Museum of Military Equipment (Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia)

Do you think that self propelled artillery piece had fresh paint for the 9th of May last year?
Has it faded in one year or could it be many years?

I don’t think that in four months (May-September) last year the paint could burn out like that. Most likely more time has passed.
Let’s see in a year - I will definitely go there from time to time.

And the last report on the last visit to this museum.

All my visits I entered the museum through the same entrance. What was my surprise when, this time, having reached the end of the museum, I found another entrance there. And apparently, it is he who is the main entrance. I had to get out and take a picture

and go back in. So the story I will lead in opposition to the real course of events.

At the entrance to the territory, you immediately run into two huge batons: the Angara rocket and its Baikal booster stage.

Very large devices almost 30 meters long.

And then a series of pavilions begins, of which, as it turned out recently, there are already 6 pieces.

The vast majority of them are still closed, but thanks to their glass walls, you can get an idea of their content.

Only one Pavilion No. 6 will be dedicated to the military theme

The rest houses civilian specialized equipment. Here in this pavilion the equipment of the early Soviet period

and here already the period of “developed socialism” or, as they later began to say, “stagnant period”

This one seems to be completely given over to the iconic Soviet car GAZ-21 “Volga”.

Of all the pavilions, only one is open, in which a very special technique is demonstrated.

Airfield service vehicles

Cross-country mechanisms

How do you like the idea for the “bukhanka” conversion from Zvezda?

The central place is occupied by all-terrain vehicles from the cosmonaut search and rescue squad

One of which bears a proper name: “Blue Bird”. Surely you have already guessed which one. Some of them carry the astronauts themselves, some descent capsules, and some all passable augers, which are also presented here

And behind the pavilions such “shorty guys” hid!

They are both a treasure trove of palettes for those who like to rust models - choose any shade!

You can’t say by the excavator that it is electric - there is clearly a pedal drive for several thousand people inside!

Nearby are exhibits of a slightly smaller order of size and rustiness: BelAZ for 30 tons, a mine dump truck for 22 tons

airfield harvester based on the single-axle MoAZ.

Obviously, all this equipment will be painted and brought into a divine form. Work has already begun on some of the exhibits

Well, I’ll take a look on my next visit and be sure to let you know.

Thank you all very much for your attention and your time. I hope you liked it.

PS. I tried to show you one of the largest and one of the best military-technical museums in Russia. But he is not the only one.
I have ready-made materials for 15 other museums of various kinds. There are many more photos to be processed and even more museums that I plan to visit.

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Wonderful images!
Keep them coming!


This has become one of my favorite threads to visit. Thank you for keeping it so active. :smiley:



Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this with the rest of us. Most of us will never get an opportunity to see this great collection in person. It’s great to get even a small tour!


Thank you Yuri for these reports, I am amazed at the scope of this museum and the images are so valuable to any serious model-maker. I hope the word “speechless” translates well into Russian. I also want to compliment you on your English, I know you’re using Google a lot but even so, we English-speakers usually do not comprehend or appreciate the difficulties of communicating successfully in an “alien” language.

Can you tell us more about this museum? When did it open? Does it have an accessible website? I know it is privately funded, but where have all the exhibits come from? Have they been purchased from other private (or State-sponsored) collections? I’m curious to know where so many of the Great Patriotic War vehicles/planes etc. have been hiding (?) over the past 80 years? Perhaps some have been excavated and restored from battlefields recently?

(P.S. my own specific interest is about the battles around Ponyri during the battle of what we westerners call “Kursk” which I know is a geographically inaccurate description. I even tried to travel there in 2013 but it proved too difficult. Do you know of any recent new websites or discoveries of original 1943 (Russian) photographs from Ponyri?) :tumbler_glass:

Thank you for your feedback.
You know how to ask questions! As my experience shows, by answering questions you can learn something new yourself.
The museum is large, there are many materials on it, and the main difficulty is to find a grain of information in a pile of words.

History of the Museum
(Direct quotations are in italics.)
In almost every Russian settlement, except for very small ones, there is a monument to the Great Patriotic War - the Eternal Flame. There was one in Verkhnyaya Pyshma near the main entrance to the plant (photograph 1988)

In 1991, it was radically changed: by installing 5 plates with the names of factory workers who died during the war. And in 2005, it took on a modern look: the stele “Cranes” was added.

(source: FotoTerra)

At the same time " … with the help of search teams and with the active assistance of the Russian Ministry of Defense, we managed to get the first exhibits of the future museum - two guns that liberated Soviet Belarus from the Nazis. "

And so the idea of creating a museum was born. ". … Its opening took place on May 9, 2006, and the first copies of military equipment were only ten! A year later, 20 samples were lined up at the “Cranes” memorial, and two years later, another 10 pieces of equipment of different branches of the military were added to the museum … "
" … In 2013, the first building of the complex was opened - the Museum of military equipment… "
Here is a fairly detailed report about the museum from 2016.
“…At some point, [the exhibits] simply no longer fit into the building, so in 2018 the exhibition center of the Museum of Automotive Technology was opened on the territory of the museum”
And what happened next, I have already told you.

Replenishment of the collection
… In subsequent years, the open-air exposition was regularly replenished with new models of equipment, thanks to cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense, as well as search teams and private collectors.

It must be understood that not all exhibits in the museum are original products. Yes, there are many originals. But a lot of equipment with varying degrees of historicity - not everything can be completely restored. If the hulls of military equipment are still in a “decent” condition, then their small elements rot completely. Here is what the museum workers themselves say: ". … in the restored equipment, the share of original parts can be increased to 50-60%, and in some cases even up to 70%. Everything else has to be made independently or ordered from other enterprises. "

There are also layouts. This fact is not hidden, but is written on the tablets. I showed you a photo of the descent space capsule - this is a mock-up. A few more boats, also layouts.
Moreover, the layouts are different: you can make just the appearance of plywood, or you can completely build it. In 2020, the La-5 fighter was completely made for the museum in Novosibirsk, which simply did not remain anywhere.
The difficulty in recreating this type of fighter is that it is almost entirely made of wood. The exception is the nose with engine cowlings, heat-resistant lining on the fuselage and other individual structural elements. Therefore … according to the factory drawings of La-5, the fuselage of birch veneer was again glued. To comply with wartime technology, they had to glue 6 layers of material, which in the design bureau was called “delta wood”. At that time, it replaced the scarce aviation aluminum in the USSR. The machine is equipped with the original ASh-82 engine. Work on the restoration of the aircraft took 16 months."

Large aircraft can be found, with the help of the Ministry of Defense, along the edges of military airfields. Of course, you can’t just buy something like that. Here is a report on how the Tu-16 was assembled with an interesting time-lapse video.

One of the steam locomotives stood abandoned in the Yamal tundra beyond the Arctic Circle in one of the Gulags. He was begged from the local authorities (I just lived and worked there) and and taken out in parts by helicopter.

But the American Catalina seaplane was bought in the USA. It seems that this particular one participated in the movie “Bad Boys”, but I don’t remember such a scene, and I’m too lazy to revise it. Here’s a build report.
I’m not sure which aircraft was in question (I couldn’t find the information again), but a few years ago there was a big scandal in the US patriotic public, as it turned out that one of the museum aircraft of local production was sold to another country and there were no such aircraft left in the US itself .

I have already said that one of the owners of the museum is the billionaire Kozitsin. I just found out that last year he bought his own museum from his own company for 1.2 billion rubles. As they write, this is a common practice when carrying out structural changes.
He sold Aircraft Industries, which produces the L-410 aircraft, to the Czechs. He himself flies an Airbus A320 for $67 million.

So he has money and there is hope for further replenishment of the exposition.
And finally, a few links to other reports about this museum: on an automotive site with an emphasis on cars in two parts (beginning and end), on a military site with a large part of Lend-Lease equipment

The museum has an official website, but it is not very interesting in Russian, and even less so in English.

PS I’ll answer the second part of the question a bit later.


Again thank you for all the extra information Yuri, very interesting.

That’s understandable that restored vehicles have required modern replacement parts (or fabricated imitation parts), particularly no doubt the moving ones. With “restoration” there have always been two conflicting schools of thought – one says that nothing should be done to change the present condition of the item apart from stabilising them and preventing further decay. The other says it’s better to repair the item to its original complete condition.

The same argument rages about paintings, and depending on which way the wind blows I can agree with either of the two opinions. I don’t believe any artist would like to see how terrible some of their paintings look now, compared to when they were painted. But if the painting is “restored” it is no longer solely painted by the original artist…and so the argument rages on.

(Send me a private message about Ponyri if you prefer, I don’t think many readers will be as interested about that) :tumbler_glass:

it’s appreciated that you have taken time to share all this information with us.

thank you Yuri

Real nice! Thanks for sharing.

I thought Versailles was also very nice to visit.

Interesting, but there were a LOT of people there. And before that we were in Fontainebleau, it was almost as good there, but there were no people at all!

I once again visited the museum in Verkhnyaya Pyshma. This time as a rest point in the middle of a 760 km long car route.
The main, but not directly related to the museum, news is the launch of a high-speed tram line from Yekaterinburg. And now any of the one and a half million inhabitants can get to the museum in half an hour and for a dollar.

I am happy for the locals, but now it’s better not to come here on weekends, and there will be even more people for the May 9 parade.

When you visit the same museum regularly, you begin to track its development. This concerns the number and general condition of the exhibits. Almost like in the “Spot the Difference” pictures. So look for: one photo is spring, the second is fresh.

Although the steam locomotives are not yet finished.

Just like their neighbors.

And there is still a lot of equipment in need of fresh painting.

And there the work has already begun.

I read a long time ago about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco: when they finish painting it, they cross over to the other side and begin to paint again.

The most striking example of the work done.

I thought they would just leave it rusty. This had its charm.

The composition of the exposition also changes. The equipment that stood in this place in the spring disappeared,

but this does not upset, because an equally wonderful car was put in this place.

It turns out that last time I did not notice this corner dedicated to the naval theme.

But this international cannon battery of the beginning of the last century along the facade of the Ceremonial Reckoning pavilion was definitely not there,

because in May equipment prepared for the parade was installed there

The new air site continues to be filled and arranged. Something has almost been collected

(before, May)


I found some planes already assembled, i.e. they have been brought in since May and have already been assembled.

Or maybe they were whole.

And there’s a lot more work to be done.

Finally, pavilions No. 3 and No. 5 were opened for visitors, which have already received their name: “Collection of automotive special equipment of the 1920s – 2000s.” Although there are tractors in pavilion No. 5.

There are no tractors in pavilion No. 3, but there are motorcycles and buses.

I will not dwell on each exhibit here. If anyone is interested, here is a photo essay in Russian (there is little text, so translation is not required).

In pavilion No. 2, the exposition is just beginning to take shape.

And in pavilion No. 1 it has, if not a finished look, then a clearly visible concept.

If someone is confused in the numerous pavilions and sites of the museum, then outside, not far from the entrance, an exhaustive diagram hangs.

There is almost the same on the official website.


This would have to be a full weekend tour, no way could I cover that many rigs in a day. Awesome present to yourself!

For these worn beauties, you could use the worn T-48 tracks from Panda Plastics.

Panda Plastics (

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What an awesome and extensive exhibition. Thank you Yuri for giving us a tour. I wish we had the same in the US all in one place.

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Yuri, Thank you for the tour!


placed it on mine “go to list”, большо́е спаси́бо

More great pics from this site Yuri- great to see them, cheers!