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"Tachanka - scratch building in progress" Topic

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Makhno191827 May 2020 4:04 p.m. PST

Hi all, i wanted to share my early progress on a tachanka ive been scratch building in 1/72. Id love to hear any comments, advice, suggestions etc. If it doesnt come out terrible, ill make 3 or 4 more:




Full post here:

Costanzo127 May 2020 11:31 p.m. PST


Major B28 May 2020 9:59 a.m. PST

I really like what you are doing. Please keep us updated and if successful put up a list of your materials (ie what type of wagon). I have an RCW project that stalled because I could not find a reasonable model.

Umpapa28 May 2020 12:01 p.m. PST

I really love Your work.

I hoped that either Strelets or HaT would produce tachanka. I need dozen. I even created this promo.

No great reaction. Maybe HaT?

Makhno191828 May 2020 12:26 p.m. PST

Thats amazing, i love the box art. Thanks for all the encouragement, I'll definitely keep updating with my progress. In the meantime, if anyone has suggestions for me around the wagon springs, i dont love my solution, which is pretty much just random plastic enough to hold the cart up at the right height.
Thanks again

Acronim29 May 2020 1:58 a.m. PST


Maybe a metal plate from a can of soda can be useful. It can be cut with sturdy scissors, and then easy to shape with pliers. You can glue several layers together to represent the crossbow, and I would say the set will even give you the spring effect, because the material is quite flexible.

Anyway, even with the current solution, once painted it will look great.

PS: or plastic from a carafe; just cut a strip, fold in the middle and glue the end.

Makhno191829 May 2020 4:59 a.m. PST

I never would have thought of that. We dont have any soda cans or carafe but i imagine beer cans will work 🍺 cheers!

Mike O31 May 2020 4:49 a.m. PST

Loving your latest project, Makhno1918, hope you don't mind if I share some snaps of my work-in-progress in the same direction?

Series of card-board roughs to get the shape right and create plans and templates


I made the springs from thin pliable metal from some internal bits from an old PC



RCW tachankas had a max of 4 horses line abreast but often just 3 and sometimes 2. Old, crude Maxim MG from HaT but I have better ones now!


BTW nice picture, Umpapa, but that is very much a WW2 soviet purpose-built tachanka so not suitable for the RCW

Makhno191831 May 2020 7:24 a.m. PST

Thesee are great Mike O, thanks for sharing. I love the plans you made and your mock ups, i hope you finish them and share! What are the figures in your photo? Looks like 2 HaT boxes in the background? Some of my wheels and other wagon bits came from a HaT artillery wagon set, i cant remember which now. But most of my parts came from this covered wagon set: link

I like the creativity of using the computer parts. I ended up doing something similar, after Acronim's suggestion, for springs on my 2nd version. I have a roll of thin sheet metal in the basement, and a couple thin strips off that worked great. Ill update with some photos in the next couple days, ive been making good progress.

Mike O03 Jun 2020 4:46 a.m. PST

My main source for wheels, horse and stuff is this great value HaT set


Although I also picked up this Italeri set cheap at a show. An idea was to replace the shakos on the greatcoat seated figures with fur hats and make the cross-belts look like bullet bandoliers and MG belts. Unlike the Hat horses these are heavy, slow draught animals so wouldn't look good on a tachanka.


Also the wooden yoke collar around the horse neck was going out of fashion at the end of the 19th century but could probably still be found in corners of the civilian world at the time of the RCW. as this site suggests



A better option are the horses from the extremely useful and well-sculpted Italeri WW2 German artillery

Makhno191805 Jun 2020 8:53 a.m. PST

Thanks again Miko O. Ive got my eye on that HaT set for future attempts. The diagrams you've shared have drawn my attention to how thin the floors should be. Theres pretty much no structure beneath them, other than the springs and axels. I had been thinking id cut up one last of those wagons ive been using, either in half to make 2 as i did before, or i was thinking a longer section might look better (mine seem a little short on the horizontal length). That said, mine also seem too tall on the verticle length, probably because of all the structure i have beneath my floors. I'll likely try to emulate your mockups using cardboard or something cuttable but strong for the sides, and cardstock for the floors and seats.

In the meantime, i posted some updates on my efforts. Ive gotten a 2nd, similar tachanka to about the same state as the first: ready to be painted.

Heres the post: link

The new springs, thanks for the advice guys!





Trevsky05 Jun 2020 9:05 a.m. PST

Nice scracthbuilding. I look forward to seeing them all in action.

Makhno191823 Jun 2020 5:40 a.m. PST

Hi all, some more updates. Ive been working on a 3rd version based loosely off of Mike O's plans.



A couple questions for Mike O: do you mind if i share the photos of your plans above on my blog?
Could you also share some of the measurements of your tachanka? I was guessing, and it came out too large i think.

And a couple questions for the rest:
Makhno's forces were often completely mobile (off foot), not just the tachankas and cavalry.
-Has anyone see photos of cart-drawn infantry other than on tachanki ? Would they use the same sort of carts, just without mgs, or something different, or (most likely I'd guess) a variety depending on whats on hand?

-Mounted infantry i imagine to look similar to the cavalry, perhaps without sabers?

-Wondering what sort of accessories should be strapped to cavalry horses. From the few images ive found it seems like they have various kits, but most lacking the blankets and packs of typical cavalry?

Heres a link to a video which has most/the best of the clips from the Makhnovists that I've been able to find, though unfortunately its hard to discern much details from it:

Full blog post with more photos of my 3rd tachanka here:

Mike O24 Jun 2020 9:03 a.m. PST

Hi Makhno1918!

I hope you don't mind but I'd prefer you didn't put them up on your blog for now as they are still work-in-progress and I was even a bit reluctant to post them here.

One thing I got wrong is the front seat which is too tall. The top of the sides of the front seat were meant to be cut-outs to represent the hand-rails but the seat should be lower. Any other constructive criticism very much welcomed!

Makhno1918, can I offer some tips for your projects?

- if you are into scratch-building get a self-healing cutting mat gridded in cm and a steel ruler which has cm as well as inches like in my pics. Go metric and decimal as it's just easier for small measurement and arithmatic. Not that I ever use inches anymore – just miles and MPH. Who invented the "imperial" measurement system anyway? A Roman left-over or some English-man who was out in the Indian mid-day Sun too long?

- Your SCW pics are great but some of these Tachanka are dark and blurry and difficult to make out (I have NO skills in taking pics which is why I am reluctant)

- Your horse teams are way too far ahead of the carriage – that pole in 2 and 4 horse teams should have the front connected to the front collars – not behind. On a game table that will be a huge footprint.

Makhno191824 Jun 2020 2:43 p.m. PST

Hi Mike O, thanks. No problem about the plans, totally understand, just let me know in the future if you end up with a finished product to share. I appreciate you sharing them to begin with. Though my blog readership is just the few of you who click the links from these threads😉

I see what you mean about the front seat height, ill note that in my next effort. I like making the hand rails with wire, as i learned making street lanterns for my telefonica diorama (which i swear ill finish when i stop procrastinating with this horse play…). The only thing i changed from your plan was i reduced the height of the section between the rear seat and wheels, as that area looked less substantial in the photos i found (though I'm sure they used all sorts of different carriages).

I appreciate your suggestions! I was eyeing the self-healing mat, not sure its in the budget yet but someday. Ive just been using a ruler and cutting boards. You're right about the king's measurements. I always blamed that on you English, but i guess we're the ones still using it over here. Im sure some other forum historian on here will tell us the story shortly.
Photos, yes, guilty. I should have thought more about the lighting, and put the camera on something steady, but it was tricky to get any of the details to stand out when theyre all dark brown.
And the positions of the horses, yes i see that now. The graphic you shared earlier from this site illustrates it really well


Ill have to shorten the distance and cut down the bases. Thank you for pointing it out. The horses i got from the contesa wagon sets attatch to each other at the center of their sides, so perhaps its not an ideal set, without some extra knife work. Ive bought HaT French and Austrian limber sets recently ill use on my next efforts. I couldn't find the Napoleon accessories set you mentioned, must be discontinued. Too bad, those riders look like they just need some rounding off on the hats and other easy knife adjustments, plus some weapons.

Anyway, thanks as always for your input!

Mike O24 Jun 2020 3:44 p.m. PST

A cutting mat is highly recommended! :) I got mine from an art supplies shop where it was considerably cheaper than the ones I saw in model hobby places. Also tools, rulers and modelling putty much cheaper in pound/dollar stores and DIY supermarkets.

For measurements of my carriage roughs the mat will show they are around 4cm long and 2cm wide although I did 3 sets of templates small, medium and large for variety :)

The back wheels on the mock-up in my last photo are too far back axle not even under the carriage! haha. It was quickly put together with lumps of blu-tack on the "undercarriage" as you can probably see at the front :)


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