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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zvezda BA10M

I have thought about a Soviet Armoured car company for some time. Unfortunately, I am afflicted with deep pockets but very short arms so I am always on the lookout for a bargain. Along comes Zvezda with their plastic kit at just over 1/3rd the price per model of some of their competitors and suddenly the project is a go.

Looking at Mid war for FoW specifically you can take two units of BA10s, a "Light Armoured Car platoon" with up to 5 models and a full "Armoured Car company" with up to 10 models. That's a total of 15 fearless trained models costing 500 points on the nose. Add to that they are wheeled, reconnaissance, AT7, 4 MG shots and do not suffer from hen and chicks you are looking at possibly the most mobile and cost effective unit available to the soviets in mid war.

As always- thanks Easy Army!

On to the kit itself.
First impressions - usual box for Zvezda 1/100 kit. I open the box and OMFG its like the 222 kit on steroids!!!! Around 25 parts at a rough count and the completed turret is cast as a single bit. My heart sank, as I had 6 of these monsters to build to go with my other 4 from other sources.

Out came the scalpel and glue ("snap together, no glue required" my backside). An hour later, I had the completed model and I have to say it was awful. There were large gaps where it fitted together (or rather didn't) and I felt I had wasted both my money and time. I stepped back, watched some telly, killed some aliens and started on the next one (remember I have deep pockets and short arms so I was not going to waste the money). This time it went together better because I understood the construction a little more. I timed making the 3rd one and it was a little over 20 minutes including allow the glue to dry. There were still some gaps, but not as noticeable. By the time I finished the 6th one I had construction time down to 15 minutes and no gaps!
I went back to first one and used some "green stuff".  I worked my way through it and I had the 6 completed.

Painting next. I sprayed the car undercoat, Russian Green.  I dry-brushed Russian uniform, then a light dry-brush of Iraqi Sand to pick out highlights.  I  added shading and finally decals and weathering. "Jobs a good un".

Plus points
- Cost (I pay £2.50 each compared with £6.75 for BF)
- Conversion possibilities are very good

- They are a (insert your own expletive here) to build until you get the hang of them
- Detail is a little shallow
- There is no front bumper (fender?) supplied.
- No commander option

Overall the detail is shallow but my painting style is OK with that. Would I buy more? Yes is the answer. I am planning on buying another 10 to be honest. Five to make up the "Light Armoured car platoon" option and another 5 to convert to troop transports for a rota company option to vary my Bren Carrier options.
 All mixed up...BF and Zvesda

Comparisons with Battlefront
It is fairly plain to see that the BF version is a touch bigger than the Zvezda version. The Zvezda barrel looks thinner and is probably more in keeping with the scale of the model. BF have said they are aiming for a unique, almost cartoony look, so that would account for the difference. As to measurements, the real armoured car was 4.65m long x 2.2m tall, BF measures 5.05x2.43 and Zvezda measures 4.55x2.1  Pay your money and take your choice

Construction Hints and Tips
Take the top 2 panels off first and glue them together and set to one side to dry for use later.
Follow the instructions about not pressing the 2 front sides onto the pin all the way until you have the top in place
Do not add the spare wheels until last
Use glue!

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