Nine years before the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Pacific War was well underway.
By Feb. '32, the Japanese had taken Manchuria (renamed Manchukuo) and autumn '38 saw the occupation of coastal China. The latter conflict opened the eyes of the world to the norm of Japanese
cruelty against a civillian population.
In July of '38, border disputes with Soviet (OKDVA) forces inside Mongolia resulted in an IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) defeat at the battle of Lake Khasan. Later upon hearing of Stalin's notorious 'purge' of the Soviet officer corps, they again attempted to destroy OKDVA and Mongolian forces along the Khalkhin Gol river near the village of Nomonhan from their bases in Manchukuo.
Hostilities began on the 11 May '39 and were ended four months later with a ceasefire agreement on the 11 Sept. The result was a massive defeat for the IJA at the hands of an orthodox army.
The desaster at Khalkhin Gol forced them to rethink their strategy and direct it to the rich French and Dutch territories.
For this they had to challenge the U.S. Pacific Fleet first ... and the rest, as they say, is history.
On to the Dio ...
The idea for this one came to me after researching the border conflicts of these two powers.
They were always on each others doorsteps and the area was also steppe-like with not a tree to pee against. With the BA-10A itself looking like a staircase on wheels, it was'nt to hard to work
out the figure configuration. I don't know if you've noticed but I've made the figures slightly different in height. As the vehicle is parked on a gradient, they also have to be modelled and
fitted at a slight angle ... not so easy as it looks!
I've dated the scene around the middle of May (pre-battle), the reconnaissance crew are doing their job but sometimes you miss the very thing that's under your nose.
The driver seems to be 'chomping' on a 'doorstep' of his own under the shadow of the potent
(Jap tank killer) 45mm gun.
Another thing that I found quite nauseous in my research was the increase in the cultivation of opium poppies (Papaver Somniferum) by the Japanese. Still I thought I'd put in a few but of the less controversial Papaver Rhoeas or Papaver Orientale ... take your pick !!
I've only made one Pacific war dio in my life (Late M4 Sherman w. Composite Hull), this time I've gone right back to the start - more or less. I suppose it should be considered as an interwar dio but for now it goes into the WW2 slot.
The mandatory brutality of the Japanese war machine was to continue until September 1945. Their conduct towards the unarmed and sick committed their own Bushido codex of heroism and honour to the bottom of a cesspit.
They should have stayed well at home and only cleaned in front of their own ...
it's been awhile since I've had a bout with the Red Army so I thought no time like the present.
Well, that's a bit of a 'fib' actually as I started this kit a few years ago.
Thing was, back then I discovered that the information I was looking up was incorrect - for the planned Dio as well as the vehicle. The only thing to do was to put it on the back burner and wait. Luckily I found what I was after last week and with it came a new and entirely feasible project.
So I thought: "In for a Kopek - In for a Ruble". Therefore, what you're getting this time is a sort of then and now building report. Although it states BA-10 on the box, the artwork depicts the BA-10M later version with external fuel tanks, Zvezda offers both.
My aim is to backdate this to an early BA-10A and for that, a bit of 'bashing' is required.
As you can see the model is what I call 'an old badger' ... rough and retro.
It's also a bit weird. There's an engine (albeit very basic) and the hatches to show it but no openings. The main body has doors and openings (hooray) but not a rivet to stare at.
Looks like I'm gonna have to bluff-it this time.
Ding ding, round 1. What starts as Dr Who's K-9 ...
... is morphed into Hannibal Lecter.
Twelve wheels on my wagon ... with the cast seams removed.
A bit of a tough fit ... this little Ivan's not going to go easy. Point to note, in place of the fuel tanks on the later BA's, some earlier versions could be fitted with tracks for the rear wheels. These were stowed on top of the mudguards and had cleats to hold them in place on the rear hull sides. Although these fittings (not the tracks) are included in the kit. I've decided to leave them off here to give it a more basic look.
Here's one below the belt.
Basic turret details removed.
As it's a cryptic retro kit ... here's the "Riders On The Storm":
Right then, back to the future. Round Eight finds him (loosely put together) looking like one of Pavlovs' dogs.
Pictures of original vehicles helped me align all the wheels more accurately. The front axle has to be moved back 2.5 mm. Note the scratch 'dust-pan' front louvre, improved headlights, removal of the radio pod, finer weld seams, an increase in the bust of the gun mantlet and the sculpted early hull M.G. front housing.
Be aware that on some of these BA's there are conical rivets to be found ... but apparently not on all. Talking of rivets, back then I did not have the RP Toolz Set rivet punch, so I had to use chopped off plastic ones. I haven't replaced them all but I think you'll agree that there's nothing like a bloody good punch ... as long as you're not the recipient ;-)
Right then, before I prepare tonights meal of Blini's, Mackerel and Vodka ... hold this 'un:
A bit more sculpting on the figures ...
Now then, where were we ... ?
Ach ja ... figures modified and primed. The commander's Panama hat is a bit of a give-away as to where this scene is going to wind up.
As for the BA-10A, black primer followed by three cloud patterns of Russian green. These layers being lighter in tone and application towards the end. All colours acrylic up to this stage.
Figures basecoated, oil paint for flesh acryl for uniforms and leather.
An oil wash for the BA, some brush work and it's time to put the whole shebang together.
There are still some areas that need more attention but I'll do that when the vehicle in firmly fixed to the base. All in all I reckon that's not too bad for an old badger ... er ... with that I meant the model and not ... ah ... never mind.