Thursday, 23 April 2015

Quick Review - QRF T64B

There has been a bit of discussion on TMP about the correct Soviet tanks to use for IABNM and who makes them in 15mm.

The most common Soviet tank to be encountered by NATO on the Central Front would have been the T64 (not, repeat NOT the T72 which were supplied to some satellites but were otherwise kept safely at home in the good ol' U of SSR).There is only one manufacturer of T64s in 15mm which is QRF who make 3 variants - the basic T64A, the upgraded T64B and the T64BV with reactive armour stuck all over it. The latter can be seen in some of my AARs, but I've recently acquired 10 of the T64B to make a full company, so I'm going to take a closer look at it.

The tank comes as a kit in a ziplock plastic bag.

It consists of 8 parts - hull, 2 sets of tracks and running gear (identical and reversible so useable for both sides), gun barrel, 2 parts for deep wading snorkel and the AAHMG.

The casting is very clean. There are some faint mold lines, which are easily removed by a quick scrape with a model knife, and very little flash. It is necessary to drill into the mantlet cover to make a hole for the barrel lug. I also drilled out the other end a little. A small hole in front of the cupola to hold the lug on the AAHMG is needed too. The drilling aside, the parts go together easily and there's no need for any filling.
There is no picture of this model on the QRF/TSS website so I went to Jane's Armour and Artillery 1986-7 to find a picture for positioning the wading bits on the back of the turret.

Overall a good model. Here's the first half of the company, ready for the spray booth:

Monday, 20 April 2015

Breakthrough in the '70s

For this game we left the usual setting of the mid-1980s and went back to the early 1970s. The scenario saw a hastily assembled US force of a mechanised platoon, an anti-tank section and an armored cavalry section on a mission to stop a breakthrough by a Soviet company of T62s with a motor rifle platoon in BMPs attached. 

The table is below , from the Soviet entry edge. We were trying out a new Cigar Box Grasslands Mat with stuff under it to make areas of high ground in the bottom right, top right and top left of the picture, but they don't don't show up so well in the pictures which is lesson for next time. The trees show the extent of a dense wood and there are two field of crops.

The US deployed blinds. The bottom left and the 2 on the right are concealed from the Soviet side by high ground.

The Soviets sent a blind along the road to flush out any US in the village but failed to spot anything.

Two more blinds advanced uphill check out the wood.

The blind in the wood was found to be a dummy, as was the Soviet blind on the road. Another Soviet blind advanced through the centre to try another spot on the village.

Soviet spotting was poor but the central blind was revealed to be a platoon of T62s.

The 2 blinds moving uphill by the wood was also spotted and shown to be the infantry platoon dismounted with the BMPs behind in support.

Failure to spot the US blind in the cornfield led to an outbreak of impetuosity by the Soviet infantry who rushed forward on higher than expected movement dice followed by the BMPs on a Breakthrough card.

The US infantry platoon deployed off its blind and opened fire.

The first Soviet squad suffered badly and 2 of the BMPs were destroyed by M67s and M72s.

Another Soviet tank platoon moved through the cornfield on the Soviet left and was spotted by a US blind that deployed as the anti-tank section. It moved into a firing position of high ground and.....
.....made quick work of the T62s.

The US infantry's M113s had been deployed separately behind the ridge and cam of their blind to fire on the Soviet infantry, inflicting casualties including the last BMP.

The 3rd Soviet tank platoon advance over the hill past the wood and fired into the US infantry.

The M113s were spotted by a T62 who accounted for 2 with well-aimed shots from the halt.

With the threat to the US right dealt with, the anti-tank platoon moved to flank the Soviet tanks using the buildings to hide their movements.

The Soviet tanks poured HE into the US infantry's fox holes putting one section out of the battle as Soviet infantry also suffered.

The Sheridans of the armored cavalry section revealed their position to fire at the Soviet tanks. The range was too short for Shillelaghs so they had to fire shells which immediately broke their sights. Two T62s were hit and brewed up. However the Sheridans received return fire and some uncannily accurate shooting hit all 3.

An M113 mounting a recoilless rifle was destroyed by an overwatching T62.....

......that was then knocked out by the other anti-tank vehicle.

M67s accounted for 2 more T62s leaving the Soviets down to less than a platoon and the breakthrough was prevented.

A note on models - the US are all Battlefront, the T62s are by QRF, the BMPs are by Skytrex and the Soviet infantry are from Irregular.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Im Garten - Getting Ready for OML3

I've been busy getting the town to look more like a town. I've been taken with the 4ground buildings ever since I saw them, especially because it's possible to put figures inside on each floor. To get the best out of them they need some surroundings.

First I made some pavement using mdf and some adhesive covering with a paved effect:

  Then I set to work on the gardens. Mdf with grass matting and fences from ebay, more of the self-adhesive paving for a patio, and some clutter from a German model railway  manufacturer:

The flowers were from ebay:

 I've also made versions without the fences in case someone tries to drive a T80 through the gardens - tut, no respect for property those commies!
 Overall that looks more like a nice neat German town.

Warning to chopper pilots - watch out for the cables! Despite being HO OO scale these work very well and should make life difficult for Hind pilots.