Jatkosota With Conversions

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October 26, 2016 by catomighty

The Jatkosota team was a lot of fun to build doing some conversion work and personalised details on the models.  Most all of the tanks are available in plastic.  The T-34’s, Pz.IV, and StuG are Plastic Soldier Company kits.  The rest are Zvezda.  The BT-42 turret is from a Battlefront resin model.

I got the Battlefront BT-42; but like all of their resin models, I was not impressed with it.  They come with metal track pieces which are all over-sized — their road wheels have overly large diameters, and the track links are extra thick, much moreso than is needed for casting.  Consequently, their models stand a couple of millimeters taller than the plastic kits.  And at 1/100 scale, that is quite noticeable to my eye.  Since the BT-42 is not available in plastic, I needed the resin kit.
As I was already using Zvezda BT-5 tanks for this team, my first thought was to modify the BF chassis to put plastic Zvezda treads on it.  I did all the work to fit those conversion parts.  Then I went on to convert a pair of Zvezda BT-5 kits into BT-7 models.  And realised that the plastic BT-7 converted chassis looked much better than the Battlefront resin chassis.  So I converted another BT-5 into a BT-7/42 chassis.  And all the work I had done on converting the resin chassis was wasted x_X.  But I like the final version very much!
Here’s a picture of the conversion parts cut to fit the resin chassis.  You can see the big difference between the plastic and metal tread pieces.  Also, BF’s metal castings are very pitted and have lots of flash.
bt42parts

Then, going on to work on the BT-5 and 7 kits… I drilled out a divot under the commander’s hatch on each turret to hold a 1mm x 4mm magnet.  Just spun the drill bit with my fingers until I could see a slight discolouration on the top of the hatch, then stopped drilling.  Scooped out a snug fit in the divot for the magnet before gluing in.  Holding the stack of magnets (in the proper polarity orientation to match that of all my turret magnets!) outside the turret hatch helped ensure that the magnet went in with the correct orientation.  The non-magnetic pencil tip was useful for smooshing the magnet into it’s final seated location.
bt5hatchtop
bt5magnet

Making the BT-7 conversion was a pretty straightforward operation using strips of styrene to extend the driver’s compartment out to both sides of the hull, and to extend the back engine deck. I also did a little carving on the BT-7 turret hatches to make them both round.
bt7start

Used styrene dowel to add the exhaust pipes.  More styrene was used on the BT-42 to add stowage boxes and jacks on the fenders as seen in the copious illustrations in the super reference book, Achtung Girls Und Panzer 2.
Oh and of course, had to cut back the front fenders for the proper hot-rod styling of Jatkosota’s BT-42:
bt742
bt42left
bt42right

For the BT-42 turret, I drilled a hole way up and under the commander’s hatch to put a magnet up there.  And to help the turret sit better on the chassis, I also put a 1mm x 5mm magnet down where it would sit on top of the turret’s post on the chassis, and also put a small magnet inside that post.  It stays in place much more securely now with the magnets.  I also lined the post-hole in the turret with a bit of thin styrene shim to get a snugger fit.  I also did a bit of carving and reshaping of the bottom edge of the turret.  The resin casting was not particularly symmetrical.  Did I mention that I have not been impressed with any of BF’s resin models?
bt5742

After finishing up all the modelling, painting, and decalling — then I worked out the stats for Jatkosota’s tanks which weren’t already covered in the rules.  It turns out that the BT-5 and BT-7 do not have any noticeable differences for game stats; the BT-7 has minimal armour improvements and a longer operational range than the BT-5.  So for game play, there is no particular need to distinguish between the tanks and you could just use BT-5 models and not BT-7’s.  But I still would have done the conversions anyway, because they look really cool.

And finished up, complete with decals, is the star tank of der Film:
bt42paintleft
bt42paintright

And the whole BT tribe with an assortment of flags — flag tank pennant, white K.O. flag (sideways to camera), and yellow SFX for the ‘worst gunner’ — the katakana  (do) is the SFX symbol used in the manga for “Boom!” when the guns fire.  Every tank has a 3/64″ hole drilled in the roof to hold the flagposts.
bt5flags

Next up are a T-34(76), T-34(85), StuG III G ‘Sturmi’, and Pz.IV J.  Minor mod on the Sturmi was to move the spare road wheels to the sides of the crew compartment and wrapped some thin strips of styrene around them to make their framework holders.  For the Pz.IV J, carved off the pistol ports and other greeblies from the PSC model.
t34sgerfs

And a pair of T-26’s and back views of the German-built tanks.  Gekkan Senshado magazine lists one T-26 on Jatkosota’s roster for the 63rd Senshado Tournament.  I had an extra kit on hand, so I painted both of them up.  They will also be useful for doing Tankathlon matches from the Ribbon Warrior spin-off manga which have a 10-ton weight limit on all tanks.
t26sgerrs

Finally, on the Drama CD #5 (Japanese language only alas), Pravda complains to the Senshado Federation that Jatkosota is using a ‘captured’ KV-1 and Pravda wants it back!  I did the initial painting and decalling of the captured tank at the same time that I did the Pravda team, and sprayed it down with Dullcoat.  After the varnish dried, did a light whitewash over the Pravda insignia, and then added Jatkosota’s.
For all of the other tanks in the team, I used 4 insignia following the pattern seen in the movie on the BT-42.  The KV-1, however, got 7 insignia following the pattern Finland used on captured Russian KV-1s.
kv1s

The whole team ready to roll, as Mika strikes up the kantele for a rousing Säkkijärven Polkka!
jat12

Rules Addenda, Statting out the new vehicles:

KV-1: Type – Hv, Armour – Hv, Move – 12″, Gun – Hv, Close – 6″, -2 Rear Armour.

T-26: Type – Lt, Armour – Lt, Move – 10″, Gun – Md, Close – 4″.

BT-5 and BT-7: Type – Lt, Armour – Lt, Move – 16″, Gun – Md, Close – 4″, Wheeled move 16″*.

n.b.
Created a new movement class of 16″ for speeds of 65+kph. BT-7 has marginal armour improvements over the BT-5 and longer operational range and endurance, but no improvements that warrant any stat boosts. Same Christie drive and wheeled option as the BT-42.

Team Skill: “We live in the snow.” Any location in the snow counts as out of the opponent’s line of sight for deploying sneaky tanks.

Crew Skill: Ace Driver. If already driving on wheels and take another damage result that could hit the wheels, roll a D6, 4+ wheels on one side destroyed — tank may continue driving but may only turn to the opposite side from the wheel hit.

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