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"Fai armoured car, early scw" Topic

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806 hits since 14 Dec 2018
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Makhno191814 Dec 2018 9:24 p.m. PST

Hi all, I'm wondering if anyone has info on when the Soviet-made fai armoured car came to Spain, and what specific battles or campaigns it was used in. I got one in a b.u.m. pack, assumed from the box (like a dummy) that fai meant the Iberian anarchist federation as opposed to Ford-A Izhorskiy. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!)

Personal logo jhancock Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 6:31 a.m. PST

The online Tanks Encyclopedia has some info on the FAI and Spanish tanks:



I need to find my copy of "Arms for Spain" and Bob Cordery's "La Ultima Cruzada" to find dates and numbers delivered from the USSR to Spain between 1936 and 1939:



Makhno191815 Dec 2018 7:54 a.m. PST

Thanks! Yes I have seen that page, and yes I need to invest in some books. I have found this which suggests the first 10 fai armor came to Spain in October 36:

Autoametralladora FA-I
Blindado ruso basado en el chasis de automóvil Ford A-I sobre el que se había superpuesto un ligero blindaje. Tenía una dotación de jefe-tirador y conductor. Desconocemos el modelo y calibre de su ametralladora. Las primeras 10 unidades llegaron el octubre del 36 en el "Lenin", uno de ellos con radio. Participaron en la batalla de Málaga, donde demostraron ser muy débiles. El resto (otros 10) llegaron al norte a primeros de noviembre en el "Lenin".

I don't know much Spanish but I'm wondering if el "lenin" refers to the Pound's Lenin barracks, though it feels unlikely.

Makhno191815 Dec 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

*POUM, not pound, thanks autocorrect. But while we're at it, in the same set from B.u.m. came 2 cannons, which don't match the photos I've seen of any used in the scw. I went through every list I could find of scw artillery and looked up photos of each. The main distinguishing feature different from all the photos is that the b.u.m. barrel is short and of high caliber, while much of the length of the cannon is behind the shield. Perhaps I should start a new thread for this.

Heres the link to the photos of the set. The cannon is bottom left corner, armor on the right side:


I'm ready to paint these pieces but am going for some measure of historical accuracy, for dioramas focusing on the first few months of the war. I suppose i could paint everything gray! Thanks as always for all your ideas and help

Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 10:19 a.m. PST

llegaron el octubre del 36 en el "Lenin"

Translates as "arrived October of 36 in the "Lenin".
So I would say it's the ship that they were transported in.

Personal logo jhancock Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

The BUM AC may be the later BA-20M, not an FAI. The gun looks like a later Soviet 76.2mm infantry support howitzer. I question if either saw service in the SCW.

BUM figures are good, but they often include existing vehicle and gun models from other makes that are "close enough".

Londonplod15 Dec 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

That BUM stuff is hard to find these days, a shame as some of it is quite useable.

Makhno191815 Dec 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Only place I've found B.u.m. for sale in the USA is Duantless hobbies in CA through ebay. They've been very responsive and fast.

Mark 103 Jan 2019 2:10 p.m. PST

The BUM AC may be the later BA-20M, not an FAI.

Looks to my eye as a pretty solid FAI. Visual recognition factors that I focus on:

1) Rear deck. The FAI had an almost horizontal rear deck extension, where the spare tire was mounted. The BA-20 had a step in the angle of the rear hull, and mounts the spare typically on the upper, almost vertical portion (that is a useful recognition factor vs. the heavier BA-6s and BA-10s), while the lower portion of the rear hull was not nearly horizontal as with the FAI, and seems to have been convex in shape. This is probably the most distinctive characteristic to my knowledge.

2) Hull roof bulges. There are roof bulges (bubbles?) for the driver and co-driver evident in pics of the models. These were present on the FAI. I don't think any version of the BA-20 had these.

3) Vertical turret sides. The BA-20 usually carried a later turret, which had sloped sides. A later BA-20 (as in a BA-20M) would almost certainly have had sloped turret sides. The FAI, being an earlier/predecessor design, would have been more likely to have an earlier, vertical sided, turret. This is a less definitive indicator, I think, as turrets were sometimes swapped in depots, or may have been available in excess during production runs, or whatever. But in general …

So if I am calling it, I call it an FAI.

Could be wrong. Been known to happen. Welcome the correct indicators if I am.

(aka: Mk 1)

Makhno191803 Jan 2019 9:48 p.m. PST

Thanks Mark! I appreciate the clarification and agree with your assessment.

Mike O08 Jan 2019 2:20 p.m. PST

Pretty sure the model is of the later FAI-M built on the chassis of the GAZ-M1 which is mainly distinguised by the horizontal extension at the rear with the spare tyre mounted, as shown in the Tanks Encyclopedia link posted by jhancock


Only problem is I can't find any evidence this version was used in the SCW – only the earlier FAI built on the chassis of a GAZ A car (licensed copy of the US Ford A). Happy to be corrected on that though!


The "Vehiculos blindados de la guerra civil española" website is another great resource for this aspect:


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