Sunday, 1 September 2013

T-72BM with cage armour

Every so often a great idea pops into your head completely out of nowhere. In this case, the idea was to use N scale fencing as cage armour on a 15mm tank.

When I was getting back into wargaming after twenty years away, the humble Shogun Kamikaze persuaded me to swap from 25mm to 15mm minis. Not quite sure at first what I period or games I wanted to do, I went out and bought a pretty random selection of stuff so that I could at least get started with some scenery. One item I came home with was some N scale fencing made by Ratio. It looked right in the shop but when I got home I decided it was too small. That was five years or so ago now and the fencing had been sat in a box ever since. Until tonight, that is, when I was working and it suddenly occurred to me that this fencing would make pretty good cage armour, being realistically thin yet also quite tough stuff. Once the idea took root, I couldn't leave it alone so I decided to have a crack at it. Here's what I did...

Here are the victims of my unnecessary surgery, a Ratio N scale fence and one of Zvezda's new 1/100 T-72s:


I'm no expert but I think Zvezda's kit looks a like a T-72BM, and there are a number of pictures of them in Chechnya sporting cage armour.

I cut the fence into sections, trimmed away one of the horizontal runners and turned each section 90 degrees. This is what the fence sections look like after trimming but before assembly:


I was a bit fiddly at first but I got the hang of it. I found the best way was to put a little glue on one section and then put both sections on my cutting mat and push them up against each other. The glue kept pooling underneath the plastic so I then pushed the pair across the mat and out of the pool of glue with some tweezers so that they wouldn't get stuck to the mat. There's nothing more to it than that. After making three sets for the hull and using up the offcuts on the turret, I got this:



I have a few of the Zvezda tanks now so I happened to use one that I had already messed about with before. In my previous attack on this model, I cut away the front skirt and tried to make the tank look like it had been in action for a while;


I was quite pleased with this. The Ratio fencing wasn't that cheap, but it goes a long way – I used just over one piece of fencing to make this. It was a bit fiddly at first but it wasn't difficult and, once I got the hang of it, it didn't take that long. Since nobody sells a tank like this, I think the results were worth the trouble. I'm going to make one or two more of them.

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