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Battlefront's BA-6 Armored Car

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15 November 2004page first published

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14,984 hits since 16 Nov 2004
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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I was actually looking for the Soviet BA-10 in 15mm scale for our 15mm Barbarossa Project, but I couldn't find a company that made them. Then I did some reading and discovered that the BA-10 had a close resemblance to the BA-6 (its predecessor), and Battlefront was kind enough to volunteer to supply the models - so we'll substitute a BA-6 for the scenario!

(Which is entirely plausible. The BA-6 was still in service during the early-war period. The only major visual distinction between the two is that the BA-6 uses the same turret as the T-26 tank; the BA-10 had a smaller, conical turret.)

So what's the BA-6?

BA-6 armored car, as assembled and painted by the manufacturer

It was the "middle child" in Soviet heavy armored car development: First, the BA-1 (using an American truck as the foundation); then the BA-3 (using a Soviet truck as the foundation, but the vehicle was underpowered); then the BA-6 (improved version) and finally the BA-10 (smaller turret).

These were the "monster" armored cars of the early portion of WWII, with "serious armament" when everyone else was still arming their armored cars with machineguns. The weaknesses of the series were light armor and poor off-road performance. (The rear wheels could be linked with a track, creating a half-tracked vehicle - but this doesn't seem to have been very effective. Improved off-road performance awaited the introduction of all-wheel drive...)

Battlefront's Model

Blister pack

The model comes in the still-new Flames of War-branded blister pack, with metal and resin parts cushioned with a layer of foam. Under the foam sits a convenient exploded-view sheet as a construction guide.

Construction guide sheet

The two major components are cast in dark resin - the car body, and the turret. The two parts are glued together for shipping, but with care, you can snap the turret off and scrape the soft adhesive away.


The other components are metal:

The wheels

Six wheel pieces - two front wheels, two spare wheels, and two double-rear wheels.

Commander, hatch (one of two), and gun barrel

A commander, turret gun barrel, and two identical turret hatches.

The random figure in this pack was a reclining, wounded crewman

And a random dismounted figure - the pack I opened happens to have a "wounded" figure, but others I've examined come with standing crew figures (and even one firing a pistol).

Side view, showing the turret resting in the hull body

Assembly seems to be relatively straightforward, although I only dry-fitted the parts. The turret fits snugly in the body, and each wheel type has a unique-shaped pin so you can't put the wrong wheel in the wrong place. (Although the spare tire has a triangular pin, which means it can fit in three different ways - but there's not a lot of difference...)

The gun barrel also inserts easily into the turret. Fortunately, the guide sheet shows which way to rotate the barrel.

If you decide to have the hatches closed, then it is simple to glue the hatches into the turret openings. If you pose one hatch open, it looks to be a little more tricky to get the hatch to stand up (there's nothing to "lock" it into place, unless you lean it against the commander), and you may want to test fit the commander. He comes with a long tab on the bottom, most of which you'll want to cut away - but I think you'll want to leave a bit behind, otherwise his elbow might prevent him from sitting down into the turret opening.

Front view, showing the holes where the machineguns would go

The model provides holes for the machineguns, although you'll need to drill them out and insert wire if you want to model the machinegun barrels (one in the car front, another in the turret).

The vehicle body measures 51mm from bumper to rear fender, and 21mm wide at the widest point (rear fender to rear fender).

Advanced modelers might want to scratchbuild the tracks - either deployed on the rear wheels, or stowed above them.

Minor flaws - a miscast fender, and some extra resin on the turret bottom

The sample pack I opened had a "bubble"-type miscast on one of the rear fenders (but none of the other samples did). Since the fenders were often bent or broken in actual service, this flaw doesn't bother me. The turret also needs some minor cleaning at the bottom rear.

What's Next?

Our set of five BA-6's are now on their way to Dave Bennett, vice-president of the Lone Star Historical Miniatures gaming group, who was kind enough to volunteer to paint the models and do a Workbench article for us. Thanks, Dave!

Dave painted this 15mm Pzkw IV H

Dave painted the 15mm Pzkw IV H shown above - you can read his painting tips here.