And now a new balalaika restoration project: the Lunacharsky N 402-II-72

Note: Hover over images for captions that explain each photo and click for a larger view (in most cases).

The "Lunacharsky" was purchased on eBay in the fall of 2014. When I originally saw it I thought it might be another of the Moscow Experimental Factory instruments. But this instrument was actually built in 1972 at the Lunacharsky Factory in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). It bears a strikingly similar resemblance to the Moscow Experimental Factory instrument, which was the original impetus for this site.

This first series of photos shows the instrument in the condition in which it was received. The condition overall was really good, and it only needs some cosmetic "fix-up". There were a lot of nicks and divots that need to be filled, especially along the edges. Luckily I was recently gifted a Behlen Burn-In Kit, with all the waxes/fillers and the iron I need to fill these nicks.

See the technical specifications and measurements sheet for details about this specific Lunacharsky instrument.

See also the History of the Lunacharsky Musical Instrument Factory (in Russian at this time, but some of which has been translated, and the complete translation will take some time).


Full front photo - most of the damage (really just blemishes) is not visible.


The only really visible blemish on the back ribs is this dark mark, which appears not to be on the suface, but probably is in the finish.


Close-up of the rosette showing part of the label, and to the right a small chip in the pantsir' (pickguard).


The headstock has a small chip in the finish in the corner. The logo at first appeared to be 'hand-carved' but may have been put there at the factory. It is, the same logo that appears on one of the printed labels in the interior.


The pantsyr (pickguard) has a few chips which can be easily filled and re-colored.


This is one of the larger chips in the pantsir' (pickguard).


The base and the bindings along it have the most dings and chips, a number of which can be removed with steam heat. This is the first place that will be repaired with the Behlen Burn-In Kit.


The finish on the top it badly crazed, but I am not sure whether to strip it and re-finish or just clean it up and polish it.


Another view of the finish crazing, in different light.

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