I live in an area that has been gripped by two consecutive winter storms.  This is nothing to me, of course, since I don’t have anywhere to go for the time being, but so many people are “suffering,” whatever that means.  After the first day, a lot of people in my immediate area had lost power, and I was without internet.  Whoopdy-doo.  However, I’ve been expecting a few models in the mail from Shapeways, which supposedly went out on the 2nd of March.  As I’m writing this, it is now the 7th, and I’m getting impatient.  Seriously, New York City is a day trip for me, so what’s the hold-up?  I have pictures I’d like to take, both of the new ones and of a large number of existing models, mainly so that I can populate my shop with as many photographs as possible, and I’d like to do it all at once.  In the mean time, however, I’ll show you some of my tank mods.

KV-4 Shashmurin

This is Nikolai Shashmurin’s design for the KV-4, codenamed Object 901.  It was one of the twenty different concepts submitted for the project, but no design concept had yet been chosen at the time that Leningrad was attacked and all experimental projects at the Kirov Plant promptly cancelled.  This thing is huge, even larger than the KV-5, and armed with what appears to be a 152.4mm howitzer in the hull, though I was unable to verify that.  [Edit: I have since come across Shashmurin’s original design proposal, which lists a 107mm cannon, and will make appropriate changes to the model before releasing it]  The turret is a prototypical design of what would eventually be put on the KV-1S.  Shashmurin had previously worked on the SMK, so it makes perfect sense that his design would be somewhat similar, with a turret mounted high above the vehicle’s centre as well as a more forward-mounted gun.  Below is a modified version of it:KV-4 Shashmurin mod

This one has the diamond-shaped turret of Object 220 on it, with an 85mm cannon and rotating machine gun turret.  This is the same turret used on both the KV-220 and T-150.  I have the complete KV-220 in my shop in both 1/100 and 1/285 scale, but the T-150 in 1/285 scale only.  The reason for that is that the T-150 uses the same chassis as the KV-1, and I sell both the Object 220 turret and KV-1 hull separately under “model parts” in 1/100 scale.  Neither version of Shashmurin’s KV-4 is available in any scale yet, mainly because I need to test the socket for the main gun.  I’m not worried about whether or not it will print, but whether or not I can assemble it.  I’ve printed ball-and-socket joints before, but getting the interference fit just right is tricky when the opening isn’t perfectly round.  I’ve been lucky so far with my designs fitting together perfectly, but I still like to be sure.

Next is a modification of the T-10.  Below is the version of the T-10 that I currently offer:T-10

This is one of the models that I’m currently waiting for, and I’d like to see how certain details come out before I go crazy adding other things.  That being said, I’ve already started:T-10A

This is the T-10A, distinguishable by the addition of a fume extractor on the barrel.  I have also altered the geometry of the turret slightly, giving it a narrower and more forward-pointing nose than the original, and I’ve added some more detail.  The hull hasn’t changed yet, and the new turret and gun are already available in my shop.  Depending on how the model I get in the mail looks, I may simply upgrade the existing T-10 model and offer it with both versions of the gun, and remove the turret from my shop before offering the T-10M for sale as well, which has slightly different details on the hull and a different gun altogether, as well as an extra compartment sticking out of the back of the turret.

The final mod I’d like to share for now is one I made to Object 279.  Below is the original version, which I will not be changing except to, perhaps, make the wheels a little thicker (depends on how they turn out):Object 279

And below is my mod of it, which I would offer as a full model, since all three components have been altered:Object 279 Dark Hunter

I call this one “Чёрный Охотник.”  “Chërnyj Okhotnik,” by the way, means “Dark Hunter.”  And no, that doesn’t mean it’s a nocturnal tank hunter.  For the record, “tank hunter” is a translation of “panzerjäger,” though, directly, it actually translates to “armour hunter.”  What the English-speaking world calls a tank destroyer, and the Germans call a tank hunter, the Russians call “танк-истребитель” (tank-istrebitel’), which literally means “tank exterminator.”  You know, if you squint at Object 279 the right way, it even looks something like a dalek, especially from above.  Were it not for the fact this this tank was kept top-secret for decades, it could have played a part in the daleks’ design, since it predates Doctor Who by a full six years.  But enough of my rambling tangent.  The Dark Hunter takes the level of Object 279’s capability one step further, adding a special coating that reduces both the thermal and radar signatures of the vehicle.  The turret is also equipped with a rangefinder and other advanced targeting systems, all connected to an absurdly large sensory array mounted to the gun, which I made look the way it does only to resemble the eyes of a wolf spider:Object 279 Dark Hunter faceWolf spider face cropped

Freaky, isn’t it?  I’ll probably move those lamps around a bit to improve the spacing, so it might look a little different by the time I offer it for sale… which won’t be any time soon, I suspect.

Aside from some of the fictional tanks I offer for sale (in a separate section of my shop),  as well as Object 279 (which doesn’t have a hull deep enough), all the tanks I offer have interchangeable main turrets, meaning that anyone can mix and match at will.  When I first started out, I had the KV-1 turret, KV-2 turret, and KV tank chassis available as separate models.  It was not until I started adding more specialised combinations that I saw fit to offer the full tanks for sale.  Besides, it’s cheaper that way for people who have no desire to get creative.  For me, however, building “tanks of extreme parameters,” to quote Shashmurin himself, almost requires swapping parts out, hence the need for standardised components.  It’s fun, that’s all.

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