Saturday, 30 November 2013

Badass... -

I've been asked in the past why, when I play Moderns, I usually field Czechoslovakians.  Maybe I have Czech ancestors, or something?  The answer is far more prosaic.  It's simply that I think OT-64s are cool. Nothing says "Czechoslovakian" more than a bunch of OT-64s on the table, and in particular, they look cool in a way that, for example, a BTR-60 doesn't.  Which is a bit unfortunate, in that in 1:300th scale, nobody makes a decent OT-64A model - which was the main mark that was produced in real life.  The Heroics and Ros OT-64 is a great model (see left), with nice crisp features, but it isn't an OT-64A.  H&R do do an OT-64A, but, alas, it's not at all a nice model - the turret is essentially a round blob, overscale, and the octagonal plinth the turret is mounted on is nowhere to be seen.

Even more badass
So even though OT-64s were the reason for me acquiring a Czechoslovakian force, I've been stuck for some time with a collection of models that wasn't quite satisfactory.  But with the advent of 3-d printing, the solution has now been placed in my own hands, quite literally as you can see to the right :-)  I've made up some turrets to convert the H&R OT-64 into an OT-64A, and had them printed out at Shapeways.  Shapeways can't print anything with a diameter less than 1 mm, which doesn't quite capture the dimensions of a 1:300th scale 14.5 mm HMG, so I've had to add the gun barrels later, using some 0.3 mm diameter wire.  This means it's not just a job of simply pressing the "purchase" button, alas.  In fact, cutting the gun barrels, sticking them in the turrets, and then painting the things was quite an involved process.  But nothing that an overly compulsive gamer like myself can't handle...

And I like the result, which is what counts, after all.  In each MSH battalion, I've upgraded the standard platoon combat team APCs (6 per battalion), as well as the vehicle carrying the AGLs, but have left the vehicle carrying the SA-7s turretless, as well as the battalion commander's vehicle.  This is mostly to help identify them more easily (my AGL stands don't have guys on foot around the vehicles, so can be easily enough told apart from the standard infantry combat teams), but also because the turretless vehicles were generally the ones to carry the support weapon teams in real life - the turret took up quite a lot of internal space.  The Regimental HQ and the engineers' vehicles I've also left turretless, as well as the regimental AT vehicles: the ATGW teams often mounted their Saggers on the roof of their vehicles so they could fire them from there, rather than having to always dismount.

SKOT-2AP; photo from Wisnia6522 / Wikipedia
The OT-64A was known in Polish service as the SKOT-2A; the Poles also introduced a modified version, the SKOT-2AP,  in which the turret was redesigned so it could fire at high angles, in an anti-helicopter role (the OT-64A turret was limited to just 30 degrees of elevation).  IIRC, the Scotia model might have been a SKOT-2AP rather than a SKOT-2A, but I also seem to remember the photos of the model being so poor, it was hard to tell...  I'm hoping Andy at H&R will bring out a new set of turreted OT-64s to complement the current plain OT-64; that would render my primitive Shapeways efforts superfluous, and hopefully he could also satisfy Polish gamers with a SKOT-2AP. since that wouldn't be much more effort than making a SKOT-2A up.


  1. Great work Luke. Like you I like the OT-64 model but also I like the chance to field T34's along side T55's or in the case of my Polish forces make converted Topas 2AP. I will have to order some of those turrets. I second your H&R requests.



  2. Ingenious approach to a tricky problem, Luke! They look great.