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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Product Review: Battlefront T-54s


T54's rolling into West Germany, circa 1985
Well for anyone who has been living under a rock, Battlefront has recently released one of the most iconic Soviet Cold War tank, the T-54 (aka North Vietnamese K-2)  As a Canadian, I may not have as much interest in the Vietnam conflict, however this is a kit that can be used for a variety of eras, not just Vietnam.   But lets look at the models themselves first shall we?

The front and rear trackguards align perfectly (fuel tanks added)

The box comes with 5 T-54s and the customary ten rare earth magnets.   Being a new sculpt, the detail is very crisp, especially the resin main hull.   The tracks went on very well, almost no hassles.  Importantly, the tracks not only line up nicely, but when sitting flush against the resin hull, were perpendicular (not always the case with Battlefront resin hulls)   I felt the barrels were a bit loose when gluing them to the hull, but putting in a last gap-filling dab in the join afterwards sealed the deal.   You get 5 of the Soviet tank commander metal sprues that also have the soviet machine gun. The one thing that I feel this model lacks is the rear deck fuel tanks.   North Vietnamese used them sometimes, but for my uses I was going to need some, and simply used spare metal T-34 fuel tanks.
T-54's lie in ambush, waiting for Canadian Leopard C1s to counter-attack 


As you may have noticed by now, I have not used the PAVN Decals, not because they were missing, but  because I am going to be using these T-54s for some Cold War gaming!    Mike over at http://stoppingtheredtide.blogspot.ca/ has made a simple 6 page conversion of Flames of War v3 and the Tropic Lightning chopper rules for Cold War Gone Hot.    So my T-54s are painted in a generic Soviet 3 tone paint scheme of Russian Green 894, German Grey 995 and Khaki Grey 880.  T-54/55s were used by just about every Soviet Bloc country under the sun, as well as Iraq, Syria, Egypt among others, so I wanted more tan than there ought to be so they could fit in on any table.    A little less historical for my tastes, but I can now use them from 1955 all the way to 2002!
Front detail shot

Side-by-side comparison.  In real life, only the smallest folks could cram into a T-54


Overall, I give this box-set 9 swigs of Vodka out of 10, the addition of the fuel tanks would have made this a ten in my books.     A must-have if you are going to be doing any sort of Cold War era gaming as the 'Red Team'.   Dos Vidanya!

Tanks provided by Battlefront Miniatures.




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