World War Two Soviet Tank Models Rebuilt by Red Army Veteran

A World War Two and Red Army veteran has been spending his retirement building real, life-sized models of the Soviet’s World War Two tanks.  Vyacheslav Veryovochkin had been chief technical officer for an armoured regiment in the Red Army for more than 30 years. He would disassemble and reassemble army tanks, vehicles and other equipment.

After the war, Vyacheslav spent a short time in Moscow and then moved to Novosibirsk in central Russia, before retiring with his wife in the Siberian village of Bolshoi Oyesh.  Vyacheslav, still enthused about assembling military vehicles, built a workshop so he would have enough space to make life-size models of the World War Two vehicles he had worked on during the war. Vyacheslav built his first model using old farming vehicles – a combined harvester and tractor.

When the state-run farm that was the village’s main employer collapsed along with Communist rule, many villagers left for the cities to find work. There are now only five families living in the village and Vyacheslav has become their main employer.  Vyacheslav and his team have now assembled a collection of around 40 working models of World War Two tanks and vehicles.  His team can create a life-size, moving, functioning model tank within three months. Because of Vyacheslav’s military background and experience, each of the models matches the exact standards and fittings of the Red Army’s World War Two vehicles, the Russia Beyond The Headlines reports.

The local mayor has allocated Vyacheslav a field next to his workshop so that he has room for his growing collection of model vehicles. Vyacheslav has been selling his models as well as loaning them to film and TV makers who require Soviet military vehicles for their projects. Nikita Mikhalkov is one of these directors; he is making a sequel to the World War Two movie, Burnt by the Sun.  Another client is Moscow-based Mosfilm Studios, which has ordered a variety of vintage military equipment for its productions.  So far Vyacheslav’s models have been featured in over 10 Russian films or TV productions.

Vyacheslav is poised to open a museum for military hardware, and is planning to donate one of his models of a Katyusha and T-34 tank to Victory Day commemorations this year.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE