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  1. #1
    Son of Kalashnikov Boris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Back from Motherland

    Default DIY: Tank, SU-76m (rated PG-2 ... lots of milk drinking and cartoon watching)

    PART 1 - this post
    PART 2 - post #25 (
    PART 3 - cannon test fire (

    I am making an exception by posting a build that's not yet "done" because after 1.5 years I realize that it will never be trully done. I will try to post a bunch of write-up and photos as I hunt them out from various places, every week. I will keep the table of content on this page/post so that people can see the progress and find other relevant posts.

    Last year's sumer, my then 2 yo and I decided to get together some father-son project. We considered a bird house, a pine derby car ... and then we decided to build a tank.

    SU-76m is not a tank, it's the most produced self-propelled artillery by Soviets in WWII. Built on the extended chassy of light BT tank, it was designed to make the "God of War" agile, following in the lockstep but slightly behind the advancing army. Not something typical artillery setup could do.

    The lightly armored body wasn't meant to defend from anything bigger than small arms fire. But in reality it frequently went to the heart of battle.

    hence of nickname: "grave for four brothers". In terms of nicknames, it's most common nickname was "sooch-kah" (little female dog ... yeah, B-word) based on Su pronounced as "soo" Reality is that Soviet soldiers have outstanding propensity to nickname just about anything without rhyme or reason, even German nebelwerfers were "little Ivan's" ... go figure.

    We figured that we wanted to make a scale copy, small enough to fit into a car (for a trip to the range) but big enough to help around the house with moving lawn or clearing the snow while packing something at least 50cal, so 1/4 scale seemed like a good place.

    The frame was made from inch square tube, something real Sus never needed, because boxed heavy plate could support it's shape just fine.

    A lot of goofing off delayed production

    until the snow was on the ground

    Once inside the house, there was no retreat on this project. Electric engines make controlling both tracks infinitely easier ... but don't worry, there will be noise and smoke.

    Actually the engine location is something that can let you distinguish variations of SU. Original configuration SU76 had two automobile engines on each side of the driver. Hence the front of the SAU had two transmission access hatches.

    Later M-modernized models had two engines working in tandem to the right of the driver, so you can only see the driver's hatch and a single transmission access plate.

    They also went from completely covered gun grew compartment on 76 to partially covered on 76m

    This is actually the post-war production 76-m when back was covered again with steel

    Wheels were stamped out, so we did the same thing starting with blank steel.

    The original forming was slightly different

    I stamped the basic shape

    and rolled the rims

    then joined them together

    here are the all stages of the wheel being made

    One thing to keep in mind when building tanks, you will have to make a lot of identical parts

    and mount all of them

    As a joke we moked up what would a 50cal barrel look like on the tank. It immideately attracted cat's attention

    taking all the measurements to evaluate potential for world domination

    parts constantly needed to be taken off and on to fit various components

    finally "plating" was put on and like any real tank it immidiately started to rust

    each side was assembled from two plates, joined by a set of giant rivets that was duplicated

    like I said, fitting requires parts to be constantly put on and off

    so having enthusiastic comrades eager to build tanks is a big plus

    well, the story is faaar from over, but I need to get some sleep

    continued on post #25
    Last edited by Boris; 04-08-2015 at 04:09 PM.
    bykwn hu 'aezam!

    بيكون هو أعظم

    "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." ― Frederic Bastiat
    ďThe only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted." ― Ayn Rand

  2. #2
    NES Member speedy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    495 / Rt 9 corridor


    Woa! You got my attention. Looks like another epic build. My son and I cannot wait to see this progress. Very cool
    "Better to have your gun and not need it, than need your gun and not have it!"

  3. #3
    NES Member kc6623's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    south of boston


    NIce job Boris Your son will be taking out Barbi Jeeps all over your Nieghborhood.

  4. #4
    NES Member Chevy 2 65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Somewhere in the sands of time


    Very nice, your son will have great memories and fun riding that tank.

    standard redneck

    Criminals obey "gun control" laws in the same manner politicians follow their oaths of office. Ė Anonymous

    The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the ultimate guardian of our cherished rights and freedoms. We must vigilantly defend it from all enemies foreign or domestic - for present and future generations.- Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    NES Member xtry51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    NH (CT Escapee)


    Boris you are truly awesome.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum - If you wish for peace, prepare for war

    Have you heard about the vast Libertarian conspiracy? We want to take over the government and then.... Leave you alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Nowhere near Mass!


    Amazing work and something you and your son will always be able to share!!!!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    free hampshire


    dad of the century.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Central MA.


    Now that is so cool!

  9. #9
    NES Member RImike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Middletown, RI


    Why is your son wearing a life jacket, testing the tank for water immersion?

  10. #10
    Navy Veteran edmorseiii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    You never cease to amaze.

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