Wednesday 18 December 2013

MS-1 Restoration

A while ago, I posted an article on the history of the MS-1, which mentioned that MS-1 tanks that exist today, survived as "legless" bunkers. Therefore, they no longer had original suspensions. Various MS-1s that are installed as monuments had their suspensions rebuilt, with mixed results. A reminder: the original suspension of the MS-1 looks like this.

LiveJournal user bf_109e took a photo of the following MS-1 in Vladivostok.

Well, uh, at least they tried. The garish green colour is, sadly, seen on a number of other monument tanks. The suspension is not even remotely similar to the original. Closer inspection reveals that it does not even have road wheels, only what appears to be a stamped metal bit with round ends. This MS-1 isn't going anywhere any time soon. The gun also suffered the restoration process (few MS-1 bunkers retained their original guns).

LJ user kamikadze1993 posted pictures of three MS-1s in Khabarovsk. The first one isn't that bad.

The number of shock absorbers and road wheels is correct. Something that appears to be torsion bars was added, but surely we can overlook such a minor detail, especially since the gun is a lot more reasonable and the colour isn't hideous.

Kind of primitive, but better than the first one! At least this one actually has wheels.

Aaaaahhh! What is this? And they couldn't even bother to put some sheet metal where the track covers used to be? How terrible. Although, maybe I can start some rumours of a Christie suspension MS-1...

But it only gets worse! This one is in an actual museum, at the Lenino-Snegiryev museum in Istra. 

The suspension isn't the worst so far, but some, er, liberties were taken with the rest of the tank. The cannon is where the machine guns should be and the commander's cupola looks like a pot.

And here is a unique example of an MS-1 in working order. This one is located in the Kubinka tank museum, and its suspension looks pretty decent.

The vehicle was found in parts, so it's hard to judge its condition, but the deficiency in the suspension is obvious even when the tank is not moving. The middle shock absorber is missing, and the road wheels are connected to a horizontal bar. This is even more obvious when the vehicle is in motion: not all of the road wheels rotate very well.

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