(T-35, BT-5 and all my other Early War Soviet tanks)
Written and painted: Dule
I was so excited when I realized that Battlefront`s Barbarossa intelligence book will come out in October! Since day that I have started playing FoW I wanted to play Early War scenarios on the Eastern Front. I got some satisfaction from playing Soviet lists from Rising Sun, but honestly, that was only preparation for something much bigger to come.
I have learned some (but not all) lessons from the war with Finns and Japanese. My favorite list would be Fast Tankovy battalion but as I did not have enough BT tanks, I have played Light Tankovy with T-26s, Motostrelkovy and Strelkovy lists. To my regret, I have played very poorly with T-26s. They have the Always Attack special rule which is, in my opinion, incompatible with their slowness and Hen&Chicks of course. Maybe, they would do better against enemy armour but somehow I have played against dug in infantry with some very nasty artillery and that was disastrous for my tanks. On the other side, Motostrelkovy and Strelkovy proved to have a potential but they are not my style since I like tanks, tanks and nothing but tanks...
Crucial differences between Rising Sun and the Barbarossa books will be in equipment, since now Red Army player can choose to take T-34s, KVs, Katyushas and some Lend-Lease tanks. And I hope to be fearless this time since I am not used to be confident at all.
But first of all, I wanted to finish my Zvezda T-35 tanks. I have bought just two of them in Russia at a very good price this summer. I don’t think that they are going to be very useful in the game but I like them very much. They are so HUGE that even KV-1 standing nearby looks like a child in comparison. They look as if they had been made in the 1/72 scale rather than in 1/100! They are very easy to assemble since they only consist of twelve parts. All parts fit perfectly together. I have expanded turret holes a bit so that the turrets can turn easily. Since I would not like them to be very heavy I have put only 10g of lead at the bottom of each tank.
I want all my Soviet tanks to be white washed, and I did the same with my T-35s. First, I used Army painter black primer, then white primer, but avoiding full coverage. When everything dried well, I have used some Humbrol green (No 30) and made some hard chipping. After that, I painted all details, stars, tracks, tools, barrels etc. It took me couple of days, and I am very pleased with the result.
I will definitely play with them. They have a bunch of special rules which have to be seriously studied before the game.
BT-5 tanks are definitely one of my favourite. They are fast so when they go on the double they can reach almost any objective in just one turn. I have eight of them. They are made by Zvezda too. They are very nice models with only seven parts to assemble. I have whitewashed them the same way as T-35s but I used different green colours for different tanks and chipping was a bit different too to get some diversity.
When I put my new T-35 and BT-5 tanks along with my old T-34, T-26, KV-1 and Matilda tanks I feel very happy and very ready for Barbarossa. HURRAH!