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PeterB last won the day on February 26

PeterB had the most liked content!


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    Pontypridd South Wales UK
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    Planes, trains, AFV's, warships and food.

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  1. Thanks Robert, Actually they were deployed to Borneo when the Indonesians decided they would start infiltrating terrorists to stop it becoming part of Malaysia - I vaguely remember it being on the TV at the time - chap called Sukarno was the head of the Indonesian government until he was overthrown by Suharto, and apparently he wanted to take over Borneo and anywhere else that he could get such as Sarawak, but the Brits decided to put up a fight, and for once managed to win. They even sent HMS Victorious out, together with some Vulcans. Pete
  2. Hi Pat, I built exactly the same boxing back in the Nordic GB in 2020. At the time there was a lot of info coming in from our continental modellers about colours so it might be worth having a look at that GB. I believe I used Hu 117 for the green and Hu 77 with a touch of black for the blue uppers, and maybe Hu 87 for the underside. Judging by my photos I used a darkish grey for the cockpit interior (Hu27?) but could have been wrong. No pics in thread but I still have them if needed. Some info on the build that might be of use/interest to you Pete
  3. Back in 2002 Revell released this. This is the basic version and in 2005 they produced one with "added armour", both versions have been reboxed with new decals over the years. Following the introduction of the Alvis Saracen wheeled APV in 1953 work started on a family of British tracked vehicles leading to the introduction of the FV432 APC in 1963. This was quite similar in concept to the US M113 and was a typical "Battlefield Taxi" with no real fighting capability of its own. However, there was increasingly a belief that as new tanks were being developed and introduced there was need for the infantry who would support them to have a vehicle which would be better able to look after itself and maybe even knock out opposing infantry carriers - as was in many ways typified by the Russian BMP series of "Infantry Fighting/Combat Vehicles" in the early 1970's. A research and development program therefore began to look at a heavier, better armoured and more capable "Mechanised Combat Vehicle" both in the UK and in the US which led to both the Warrior and Bradley respectively. What was then GKN Sankey were awarded a contract for what was initially called the MCV-80, short for "Mechanised Combat Vehicle for the 1980's" and at the same time a project called MBT-80 was started for a new Main Battle Tank. In the end this was cancelled and Challenger 1 tanks substituted, but that is another story! Pete
  4. The paint I ordered turned up today so I have repainted in in Mig's take on "Zashchitniy Zeleno" which I believe translates as "Protective Green" and is supposedly the standard colour for post-war Russian armour. I was expecting a slightly darker and bluer green but it will do. I have stuck on the radio aerial and the two decs and varnished it, and managed to get this pic between showers. The instruction say the markings are for a Red Army vehicle during a parade in Moscow (Victory Day Parade?). I will get some more for the gallery when the weather permits. As you will have gathered it was not an easy build but it does not look too bad in the end. ACE do quite a range of BMP family vehicles but they are perhaps not for the faint hearted modeller - pity nobody else makes them in this scale AFAIK. Pete
  5. This is my 1/76 Airfix ex JB Models Alvis Saracen Mk 2 APC. Rushed into service in the early 1950's due to problems in Malaya, they went on to serve the British Army for many years and were reasonably successful - the full story is in my build thread here. It is in the markings (I think) of "British Forces Borneo" during the conflict with Indonesia over the formation of Malaysia between 1962 and 1966. I took the photos indoors, partly to get a better angle and partly because it was raining outside but it does meant that the colour is a bit out. Later the sun came out so this gives you a rather better idea. A nice simple build and still quite detailed though I have ditched the kit Bren gun as it was very poor. Pete
  6. Ok, its in the Gallery. Here is a pic of it alongside the Saladin. I took this indoors so the colour is a bit out - here is an outdoor one for comparison. That was a fun build. Pete
  7. Decs on and replacement aerials fitted so I will get it in the gallery before long. I have since taken the "Bren" off as it is rubbish - worst part of the kit. I may have a better one in my spares box but if not I won't bother. The Saracen proved pretty good in service but it did have a couple of problems. Firstly, when climbing steep hillsides in Malaya it was found that the shallow flat fuel tank could sometimes cause the engine to be starved of fuel and stop. Secondly the "new fangled" pre-selector gearbox suffered from premature wear to the drive bands that engaged the gears. I remember when they first appeared on new Daimler buses bought by my local authority and was fascinated by them. The selector was just a small box mounted on the steering wheel stalk with a short lever. To change gears the driver moved the lever around the "gate" to the correct position then depressed the clutch at which point the bands switched gear, but the Saracen was nearly as heavy as a fully loaded bus and the bands would stretch over time. There was a mechanism that was supposed to automatically adjust the tension to take up the slack but it did not work very well so a procedure called "toggling up" was introduced. After starting the engine but before moving off the driver was instructed to move the lever around the gate a few times - if he did not do that then the first time he engaged a gear the clutch pedal would shoot back and give his left foot an violent bang apparently. Pete
  8. I tidied up the front and back and fitted the set of louvres at the back that let water out of the area under the fender when it is swimming, and was pleased to find that the fenders themselves were about the right length though not that good a fit. So I got them on, added the headlights, a few cleats and the like, and the board on top of the "bow" that is raised to avoid swamping, did a little filling and sanding, and got some paint on. This is the back end - you can see the louvres on either side of the rear exit doors. And this is the completed build minus the whip aerial - I will now leave it for a while as I am expecting some more paint. Zaloga says the fenders were bigger than on the BMP-1 as they now included extra flotation devices to compensate for the greater weight of the turret, Not a kit I would recommend for a beginner but it seems it can be built with a bit of patience, a sharp knife, a file or two and plenty of filler! Pete
  9. I certainly built this one back in the 1970's, sometime after the King Tiger that Pat has mentioned and together with quite a few other kits from the range - all of which are sadly long gone. I will watch with interest. Pete
  10. The tracks are done - not perfect but better than I expected. I would imagine that there should be some track "droop" between the return rollers but I am not going to bother as the side trackguards/fenders will probably hide it. Now I have to fettle the front and back of the hull where I had to hack plastic away as mentioned earlier. I rather suspect that I will have to shorten the fenders as a dry fit suggests they are too long, but we will see. I have not built any "modern" Russian vehicles for the best part of 30 years I guess and the only "accurate" paint I have is WWII green, so I will be experimenting, probably with a multi colour disruptive scheme. I have painted the bottom of the hull in MiG "green khaki" which the Antics website suggest is suitable for post war Russian tanks etc. It is a bit lighter than I expected and varies between a light olive and a greenish sand depending on the light. I am not aiming for total accuracy as I have very little info on Russian armour paint schemes anyway so it will be "generic". To conclude my lecture, like most military vehicles there have been numerous changes to the BMP family including new equipment fits and added armour, and both the Russians and a number of other countries have developed variants such as Command Versions, Artillery Observation vehicles, Ambulances, engineer and repair/recovery models and so one. Licence built production with local variations took place in Czechoslovakia, Romania, East Germany and India to name but a few, and of course the Chinese built unlicensed copies. In 1990 the BMP-3 appeared but that is a somewhat different machine with only a passing resemblance to the earlier models and Zaloga is not clear exactly what its purpose is. Made of aluminium it has much heavier armament as a 100mm anti tank gun has been added alongside the 30mm cannon and 7.62mg, and the engine has been moved to the rear, as a result of which any infantry passengers now sit in the middle of the vehicle and have to climb over the engine to get out of a combination of rear doors and roof hatches which seems far from ideal. One plus is that it now has water-jet propulsion which makes it faster and easier to control once afloat. It has better armour and armament but seems more like a support vehicle than a troop transport, and it may be due for replacement by the T-15 from the “Armata” series of military vehicles, though one article I have seen suggests the replacement will be from the “Kurganetz – 25 platform” which seems to be a lighter version of the T-15. Cheers Pete
  11. Thanks Steve. I am plodding along with the track - lot of flash and very unfortunate attachment points for the single links (right between the little "horns") but it is getting there slowly. In the meantime I have almost finished the topside. Again plenty of flash and poor attachment points, coupled with virtually no locating points and almost non existent instructions but it has come out quite well I think. For the record I have added two hatch covers, a ventilator? and the engine exhaust cover to the hull, together with a shovel and tow chain so far. The round hatch at the front is for the driver, and the one behind was for the commander in the BMP-1 and for the squad machine gunner in this as the commander now sits permanently in the turret. The turret was rather messier - 2 hatch covers, 3 lights, an aerial attachment point, 6 rather crude smoke mortars, the gun mantle and 30mm cannon, a badly mis-shaped mount and the tube for the ATM, and a "box" which, on my drawings of the BMP-1 is labelled "gunner's armoured sight". ACE provide the periscope blocks for the infantry rifle ports but not the ports themselves. I did try and cut some out of very thin card but gave up in the end as they were so small my hands just could not cope - pity but there we are. Incidentally, besides the smoke mortars, like many Soviet vehicles the BMP could also generate smoke by injecting diesel into the exhaust. One interesting point that Zaloga makes is about the lack of space in the rear. Armies like to collect information and the US Army apparently has a database showing the height of its soldiers. Whereas the US Bradley was designed to take personnel up to the 95th percentile, ie the 95% who were of height 6 ft 5 inches or less, tests on a captured BMP-1 showed that in terms of height it could comfortably take only up to the 35th percentile and in terms of the seat width only the 25th percentile. Even allowing for the fact that US soldiers tend to be taller than Russians it must be very cramped unless, as in the stories I have read about Russian Tank crews, they select only shorter soldiers for the for this role. Time to put another couple of track links on I guess. Pete
  12. The next stage is going to be interesting! I have used this sort of track a few times before though I have never been entirely comfortable with it, and in those cases I had at least got a diagram showing which bits went where. This time I will have to play it by ear as the saying goes, but at least there is a fairly obvious pattern ( I think). The two longest lengths go on top, the slightly shorter ones on the bottom and the short ones run up to the sprockets and idlers from the bottom, with some if not all of the 46 individual links bridging the gaps. Normally you end up reducing or removing some teeth on the sprockets where the links make contact but the instructions for this kit say to remove the "teeth" from the bottom of the track - I rather suspect it might end up being a bit of both! So, on with the development history. As I mentioned earlier the design was intended to have heavy armament, so the turret carried a new 2A28 Grom (Thunder) 73mm low pressure gun which was perhaps based on the RPG-7 rocket launcher, and fired a 73mm PG-15 rocket projectile which was boosted out of the barrel by a small charge extending the range to a claimed of 700m. It had a coaxial 7.62mm PKT mg, and to engage tanks out of range of the main gun it had rail launcher attached to the turret to fire the new 9M14 Malyutka (Nato name Sagger) anti tank missile with several reloads. The BMP was amphibious though a board on top of the hull front had first to be erected to stop swamping – although it was initially intended to use water jet propulsion this was dropped in favour of propulsion by the tracks. When it first appeared it caused some consternation in the West – heavily armed, fast and quite capable of keeping up with tanks across rough terrain it seemed a serious threat, but all was not quite what it seemed. The rear crew compartment was cramped with little headroom and very hot due to inadequate ventilation, the armour was thinner that expected and only capable of stopping Nato 20mm rounds as Kruschev feared, and it was far more expensive than the BTR-60. Worse still, the armament was actually not very good. The 73mm round wobbled in flight, was inaccurate, and the practical range was found by the Syrians to be no more than 500m. The Malyutka was wire guided and relied on input via a small joystick, and proved hard to control accurately particularly at longer ranges. It was also difficult and slow to fit reloads which were stored in the bottom of the hull. As a result the improved BMP-2 was introduced in around 1980. To address the problems with the armament it was fitted with a larger 2 man turret which contained a seat for the commander, his seat in the hull of the BMP-1 being taken by the squad machine gunner. After considering the 73mm Zarnitsa gun which was a longer barrelled version of the Grom, it was decided to fit a 30mm 2A42 autocannon which had much longer range and could penetrate the armour of earlier Western APC such as the Marder and Bradley before their armour was strengthened. The Malyutka launch rail was replaced by a tube that could fire either the 9K111 Fagot (Nato Spigot) or 9K113 Konkurs (Spandrel) which were semi autonomous like the TOW so easier to aim and use. The larger turret meant that the rear compartment now only held 6 infantrymen and the roof access hatches were reduced from 4 to 2. Pete
  13. That stuff will dissolve just about anything organic - including you if you drink it. I wonder if it is stronger than the "Polish Pure Spirit" a friend plied me with many years ago at University? Pete
  14. Ok, a bit more progress. I have added the track return wheels, idlers, main wheels and sprockets. Because, as with the T-59, the locating pins for the wheels are extremely short I though a plastic to plastic joint would be strongest so I did not do my usual painting on the sprue routine - I suppose it does help that the track is not the "rubber band" type so there will be no strain on the wheels anyway. ACE tell you to dry fit the sprockets and check the alignment with the track as you may need to remove some plastic from the inner faces , and indeed that was the case. The combination of poor moulding and badly positioned sprue attachments means that the teeth are pretty poor. I have since washed and primed it so I can start painting it now. The kit offers 4 choices - Russian, East German, Czech and "Free Kuwait" all in various shades of green in spite of the box art showing the latter in "sand"! Anyway, here is a bit more background. According to Zaloga, in the early 1950's the Soviets introduced a new tracked infantry/load carrier, the BTR-50P, based on the chassis of the new PT-76 light tank. It was a simple vehicle that could carry up to 20 troops on bench seats or 2 tons of equipment but access was only by climbing in or out through the open roof so it was not entirely satisfactory. By the late 1960's they decided that it was better to build a smaller vehicle carrying only 1 squad of 10 troops with better protection and easier access, suitable for the new motor rifle divisions to use on a battlefield likely to be subject to nuclear, biological or chemical warfare. However there was problem with the cost – some thought that a cheaper wheeled vehicle would be a better solution and this would eventually lead to the BTR-60. Also the then Premier Krushchev was against spending vast sums of money on a carrier with only light armour that could be fairly easily knocked out. However, following his downfall in 1964 the new vehicle got the go-ahead, but primarily for only those units facing NATO forces in Europe – the majority would be supplied instead with the BTR-60P -bronetransportyor ie “Armoured Carrier” - one of these days I must get one of that family but definitely not the ACE kit!. After looking at various proposals, the one from the newly formed Isakov Bureau in Chelyabinsk known as the Obiekt 765 was awarded a contract for what was to become the BMP from Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhoty which seems to translate as “Infantry Fighting Vehicle”. A rival design by the Gavalov design team called the Obiekt 914 was second choice and in a revised form as the Obiekt 915 went on to become the BMD Boyevaya Mashina Desanta used by their Airborne Forces. The original BMP the production of which ran from 1966 to 1969 was replaced in 1970 by the BMP-1 which was given a 25cm extension to the hull front to improve the balance/buoyancy and reduce porpoising when in water. The hull was roughly divided into 3 sections, the transmission at the front with the driver sitting on the left, the middle which contains the engine and cooling system and the single man turret which was offset slightly to the right with commander sitting under it behind the driver on the left, and the rear compartment with 8 infantrymen. The latter sat four a side facing the outside with their backs up against a central partition which contained a fuel tank (potentially nasty), and each was provided with a rifle port complete with a periscope. There were 4 roof hatches and the twin doors at the back opened out and sideways and also contained fuel tanks which were considered in the West to be a weak point, though they were normally only used during driving into position and were meant to empty (except for fumes?) during combat. To use the rear gun ports the soldiers unclipped their AK's from alongside the port, opened the “lid” by an internal control, fitted a sleeve to their gun to make a radiation/gas tight seal, and fitted an adaptor to catch spent casings and vent the fumes via the vehicles own ventilation system, and then stuck it in the port opening and blazed away. All well and good in principle but firing an AK on the move was probably only good for suppressing fire as it would hardly be accurate. Larger ports were provided further forwards for the squad machine gunner with his PKM. mg. More another day. Pete
  15. The painting etc instructions are a bit lacking in information. No confirmation of which Mark they are but as Option 3 is in light stone I guess that is the Mk 3, so on that basis presumably 1 is the Mk 1 and 2 is the Mk 2 I am doing. No dates, locations or unit details and the registration numbers are not a great deal of help as - like the tail numbers on USAF planes, they refer to the order date. My sources suggest that Option 1 - 30 BA 83 was from a batch ordered in 1949, Option 2 - 31 BA 98 1951/52 and Option 3 - 00 BB 40 1954/55. The unit badge for Option 2 seems to be a black cat which suggests that it was being used by "British Forces Borneo" so that would place it somewhere in the period 1962 to 1966 during the "confrontation" with Indonesia over the formation of Malaysia - my Saladin has markings for the Gurkha Brigade in Singapore at about the same time AFAIK. As to paint colour, the instructions say Humbrol Hu75 or in other words Deep Bronze Green which is probably correct. My understanding is that until about 1955 British Army vehicles were painted as they were at the end of WWII - in Europe SCC15, the British Version of OD, in the Middle East Light Stone though there is a bit of an argument about the exact shade - in his colour notes on the MAFVA site, Mike Starmer insists that the post war shade was not the same as the WWII version, but when I asked Jamie at Sovereign Hobbies why he had dropped the post war colour from his Colourcoats range he said that as far as he was concerned all that changed was the BS number so it was exactly the same as the wartime colour! In the Far East near the end of the war the colour apparently changed from SCC13 "Jungle Green" to SCC16 "Very Dark Drab". In 1955 orders were issued for the green to be replaced with gloss Deep Bronze Green, which was fine for ceremonial use but I gather units eventually tended to matt the finish down, particularly when in action. In the early 1970's the Nato Green/Black disruptive pattern was introduced. I have painted mine in Colourcoats DBG glued the wheels to the axles/suspension, and stuck them on the body which I had also painted. I am inclined to think that the way the suspension is engineered makes the wheels sit a bit high as there is very little clearance above them - the Saladin was the same. Bit of touching up to do then I will get the decs on. That just leaves the rather indifferent Bren gun and the 3 radio aerials - they are a bit thick but at least they did include them - I will replace them with thinner piano wire. If I had been using acrylic paints this would be perfect for a Blitz Build! Pete
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