Friday, November 18, 2016

Soviet SU-25s for "Team Yankee"

1/144 scale SU-25s from Battlefront carry out an attack on the dishes in my kitchen...one way to handle housework :)

More "Team Yankee" material - a pair of 1/144 scale Soviet SU-25 "Rook" ground attack aircraft.  These planes are known more commonly among gamers in the West by their NATO code name - "Frogfoot".  While the US A-10 "Warthog" gets somewhere between most and all of the ground attack love in fluff like "Team Yankee" and "Red Storm Rising", the Frogfoot is a scary beast, armed to the frigging teeth with a 30mm cannon and a bunch of rocket pods and air-to-ground missiles.

Ground attack aircraft should be ugly and intimidating, and the Frogfoot fits the bill.  It has a lovely inelegance in the odd proportions of the airframe and its broad pug nose.  What an ugly, yet beautiful aircraft. Seems like it shouldn't fly, and also looks hard to shoot down - nice work! 

Heads up! Here comes the Soviet air support...

I would have preferred the models to be in 1/100 scale, consistent with the tanks and vehicles on the table.  This would mean the aircraft would be quite large, but I'm good with that - (I love involving all arms in a "cold-war-gone-hot" game, but aircraft should be a pain in the @ss to have on the table for a tactical game, in my opinion).  The Soviet player in Team Yankee can bring as many as six (!) of these bad boys to the table in a single formation...which is kinda bonkers to me (and leads to other silliness like huge NATO AAA formations attached to a single company - but I digress).  Two of these is plenty in my view...

Check out the nose cone at the front...not even close to fitting properly, but from two feet away, meh...

These aircraft models come in two core parts - a small soft plastic/resin nose cone, and then a single piece resin casting of the body, wings tail etc.  The weapons - rocket pods and missiles - are separate pieces, and also cast in soft plastic/resin. Assembly is straightforward (for you, that is - I still f*cked up with the magnets, because that's what I do, but you won't have any issues).  I painted the weapons separately from the aircraft, and recommend you do the same - it makes painting the underside of the wings very easy.  The magnets are great (and again, easy to use unless you are clueless like me - see the photos) and there is a nice decal set too.

Soooo...be careful with superglue and magnets, kids - if you are impatient like me, you'll end up gluing BOTH magnets together in the flight stand, which is not how it is supposed to work *cough* - hopefully Dallas can spot me another magnet to sort this out...
The proportions this aircraft seem out-of-whack, and it looks...beautiful! Love this plane

I do appreciate how Battlefront is making an effort to bring all of these models out.  For someone who has always enjoyed modern gaming but struggled to find a reliable and complete collection, "Team Yankee" has been fantastic, but once again Battlefront disappoints on the quality control front, and I have to rant a little about it.

The sculpts are lovely, but casting quality is very dodgy.  The nose cones were clogged with flash (still a lot there, after quite a bit of work to sort them out) and did not properly fit the nose of the aircraft bodies - it's quite pronounced, depending on the angle that you see the models at.  Several of the weapons were badly miscast, which is why the planes are not carrying full loads - even the missiles which I managed to half-salvage have some pretty ugly lines and blobs, but you don't notice them too badly tucked under the wings. One of the aircraft main bodies had a warped wing, which is still a little warped.

Ready to paste the NATO position with cannon fire, missiles and rockets...ouch!
Are models going to have little flaws? Yes.  But Battlefront charges premium pricing, and if they are going to do that, they should improve on the lowest-bidder casting quality, and give more of a sh*t about the stuff going out the door.  Why is it that Peter Pig, or Jez at Old Crow, can get the casting done so well, and an operation with the marketing resources Battlefront brings to bear cannot? Come on, guys! I love the setting, love that you are doing these models, love the sculpts, but cast them properly!

OK - rant over.  I'm looking forward to sending this pair on a sortie against the NATO lines at a Fawcett Avenue gaming table in the near future.  Those Kh-25 air-ground missiles should be handy against those Leopard IIs and M1s...

6 comments:

Moiterei_1984 said...

Greg thes look awesome as all of your stuff! Really dig your take on that camo scheme. They should give NATO something to worry about. A absolutely agree to your oppinion on Battlefronts casting quality... it's a shame.

Stanley Martens said...

Great job with the aircraft...excellent painting! I appreciate your angst with the casting, I'm currently tryin to make a box of Leopard 1's work. Good luck, thanks for the pics.

Greg B said...

Thanks guys!

Barks said...

I'm torn over these- I want one, but the price and quality make me pause...

Byron said...

Excellent work on these Greg, and if Dallas doesn't have the right size magnets I have several different ones around here you can have.

Dallas said...

Looks great man. Looking forward to getting lit up by/lighting these up with my Gepards tonight :-)

Amen to your comments on BF casting though. I painted my Bundeswehr Panzergrenadiers last night and a lot of the figures were just dire miscasts. Bad.