I completed my Soviet Armoured Car Company, bringing it to the recommended strength of five vehicles thanks to finishing the final three earlier this week. The final three are a BA-I (БА-И), BA-6 (БА-6) and BA-10 (БА-10). You’ll recall the first two vehicles of this company, finished back in February, were a BA-9 (БА-9) and a BA-6M. Here’s the whole company:  and from the air:  .

Here are the three recently completed vehicles together:   .

Here’s the  BA-I (БА-И) by itself:  . Now the BA-10 (БА-10):  . Lastly the funky-looking BA-6 (БА-6), first from the side  and then three quarter profile:  …great idea, just to whack the tank turret from the T-26 onto the armoured car body…

I really like this camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that I got from this link: “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941″ – it’s lots of fun to paint.

If you look closely at those trees in the background, you might recognise some of them from this earlier post of mine.

So, in the space of a few months I’ve added two more companies to my Soviet forces. That’s enough for now, as they are not my primary army. It’d be good to pick up a couple of Airfix T-34s (as kits or assembled) so I could complete my company of T-34/76s, but I’ve not seen any at the swap & sells this year…funny, as there were plenty of them around in the previous few years.

Now, strictly speaking the rules state that all vehicles in a company must look the same so they cannot be confused as others. I’m going to argue that they all have the same basic body and will play all as the same type, even if they actually are different models that I have. A whole company for $50 as opposed to having to pay full price for the same UM kit new…$225 for a company?! Sorry. I’m on a budget,these trainees aren’t cheap to train.

I’ll reiterate what I said about rubber tyres from the SU-85 kits (those were UM kits; these BA’s are UM kits too and they have real rubber tyres) – great if you can do them perfectly, but I cannot and so I have to paint over them, sometimes numerous times…and the effort to get them onto the hubcabs is a nuisance too. I’m happy with plastic tyres.

 

 

 

I could only glue on a few tiny bits & pieces onto these models until I got up to the wheels. Now, the instructions state that the rubber tyres (and yes, they are made with real rubber!)  should not be glued into place, but simply fitted onto the (plastic) wheel hubs and then left alone. The completed wheels can then be glued onto axles etc.

I decided that I didn’t want to undercoat the rubber during undercoating of a completed vehicle  in case the rubber was affected in some way (I’ve had bad experiences with this with rubber terrain). I decided to undercoat everything, assembled and unassembled, before fixing the tyres onto the hubs. So, everything got undercoated.

The remaining assembly took comparatively little time. Here’s how they look, undercoated, assembled and awaiting a proper paint job – first the

BA-6M (БА–6M) and BA-9 (БА-9) together: .

Here’s the BA-6M (БА–6M) by itself: . This armoured car (Бронеавтомобиль, in Russian) is the more useful of the two to me, so during assembly I checked each sprue of both kits carefully and, if some parts on one sprue were more poorly formed or in worse condition than others, I made sure this kit got the best parts.

Now for the BA-9 (БА-9) by itself: . From a distance, this vehicle looks OK. A closer inspection shows the hull-mounted smaller machinegun is ‘bent’ in the middle. This was because the remaining light machinegun available on all the sprues (as one was missing) useable for this kit was broken in two, and this was the best I could do to repair it. Closer inspection also shows that the only accurate towing hook is attached to the rear right…the other three towing hooks I took from surplus Roden Opel Blitz sprues, so this BA-9 is being kept in operation by salvaged parts.

The next stage is a proper paintjob.

The lazy option is just to do overall Russian Green. Since so much of Russian stuff is already Russian Green (and a fair proportion of the unassembled stuff will end up Russian Green too) I decided to do some internet research to see about more interesting paint schemes/camouflage schemes.

Via the RKKA in World War II website, I found some useful stuff, most importantly a whole page on the BA-6 & BA-6M, featuring some recreations of actual camouflage schemes. Fantastic! The “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941” looks like one to try! Oh, and back at the top of the BA-6 page, you can see a BA-6 camouflaged with twigs and branches on the move…

It’s an interesting camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that one for the 1st Mechanised Corps – it’ll be a good challenge to reproduce. The Russians did camouflage some of their stuff, so always having boring Russian Green paintjobs/camouflage can sometimes be bypassed by us wargamers…just do a little research first.