Since I had painted up a large force of German armoured vehicles in an earlier submission, Stalin was starting to look at the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with growing suspicion. It was now time to increase the Red Army's tank arm. Ready for this week's report are the following: a BA-20 armoured car, a trio of BT-7 fast tanks, a KV-1, and a Lend-Lease M10 Wolverine.
First up is a BA-20 armoured car, which is a 1/48 scale plastic kit from Ace Models out of Kyiv. I did another model by this company in my first submission as part of my early war Polish Army reinforcements. I found these kits to be finely detailed, but a bit fiddly to put together. Instead of the body being a one- or two-piece molding, it consisted of separate eight pieces. After assembly, the vehicle was primed black with a rattle can, and given a base coat of Russian Green. This was followed by some drybrushing along raised surfaces and edges with Vallejo Olive Green. After the decals were applied, it got a wash of Vallejo European Dust.
Up next is a platoon of three 1/56 scale BA-7 fast tanks from Warlord Games. The Soviets produced over 5700 of these between 1935 and 1940, and in 1941 it was the main cavalry tank of the Soviet army. However some 2000 were lost during the first 12 months on the Eastern Front. These are resin castings with metal gun barrels and turret hatches. The castings were very clean, and came as just two pieces - the body of the tank, including all the tracks and road wheels, and the turret. The kits all included a metal tank commander of which I used one. They also included flame and smoke markers consisting of a wooden base and some coloured wool in white, black, and orange-red to glue on. They were painted in a similar manner to the BA-20 armoured car.
Now we have the "Russischer Koloss" or "Russian Colossus", the mighty KV-1 heavy tank. The Soviets produced over 5,000 of these between 1939 and 1943, with about 500 in service at the start of Operation Barbarossa. This is another 1/48 scale model, this time from Hobby Boss. When first looking at the kit, especially with all the separate track pieces, I was a bit intimidated. However it went together very smoothly, and had a lot of interesting details such as etched brass parts, and fine twisted copper wire for the tow cables. The painting technique I used was the same as with the previous vehicles. I used one of the three options for decals provided by the kit, specifically that of the 12th Guards Armoured Regiment, 1st Moscow Mechanized Division, August 1942.
Lastly I did a Lend-Lease M10 Wolverine, which is a repainted 1/50 scale Solido diecast model that I was given by fellow Conscript DaveV. I already had a 1/56 scale resin model of the M10 Achilles with a 17-pounder from Warlord Games, and the size disparity was too great for me to ever field the two models on the table together. The solution was to send the Solido M10 to the Eastern Front. Approximately 52 M10s were supplied to the Soviet Union through Lend-Lease. They were used to form two self-propelled artillery regiments. The first was the 1223rd Self-propelled Artillery Regiment of the 29th Tank Corps, part of the 5th Guards Tank Army. This unit served on the 3rd Belorussian Front in 1944, taking part in summer campaigns in Belorussia, the Baltic, and East Prussia. The 1239th Self-propelled Artillery Regiment was part of the 16th Tank Corps, 2nd Tank Army. It fought in Belorussia and Poland in 1944.
Painting this vehicle was pretty much as per the rest of the vehicles in this post. The only change was the addition of a gun crew, which was needed due to the open-topped turret. The three crewmen were converted from some spare Soviet tank crew that were left over from a Bandai T34 kit plus two sets of 'seated legs' left over from some unused Panzer crews. I also added a .50 cal machine gun from my bits box. In the end, I had to trim a little off the bottom of their legs so that they would all fit in the turret. I am pretty pleased with the way they all came together.
Thanks for reading.