Sunday, August 25, 2013

Control Battalion Armour - 15mm Sci Fi

Control Battalion armour - 1/87 scale fun for the table top!
The random summer painting entries continue - now up is some armour for my 15mm sci-fi Control Battalion troops. I am one of those gamers that believes "the future is now" when it comes to vehicles for sci-fi gaming.  Some don't like that - they want all their sci-fi vehicles to look like floating pill bottles or glowing orbs or whatever.  But I still love the look of a current tank, hyped up with extra crap like reactive armour, jammers, retrofitted engines and optics, to fit the look of the future.  These models are painted with this in mind!

Control Battalion wants to work collaboratively with you...
I wanted some specific armoured vehicles for my Khurasan Control Battalion 15mm troops.  The Control Battalion are some of the coolest looking sci-fi troops in any scale - soulless and eerie.  They needed some tanks to match. In my recent entry on Khurasan's T-90A I explained how spooky the tank looked, so the T-90 was a natural for promotion to Control Battalion duty.  Throw in this f***ed up Russian thing, and I was sold!

A BMP-T - perfect for Control Battalion!
These are 1/87 scale model kits from Arsenal M.  I learned about them from the incredible TacoBat. I had been looking for a T-90 in 15mm scale for some time, and these popped up.  I ordered them from a retailer in Germany.  These were the only version of the T-90 and BMP-T I could find in anything close to 15mm scale at the time.  They arrived in due course, and naturally sat forever in my "pending pile" as I was busy with other projects!  Finally got to them this month.

The "T-900" - an ideal Control Battalion platform
These kits are model kits - not gaming kits.  They are NOT for the faint of heart.  They are not cheap (not Forgeworld level pricing or anything like that, just not cheap), and they are a f****ing pain in the ass to put together. I have the modelling patience of a gnat - and these take a lot of work.  The chains of swear words that came out of my mouth when these f***ing things were being built rival anything the hobby gods have ever been berated with at my place.

Got that?

Small pieces, anyone? F**K!!!

The box hides the challenge inside...

The BMP-T waiting for basing and primer...very thin guns on that turret
They came together slowly but surely.  Painting them was delicate - they are made of a fairly sturdy plastic-resin, a kind of what-if-Finecast-didn't-suck material.  But they are still delicate - the BMP-T in particular is really fiddly when it comes to some of the turret components.  I hope they survive some gaming...

The 125mm main gun is delightfully oversized for sci-fi purposes
I can't dispute the casting quality - the detail is superb, great edges and lots of details.  And in case of the BMP-T, you got some brass bits to represent some of the armoured grating!! Nice touch.

Armed to the teeth - the BMP-T

Twin 30mm cannons, four AT missiles, and two 30mm automatic grenade launchers.  Ideal for peaceful resolution of issues.
I find it easy to imagine the T-90 in Control Battalion service - a sort of "T-900".  Instead of firing "Refleks" ATGM rounds, they are firing 125mm depleted-unobtanium rounds, coated with baby-seal-liver residue for extra hitting power, at their enemies.  The "Shtora" system, rather than trying to jam ATGMs, would actually project harmful radiation flashes at Control Battalion opponents, radiation the Control Battalion troops themselves see no effect from thanks to their genetically engineered makeup.

Khurasan Control Battalion vehicle crewman in the commander's hatch
I added a Control Battalion tank commander (a thoughtful set available from Khurasan) to one of the T-90s to try and help make the connection between the tanks and the troops.

The BMP-T looks like it rolled right into a sci-fi game.  Designed sometime around 2005 as mostly a prototype notion for the Russian Federal army, it is armed with AT missiles, grenade launchers, MGs and 30mm cannons.  I believe the BMP-T was conceived in the wake of the experience of the Russian army in Chechnya, especially places like Grozny, which were hard on armour.  This is supposed to be a kind of "tank escort" or "tank support" platform.  I don't think it is in any kind of serious service with the Russian army yet.

Control section on maneuvers with the BMP-T
Screw the Russian army - this thing screams Control Battalion.  Like the T-90, this thing sits perfectly in my estimation of an awesome sci-fi tank.  It looks like exactly the kind of vehicle that would accompany Control Units on their missions to establish order through force.  You know, in case "negotiations" broke down...

Khurasan T-90A on the right - Arsenal M 1/87 T-90 on the left
I ordered these models well before Khurasan came out with it's own T-90.  Naturally going with Khurasan tanks for Khurasan infantry might make sense, but the Khurasan T-90 is smallish for sci-fi purposes - again, nothing wrong with the scaling by Khurasan - extremely accurate in my view - just small for sci-fi.  Plus it would not fit with the 1/87 BMP-T. So I stuck with the Arsenal M T-90s for this project.

Control section on maneuvers with a T-900
I find the 1/87 tanks look much more imposing beside the 15mm sci-fi troops, and whereas the actual Khurasan T-90A fits the compact design philosophy of the late Soviet Union/Russia, this larger model looks great with the ominous Control Battalion troops. On the 1/87 vehicle, the road wheels go almost half-way up the the height of the average Control Battalion infantryman - very cool!

But if you are looking for a 15mm T-90 for a modern project, go with the Khurasan tank.  I would only consider the Arsenal M kit if you want a larger tank for whatever reason, have a lot of patience and some money you want to waste...go for these suckers! They nearly made me snap my crayons, but it was fun in the end!

Another view of the T-900
I am still trying to find the right APCs/IFVs for the control battalion troops.  I have a few candidates in mind - stay tuned for details! And for more random summer painting...


John Bear Ross said...

Vereh nice.


Anonymous said...

SDV models from Czech Republik makes BMP-T for a measly 12 USD and T-90s for just 16.8 USD

tacobat said...

And they also happen to be the same sprue for some weird reason :)

Greg B said...

$12 USD is north of "measly" for a single 15mm vehicle, especially one that is not particularly hardy for the gaming table. Factor in shipping, and the price of these things is a little high compared to actual value...

Barks said...

Depleted unobtainium! Brilliant. Lovely interpretation of these tanks, also

Dallas said...

1/87 eh? Hmmm... this may make my decision whether to space-up some 1/87 Leopard 2's for my NAC a bit easier...!

Allison M. said...

1. Unobtanium is radioactive?

2. Riflethings wear makeup? And even their makeup is genetically engineered?

3. Great work, these look fantastic! Especially with how fiddly those kits must have been :O

Anonymous said...

It appears that ArsenalM is just selling those SDV kits.

Rebel Minis 'merka' tank is priced exactly 12 USD and it's little more than a slab of resin with tracks and a turret.

(Unless you buy a batch of three and you manage WHOOOO-HOOOO! TO SPARE A DOLLAR AND FIVE CENTS!)


Allison M. said...

^ well if you're buying three anyway... but I have noticed that. I blame low margins due to the costliness of resin casting.