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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Friday, 26 October 2012

A tale of two...

... information ages. As regular readers of this rambling blog will know, I was very kindly gifted a Stug III by His Excellency Conrad Kinch. This was part of an idea in my fevered brain that I would use the commander's coupla to turn a Ferdinand into an Elefant (let's hope that non-modellers or non-wargame types don't try to make sense of this). However, as it transpired, Trumpeter already 'do' an Elefant, but that still left me with the Stug. But around the same time as all this was cogitating in my brain, I dug out some 40 year old Airfix Magazines. And, in the December 1971 issue there was this article by Terry Gander:

In it, Gander used an Airfix Stug III to make a mysterious beast known as the Su 76i. Gander certainly had his work cut out back in 1971, for, as he said, 'There doesn't appear to be any reference to the Su-76i except in Mr Milsom's book [Russian Tanks 1900-1970 - does anyone have a copy now I wonder?] and the Polish Wozy Bojowe, and they both use the same heavily re-touched illustration. Apart from these two references I could find nothing.' That was then, in the happy age of print and nothing else, when each new gleaning was prized beyond rubies. Now ? Well, I simply typed 'Su-76i' into a search engine, and:


Interestingly, there are important differences between the 'heavily re-touched' photograph in Terry Gander's original article, and the photograph (taken from the website Achtung Panzer), and the drawing. Firstly, Mr Gander believed that the sole photograph he had access to showed a vehicle with vertical fighting compartment sides, but the internet age information shows a vehicle with sloped armour. In addition, the gun, and the gun mantle exhibit significant differences  and, the Gander photograph shows a commanders's coupla (I'll be dreaming about them at this rate!). Now, of course, there's no reason why both 'versions' might not be correct, as they may have been built on Panzer III chassis by different Soviet repair works. However, I've decided to use the clearer, internet age, information I have access to. So far, I've got the basic fighting compartment shape:

Next up will be the more tricky mantle and 76mm gun details.  

One final point - the Achtung Panzer website notes that some Su 76i were captured by the Germans and re-Christened Stug 76mm and used against the Soviets. So, a captured Pz III transformed into a Su 76i, then into a Stug 76mm. Wargame heaven!


  1. I remember that article! I used a Roco mini tanks StuG III as the basis for my conversion, with a cardboard superstructure....

    1. Brilliant! I was hoping someone would. Funny how these things, from so long ago, are still so clear in one's mind. As for the cardboard - yes, that was my 'plasticard', which I had no way of buying at the time. I'll have to hunt out some of my cardboard creations from the period.

  2. That is amazing and I love the information

  3. You learn something new every day.

    1. 'Life is a lesson, Watson, with the greatest lesson left until last.'