Friday, 21 February 2014

Right...Let's go! Finnish armoured cars!

OK, having taken time to tidy up my attic 'man cave' and take stock of the plethora of half completed projects littering my work bench. Having done my inventory and checked against what my plans were I have created a plan to get me up and going again and making models!

Top of my list for 2014 is my 1944 Finnish Army (Rapid Fire) project, and a large number of the semi-completed models belong to that category. I've drawn up a list of what I have and what needed doing and have decided the running order for kit making for the next couple of month. There'll be no getting distracted this time!

Job number 1 is to complete my Finnish Armoured Car Company. To re-cap from last year this was going well, I was really pleased with my purchases - a ACE BA-20 light armoured car and a UniModel BA-10 Heavy Armoured car - and they were both about 70% complete...

Left: UniModel BA-10. Right: ACE BA-20

The snag which stopped me finishing off this set was the issue of the UniModel's vinyl tyres. I had come up with a plan to stop the notorious 'vinyl rot' but, in the end, was scuppered by the very bad fit of the tyre on the wheel hubs. The tyres bulged and were - in any case - of inconsistent quality, some looked fine but others were badly moulded.

So, to get this project to completion I have bought Pegasus's BA-6 Soviet Armoured Car Set...

The Soviet BA-6 and BA-10 are nearly identical, the most noticeable
difference being the turret types (though both are armed with a 45mm gun).

This is rather a nice set in it's own right - and gives me the option to add a BA-6 to my BA-10 as a companion heavy armoured car - but it's the solid plastic wheels/tyres that I want scavenge. I will use one of the sets of BA-6 wheels to replace the shoddy UniModel BA-10 wheels and thereby get the kit on it's way to being finished.

The nasty vinyl tyres of my UniModel BA-10 (left) compared to the one-piece
plastic wheels of the Pegasus BA-6. You can also see the different turret
designs which defines the two armoured cars.

(I will send the second set of wheels up to my brother and have him duplicate these wheels in resin should I wish to build the second BA-6 or get any further kits with similar wheel issues.)

As I said, I originally planned to make my Rapid Fire Finnish AC Company up from the light BA-20 and the heavy BA-10, but having seen the quality of the Pegasus BA-6 I think I will pair up one of these with my BA-10 to make a all heavy armoured car company (the Rapid Fire Finnish rules I am using allow for the choice of these two types in the unit). My BA-20 will now be moved to another unit in my army as either a reconnaissance or radio car.

A captured Soviet BA-20 being used by the Finns as a radio/recce car.

EDIT: Just double checked the Rapid Fire rules and I cannot, in fact, replace the BA-20 with a BA-6 in the Armoured Car Company as the rule specifically call for a BA-20 to be used as the Company 'HQ' vehicle. Still, never mind, the BA-6 kits will come in handy - they are nice.

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