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Friday, November 1, 2013

BA-20 Armored Car from Battlefront (SU303)

by Eric Lauterbach

The BA-20 Armored Car or  Broneavtomobil, which literally means Armored Car in Russian, began production in 1935.  It was basically a design that traced its linage back to a Ford truck that was adapted and modified for military use.  I found it interesting that the Soviets made the tires bullet proof by adding soft spongy rubber. But, its awful off-road performance means it should probably get the "Overloaded" special rule since it could not operate on anything but the firmest ground and roads. Used by the Soviets, Chinese,  Finns and Germans (the latter two pressing captured ones into service) its a good model to have in the inventory. The BA-20 first saw service in Spain and the with the Soviets during in the Polish, Winter War, Khalkhin Gol and German campaigns, periods covered by Early War briefings in Flames of War. 

Here's the stat line

Battlefront puts two in a box.

The model is very simple: glue on the turret and hatch, add some wheels and your done. The wheels are just glued flat to the hull so they seam a little to far back to me.

I glued the turret down since vehicle MG's do not really need to turn the turret to be effective.  This saves damage in storage and movement.

I put no markings on the BA-20 that way I could use them for my Chinese.

The Soviets put very little markings on them from the pictures I have seen the Finns put giant swastikas that look cool so that is some great flavor if you using them with the Finns.

The Upside:  Battlefront's Early War BA-20 (SU303) is good model easy to build and great depiction of the BA-20. I will be using it with my Chinese Army. 

The Downside:  Well ....Battlefront is never going to sell any of these and it all has to do with pricing and list design (Ed: AW SNAP!). With no real recon units in the Soviet book, the only upside of any of the BA series vehicles is dead unless you go with BA-6 for that great 45mm gun. In Rising Sun, these Armored Car choices not appear alongside the T-38 scout tank, which is far superior to the BA-20 with its  Half-track mobility, 1 better top armor, amphibious and for some reason 5 points cheaper. Also just buying the models from Battlefront the T-38 is better buy you get 5 T-38 for $35.00 USD.  The BA-20 comes two for $21.00 USD.  say WHAT?  With all the unseen negatives in pricing and list design it's a shame that this great looking model is dead on arrival.  Go buy some T-38's (SBX27)!!

Models provided by Battlefront Miniatures

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