Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BMP-1 (FOW Cold War)

So the final Cold War update, that is before I get my Battlefront Soviet starter box for Team Yankee, is a platoon of BMP-1's. These are made by Khurasan Miniatures in 15mm. I will be using them as my BMP-1 scout platoon, as I plan on filling out my force with BF's plastic BMP's once they are released.

One note on the Soviet Scout platoon, the vehicles really should be the BRM-1, a reconnaissance version of the the BMP-1. The BRM had a different layout and turret than the BMP-1. I found that Skytrex/Command Decisions do make a BRM miniature that seems pretty accurate. However ordering from Skytrex in the UK was a little more expensive than I wanted and Command Decisions here in the US had too many random charges for my taste. I am a stubborn buyer! So I have had good experiences with Khurasan Miniatures, and while they are not exactly the vehicle I needed I went for it.

Like the T-55's I purchased for Khurasan Miniatures in the past the BMP-1's are a mixture of metal and resin. The miniatures go together well, minus an issue with the tracks I will cover in a moment, and look great. They also scale very well with the Zvezda ZSU-23-4's and S21 Gvozdika's I had previously finished.

Well cast and packaged.

The tracks were the finicky parts.

As you can see the tracks can flex easily.

So my one issue is the tracks, as you can see above. The road wheels are only attached by the tracks which means they can freely move up or down. This is normally not a big issue except they do not fit snugly against the hull of the vehicle, therefore there is nothing to keep the road wheels and bottom of the track attached to the hull itself. I had already read about this issue on another blog so I was prepared for it and glued several sheets of plasticard to the side of the hull and then glued the back of the road wheels to it.

As I mentioned, I had heard of this issue and was prepared for it, but if you are not a prepared to do a little modeling to get the tracks to fit securely you may be somewhat disappointed.

I love the look of the BMP's.

These are really why I chose Soviets... first.

I used some old WWII Soviet decals for theses.

The commander looking out his hatch.

Moving on to the finished miniatures. I painted them in the basic green scheme I had used on the Shilka's and Gvozdika's, with the addition of some brown patches to represent improvised camo using mud and such. I intend to use them as my scouts, so I figured they would have done a little work on helping themselves hide better. I'm not very happy with how this turned out but will keep this paint scheme for the moment.

I always have my commander looking out the hatch to mark which vehicle is his, and because I like how it looks, but for the BMP the commander is not in the turret but sits behind the driver in the hull. I will be adding the AT-5 Spandrel AT missiles from the BF plastic box to these in the future. You do get the AT-3 Sagger with the miniatures from Khurasan, but I left them off.

Overall I am happy with these miniatures and at $9.99 per vehicle it is not a bad price, that is until the BF versions come out. I am looking forward to Battlefront's plastic BMP box, as it has both BMP-1 and BMP-2's.

My Soviet force so far.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2S1 Gvozdika (FOW Cold War)

The next update for my Team Yankee Soviet force is a battery of S21 Gvozdika self propelled howitzers. The Gvozdika 'Carnation' is a 122mm self propelled howitzer used by the Soviet Union from the 1970's to today.

The miniatures are 1/100th scale (15mm) kits by Zvezda that I picked up on the Warstore for $7.99 each. These kits went together much better than the Shilka's as the Gvozdika's have far fewer pieces, and less fragile ones.

Neither of the Zvezda kits have open hatches for the commanders, so I had to cut them open and make some out of plasticard.

Can't wait to get my hands on the Battlefront T-72's in a few weeks!