Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quick Diversion - 1/50 Scale BTR-80, 80A and T-90

BTR-80A (left) and T-90 MBT (right) from Imprint Models
A slight diversion - some APCs and MBTs from Imprint Models.  Amid the patchwork of sculpts and ranges you need to rummage around in order to game in modern settings 28mm, Imprint Models is a must-stop thanks to its collection of properly scaled modern and ultra-modern vehicles (they are 1/50 scale, so they look good with 28mm scale models, as opposed to the more widely available 1/56 scale models from places like SandS, Sloppy Jalopy and elsewhere).  Imprint also has a great collection of vehicles you don't typically find in 1/50 scale, especially for the Russians (Imprint's BMP-3 is a favourite vehicle of mine).
BTR-80A pieces prior to assembly

T-90 bits prior to assembly
Bob at Imprint has been gradually adding to and expanding his offerings.  Recently he just added the BTR-80 and BTR-80A to his lineup.  I have been looking for new and improved transport for my Chemical Commies - and also looking for an ultra modern AFV/IFV model that might fit in properly with a new faction I am working on for our Spacekrieg setting (more on that another time).  I ordered these hot of the presses from Imprint, and built them the other day, together with a pair of T-90 MBTs which had arrived in a previous order.
Helpful arrow sculpted into model so morons like me don't put this piece of the BTR-80 on backwards...
The BTR-80 is the latest version of the Soviet Union's line of ubiquitous eight-wheeled APCs to see large production and export.  It is an upgrade on the BTR-60s and -70s that served as the main combat troop carrier in the bulk of the Soviet motor rifle divisions. BTRs don't attract as much wargaming glory or mystique as the tracked BMP-1,-2,-3 series, but the wheeled APC was a much more common vehicle in the Soviet/Russian inventory.

The BTR-80A is a variant with a turret featuring a 30mm cannon, capable of elevating to engage helicopters, or enemy in buildings/high ground.
BTR-80, with MG and smoke launchers on the turret

BTR-80A, with 30mm cannon in the turret

BTR-80A from the side - the 30mm turret has a near-futre vibe for sure...
The T-90 is the most modern of the Russian combat MBTs in any kind of widespread service/export.  While pictures of things like the "Black Eagle" and other bits of kit flit around the 'net, the T-90 is actually in service with Russia and some other countries, such as India (where I think it is actually manufactured under license).
T-90 turret right out of the bag - very little flash to deal with - great sculpt and great casting
The T-90 is typically derided by pedants and anoraks on wargaming sites as "just a re-branded T-72", and in fact the T-90 is a continuation of the T-72 MBT.  Gamers note the poor performance of the Iraqi T-72s in the Gulf Wars, and assume the T-90 would perform just as poorly. I don't think Iraq deployed the best available version of the T-72, or had the best crews, and were forced to use home-industry ammunition, so to write off the T-72, much less the T-90, because of the Gulf Wars seems premature to me.
An assembled T-90 from Imprint Models
Whatever it's combat merits (and let's be thankful the world has not had to find them out...), the T-90 i easily one of the coolest-looking tanks out there from a wargaming perspective.  The ERA, funky smoke launchers, "Shtora" missile jammers, low profile, massive main gun, remote operated MG an wide variety of bits and lenses on the turret and elsewhere give the T-90 a definite ultra-modern, even near-future feel.
T-90 MBTs ready for the priming booth (a.k.a. the garage)
The Imprint models are resin castings, with some metal bits for gun barrels and other small features.  The kits are highly detailed, but are easy to assemble.  My small criticism is that on the Imprint tanks I have worked with is that the turrets does not connect to the hull in a clear, durable fashion - something I really appreciate in a wargaming model.  The T-90's turret sits relatively comfortably in a shallow depression on the hull, but will need a peg or some funky work with magnets to be ready for prime time on the gaming table.

Despite this minor criticism, these are beautiful models overall. The BTR-80 is gorgeous, with top-notch casting quality and very little flash.  They are very easy to assemble, practically idiot-proof (see the picture above, where a direction arrow is sculpted on).  Since I am an idiot when it comes to putting vehicles together, this is a very, very good thing.
BTR-80 platoon - ready for the priming booth
The Imprint models are not cheap by a long shot, but you get god quality product from them.  If you are looking for ultra modern vehicles, or even vehicles to take your "Tomorrow's War" faction to battle in style, I recommend them highly!  Don't let the resin deter you either - these are solid quality castings, not like the random quality you get from Forge World.

I am not sure what paint scheme I am going to attempt on these vehicles - particularly the T-90s.  I may need to attempt (shudder) an airbrush pattern. But the next time the Chemical Commies hit the table, they will arrive in style, and backed by the latest in Russian MBT goodness.  I'll be back with the painted versions for show on the blog in a little while.  Now - back to painting 15mm Golan Heights...

3 comments:

Chuckaroobob said...

Holy Cow those are cool! Most of my stuff is 1:56 but it's tempting to get a handful of T-90's anyway!

dhcwargamesblog said...

Nice work, I planning on getting myself some of his BTR's soon.

Regarding the turret - hull connection. I usually embed a rare earth magnet in the turret and hull each. Works like a charm!

Dallas said...

Great looking stuff, dude!