Maquette 1/35-scale kit no. MQ-35003;
PK-43 Russian Field Kitchen
by Cookie Sewell
64 parts (62 in light grey styrene and 2 in dark grey styrene); price
Advantages: interesting, off-beat kit can dress up either a diorama or
a cargo truck; comes with Soviet "meramite" cans and other details
Disadvantages: somewhat crude molding will mean extra work to get a clean
model when assembled
Recommendation: for all Soviet WWII fans
The Soviet soldier in WWII – "The Great Patriotic War"
from their point of view – was often seen as a mythic warrior who
could go for days without food in order to smash the Nazi. Well, not quite,
and even Soviet "politruks" knew that soldiers work better with
good food and a hot meal can't hurt. As a result, they, just like every
other army, had mobile stoves and kit for providing troops with a good
This one – the Polevaya Kukhnya 43 or Mobile Field Kitchen Model
1943 – was typical. Mounted on a 1.5 metric ton trailer chassis,
it had a big copper kettle of 250 liters capacity (about 66 gallons) heated
by a wood fire and able to provide for a company or battalion mess. Most
meals prepared would be simple – porridge, stew or borshch (beet
soup) – but as that was what many peasants were used to, it was
better than nothing.
This kit is not a bad little model, being mostly new molds with only the
wheels borrowed from the evergreen Italeri ZIS-3 gun clones out there.
The body consists of a stove section and a limber box section with an
area in between for firewood (10 sections of that are included in the
kit), as well as an optional choice of smokestack (one section march order,
two sections cooking order). It also comes with OVM (outer vehicle materials)
in the form of an axe, a hatchet and a shovel (wood's gotta come from
somewhere!) and four "Meramite" type food cans. The concept
for these date from Napoleon who felt that men fought better with a hot
meal inside them.
The model has landing gear so it can be displayed in either march order
or cooking order. In march order, items such as this were either hooked
up to a standard limber for horse drayage or to a standardized cargo truck
such as either a GAZ-AA/AAA or ZiS-5. The latter choices are now given
a boost, as cargo trucks with nothing to do are pretty dull subjects!
The moldings are about typical for Maquette – thicker than one would
hope with flash and tough fits. There are also no wheel hubs per se, so
you will have to come up with some. However, this can be worked out and
a nice model can be made. No markings are included nor painting instructions.
Most vehicles of the period were painted overall Soviet Army protective
green, so at least that part is not hard.
Overall this is an offbeat but useful little kit, and one cannot complain
of it being overpriced.