By Richard Marmo
As anyone reading Toy Farmer knows, die-cast models of farm tractors are everywhere. They form the core of an enjoyable collector hobby. What isn't everywhere, however, are quality scale model kits of farm tractors - or even tractor-based construction equipment - in any scale. One day, I was on the Internet and my bump of curiosity started itching. "Lessee," I thought, "if I can find anything in kit form that'd be suitable for a Toy Farmer article."
It took awhile, but I stumbled onto the website of Plus Model (www.plusmodel.cz). The "cz" tells you that it is based in the Czech Republic. While the company's primary focus is 1/35 and 1/48 military vehicles and accessories, it also had, as kit No. 338, a 1/35 scale Soviet Belarus earthmover. In the United States, it would be called a backhoe because of the bulldozer blade in front and the articulated bucket in the back. However, both are mounted on what is essentially a heavy-duty farm tractor, a fact that allows it to have one foot - or tire- in construction and the other in farming.
There's precious little information on the Belarus I-OM3-6M beyond numerous build and/or review articles on the Internet of the model. Information on the real McCoy - other than operating manuals - is non-existent. Either that or I haven't been able to find anything.
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