Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

12 December 2016

ZIL 4906

Ever since the taigas, tundras, and steppes of the Soviet Union were to be travelled by the military and preferably by car, the military dreamt up the most fantastic all-terrain trucks. All-wheel driven, often six, sometimes eight, extremely rugged, and large. They all were large. Fantastic machines, gas-guzzling giants that took wide and deep ditches like they weren't there, crawled over sand dunes, drove into rivers and pushed over birches like they were matchsticks.
The ZIL E-167, an experimental six-wheeler that was almost unstoppable. And LARGE.
Now let's focus on one of them, because I have started a new model, because I put the N-1 on hold for a while...

A Soyuz capsule, above a beautiful cloud layer, descending to the ground. Click for super large! (©NASA)
When a Soyuz spacecraft returns to earth, the ground salvage crew assembles and heads to the place the capsule is intended to land. All of the descent is fully automated, so there is almost no mistake about where the capsule will touch down, let alone a couple of kilometres. The capsule is picked up by radar signals when it has passed through the upper layers of the atmosphere and tracked down. Helicopters often get the Soyuz in view when the main chute opens. But they also need ground crew vehicles. Some medical assistance, transport for the weakened astronauts and cosmonauts and of course something to carry the capsule itself from the landing site to the nearest air base. For those two last tasks, the transporters, the Soviets designed some very special vehicles.

Enter the ZIL 4906. A six-wheeler, all wheel drive, front and back steering. Amphibious. It has two boat screws beneath the watertight closed chassis to propel the truck through rivers, lakes and swamps. 
In its capacity of personnel carrier, it is called the 4906-1 and it has a long, low cabin on the back, with a bed and a couch for checking up on the space travellers' health and overall well being.  The other one, 4906, is for lifting the landed Soyuz from the ground with a small crane and place it on its back. It has a special shaped recess in its loading area where the capsule fits in to.

ZIL 4906-1 afloat.(Photo: unknown origin, not mine, let me know if you are the maker)
Two wonderful machines, and Russian paper model designer Maxim has made both of them into very meticulously detailed models in 1/25. I thought it would be nice for a change to make a car but still with a space theme. So the IL 4906 is at the work bench at the moment.
I am working on the cabin, and it's a joy to build. It is a bit of a puzzle, because although the accompanying drawings are quite meticulous and detailed, the order in which to build and some little sub-builds are not so well documented. Maxim is Russian and I guess it is not so easy to write up a full instruction of how to put what where.
So I am making one as I go with this model. Later this week, the first instalment of this build.

ZIL 4906 lifting a burnt Soyuz on its back. (Photo: unknown origin, let me know if you are the maker)
And while I will make the ZIL just as-is, because it is so complete, I don't have to scratch build anything (Great job on that, Max!) I will add a re-entered Soyuz on my own. In 1/25 scale. Also more on that in the next post.
Now, I have hopefully teased you all enough to keep coming back for a next time.
This has to do for now.
See you next time!

PS. Most of Maxim's MaksArt models (with download links) can be found in this thread on the forum.

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