In 2002, he initiated a search for an MS-1 hull near the Russian-Chinese border, where several of these tanks were installed and then torn out of the ground when they became completely obsolete even as bunkers. He succeeded, although the brutal treatment of the tank was evident: the roof of the fighting compartment and turret were missing.
Major Igor Maltsev is the MS-1 hull. Top: Evgeniy Rybakov, Rafik Kudzhayev, Captain Vitaliy Zykov.
The tank is being dug out during April of 2003.
The turret was found separately, in another border zone, spotted accidentally from the window of a moving car. The turret is equipped with a mantlet for two DT machineguns instead of a cannon.
The hull and turret, dug up in and indoors.
In order to avoid the abominations linked to above, new road wheels must be made. If you want to see how to make MS-1 road wheels out of T-55 shock absorbers, look no further than these blueprints.
And here's what the finished product looks like:
Many photographs and materials are examined to recreate the track precisely. Here is a wooden mockup.
The original engine is long gone, but a Komatsu excavator offers a suitable replacement.
While tracks are out for casting, the restoration team is working on the hull. There is a new roof and engine compartment bulkhead.
The hull roof is ready, and the turret ring is populated with ball bearings. The turret spins when placed on top, but not freely. The bearings are not lubricated, and the underside of the turret is still covered in debris.
The suspension is nearly complete! There were financial difficulties in the process of casting an entire new set of tracks, and so it was necessary to use the excavator track.
The front idlers and axles are being put in place.
The tank is ready for a test drive!
The most important part is done, now to spice up the interior.
Insides are done, but the armament still needs some finishing touches.
interest86 writes about his completed vehicle: "After installing the gun and machinegun, the turret became very cramped, and it was not a place for someone with my frame. The vehicle is very inconvenient for the crew in general. The driver has no back to his seat, and this is very difficult. One immediately gets the idea to insert an improvised back after a few minutes out of something like a board, which can be easily inserted between the shelves and fighting compartment bulkhead.
After years of labours, the tank is up and running!
More words from the man responsible for this feat: "The work took about three years, but preparing for the restoration took even more time. We needed to retain all technical subtleties, so it was not just a copy, but as close to possible to the original. It is known that this tank participated in the events at Lake Hasan. To this day, no more than 5 tanks of this kind remain. Experts already admit that our tank is the closest to the original."