I was meant to put this online last year, but somehow overlooked it. As part of a New Year’s email cleanout, I found it again. So, I present to you:

Rem Ulanov, SU-76M commander
Source: “Tankomaster” No. 4, 1997
Translation: Bair Irincheev

Not much about fighting, but some details about unit strengths and also lots of anecdotes about life as a Russian tanker.


So, there they are. The left and middle vehicles have a more ‘typical’ scheme (if such a thing can be said), whitewashed wavy lines representing tree trunks and limbs to help break up the blocky outline.

The right vehicle is more of an experiment. In gathering online information for the Soviet forces I’ve acquired, I came across this Soviet Winter camouflage pattern. You can see a very similar paint scheme on the same type of vehicle (a SU-76) in the Bovington Museum collection in Britain. I also have, in one of my reference books*, the following colour plate:

and the camouflage scheme in that plate is described as an “unusual” camouflage pattern for Soviet forces (even in 1945).

I began painting that camouflage scheme on the Maultier before re-consulting these two sources, so it came from my “mind’s eye”. I think it looks good, if perhaps a little too uniform…it should have been more random, with more bunches of spots and bent or angled lines as well as short, straight ones, like you’ll see at the Bovington SU-76. Oh well, too late now.

* Zaloga, SJ, Kinnear, J, Aksenov, A & Koshchavtaev, A 2002, Stalin’s
heavy tanks 1941-1945: the KV and IS heavy tanks
, Concord, Hong Kong.


Trey Partin has a new stop-motion film up, this time using 54mm miniatures…


Been having a play with VuFind at work. It’s a step towards seamless, one-stop-shop search and retrieve. It’s feature that lets a user search by tags is a good innovation, but how does someone affix a tag to an item, and are tags controlled or edited by the library? Otherwise someone may just put lots of obscenities as tags…did I just give anyone ideas?!

(One quibble about the demo – I didn’t like the fact that so few items have been tagged. If you do a search and that search word hasn’t been used as a tag yet, then you get all items returned as having that tag, with a tiny note saying that tag doesn’t exist. Shouldn’t it just return zero results?)

Here in the National Library up in Canberra, they’ve implemented VuFind. Comparing the old catalogue (still in action) to the new, 1) being able to narrow a search and 2) checking your search history, are very helpful. Commercial databases allow these, so should all OPACs. Search by…Occupation is unusual – but obviously useful to certain institutions.

Examining one result about prisoners in Changi, I was offered a link to go examine LibraryThing! I’ve commented last year on LibraryThing. While searching for material about the European theatre of the War, the results returned (about Polish memories) brought up the option to assign an RSS Feed to this search.

Some valid tools for my work.