Russian WW2 Enthusiast Builds His Very Own Armored Division

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin, a village craftsman from Russia’s Novosibirsk area, has become famous for building exact replicas of various World War 2 armored vehicles, in his own garage.

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin began constructing WW2 vehicles a few years ago, when he got his hands on the plans of a Lend-Lease Studebaker truck. With only some basic tools he had in his garage, he managed to create a perfect replica, and continued to build other models, as a pastime. Because he is trying to recreate historical pieces, the passionate craftsman only works according to the original plans of the vehicles, which he now looks for on the internet and in magazines.

Right now there are just six vehicles in front of Vyacheslav Veryovochkin’s home, but he says he has so far created around 30 different WW2 tanks and armored trucks. He is the only man in Russia to create such exact replicas, so some of his works have been acquired by museums, while others rented by Mosfilm, the main film studio in Moscow, to be used in an upcoming movie inspired by the events of Stalingrad.

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin’s extraordinary collection includes vehicles built by Russian, German and American forces, like the legendary Tiger tank, soviet BT-7, BTR-40 “Katiuşa”, M4A4 Sherman Tank or M3 General Lee. Veryovochkin built their bodies from scrap metal, and fitted them with engines salvaged from Russian vehicles like the UAZ, GAZ-52, various trucks and tractors.

The now famous craftsman from a small village in Novosibirsk may have started building tanks as a hobby, but it soon became a way of educating young people, and keeping them from turning to alcohol and drugs. He first noticed young people around his grandson were doing drugs, so in order to protect him, he invited him and his friends to build a tank together. They were instantly hooked, and this kept them off the streets. Vyacheslav Veryovochkin says “now there are more young people, so we make more tanks”.