on the undersides. Added to the sides are the final drive housings and idler wheels mountings plus the return rollers and a nicely done exhaust pipe with hollowed out end, there is a small gap around the pipe as it enters the hull but you should leave this and not fill with glue, which is tempting.

The running gear is made up of the front two part idler wheel which simply glue together without any trouble and the large two part rear drive sprocket. Due to the intricate nature of the sprocket detail there is a fail bit of cleanup needed from inside the many small openings and care is needed. After gluing the two halves together the joins on the cross members will also need a bit of trimming to get even with the sprocket probably being the most time consuming job with the kit due to the intricate nature and cleanup required.

The four bogie units look like a lot of work but apart from cleaning up the mould seams around the wheels these go together quite quickly as the fit is very good. As you fit the four wheeled sub-assembly bogies to the main bogie arm press this assembly onto a flat surface to ensure the four wheels are aligned flush with the ground line.

One thing to watch is the placement of the thin steps (part C8, C9) as these face the centre of the hull , i.e. on the rear arm of the front bogie and front arm of the rear bogie, but the instructions are quite clean on this so there shouldn’t be any problems?

The assembled bogie units fit to the mounting lugs on the hull sides and again you should ensure the four wheels are aligned flush with the ground line.

The individual track links have nice face plate detail and are designed to simply glue together which they do nicely and you can assemble the top, bottom and then the links that go around the drive sprocket and idler wheels fitting these sections together on the model. The instructions have a nice side plan view of the running gear showing the sections of track with 70-71 links per side, as there is no track sag apparent on photos of the Voroshilovets this makes fitting the track even easier either during assembly or left until after painting.

Engine Compartment/Cab:
The engine hood and radiator frame is a single blemish free moulding with excellent surface detail included such as the hood hinges and side louvers although these are moulded solid. Added to this are the inner radiator grills which have excellent mesh definition, two side panels (parts A3) to which are added the headlights with separate clean lenses and the small star radiator cap that will need care removing from the sprue to maintain the star points.

The crew cab is another single moulding with separate doors and is quite impressive with well defined details on all four sides with just a pour point in the middle of the roof that will need a light sanding. The insides of the cab walls are devoid of any detail other than the separate instrument panel added to the firewall, this has well defined dial and switch details included.

Cab interior consists of the floor plate with diamond tread plate included along with two gear levers, the steering levers and two foot pedals plus the bench seat for a fairly basic interior setup with the floor plate fitting snugly inside the cab moulding.

Added to the outside of the cab are separate windscreen and rear wall clear ‘glass’ windows, separate windscreen wipers, rear view mirror and side grab handles. There is a thin sun visor added above the windscreen and the separate doors also with clear ‘glass’ windows can be glued open or closed as you wish, the insides of the doors have the door handle and window winder handle included and are free of any pin marks.

The final fit of the engine compartment to the cab is spot on making for an excellent sub-assembly that fits equally well over the two locating lugs on the lower hull sides with the alignment and fit to the forward lower hull also being very good not requiring any trimming or filler. Finally the two small side fender sections are added and again the fit is good with these.

Rear Cargo Tray:
This again is a fairly simple affair with the large floor and four separate side panels having well defined bolt strips and inner bolt head detail, front and rear latch detail and textured wood grain on both sides of all the side panels and on the floor section, all completely free of any pin marks.

These all fit together easily by way of locating lugs along the lower edges of the sides and due to the floor section being free of any warping there weren’t any problems with the fit. You have to watch as you fit the sides as the corner latches are designed to intermesh and this has to happen as you attach each panel in sequence.

While there is lower hinge detail included for the side panels these are designed to be attached in the upright position and if you did want to glue the rear gate down you would have to fill the locating holes in the floor and cut the lugs from the bottom of the gate.

On the inside are the crew seat benches again with good wood grain texturing apart from the metal fuel tanks and seat at the front of the tray with the assembled cargo tray fitting easily to the lower hull. There are large gaps in the hull side plates where the cargo tray cross members sit but it appears these are supposed to be there and you can’t see these in any case once the tracks are fitted.

The large canvas tilt cover is again a single large moulding with subtle canvas folds and clip detail included along with six openings for the clear plastic windows provided. The cover fits neatly over the sides of the tray although the lower edges on the canvas are a little thick and thinning these would improve the look here.

There is no separate tilt supports provided if you wanted to model the tractor without the cover fitted to show off the insides or add a crew but these can easily be made from wire using the kit tilt as a guide for the right shape.

The small decal sheet is nicely printed with markings for two tractors, one in Russian service and the other in Wehrmacht service with a five view full colour painting guide including paint numbers for Humbrol, Model Master, Mr.Hobby, Tamiya and Vallejo paints.


This is a surprisingly simply kit yet with excellent details included all around the model from the lower hull, running gear, engine compartment/cab and rear cargo tray with equally good fit of the parts and relatively little cleanup needed overall. The basic cab interior is about the only area that can do with some improvements.

It is dimensionally accurate and will build quickly and easily into a very impressive model of the interesting Voroshilovets Tractor, not to mention the appeal for those who have already bought the B-4 Howitzer and want something to hitch it up too.

Highly recommended.

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Tankograd Tyagatshi
Soviet Full-Tracked Artillery Tractors of World War 2 in Red Army and Wehrmacht Service

Tankograd Publishing
ISBN: 3-936519-02-1

Thanks to my overworked Credit Card for the review kit.

Page created July 25, 2010