We’ve got an assortment of pouches from PSC, ready for us to add to our ‘what if?’ WW3 gaming. Within are various options for the Battlegroup rules expansion NORTHAG.
Coming in at 10mm, and all made with Ultracast resin, there’s some heavy armour for the Soviets and lighter Patrols for the British (combining transports and infantry). All are tied to the possibilities that an early 80s conflict could bring, so we’re in an area that doesn’t get quite the same coverage as earlier 20th century conflicts in miniature form.
Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika Battery
We’ll start by looking at the Soviets and their heavy armour and this pack contains two 10mm 2S1 Gvozdika tanks. The tanks have a 50mm total length and their 122mm 2A18 howitzers take up much of this length.
The barrels of this long weapon are a bit bendy due to the Ultracast resin – how you feel about this will largely determine how you feel about the models overall. You might see this as a benefit – you won’t have to worry so much that you’ll snap your howitzer during gaming or transportation, even if you fix it so it’s sticking out at an angle – the material has loads of flex and a good memory, going back to its original position. You may seek perfect horizontal perfection, in which case that slight bend will be frustrating.
We can’t fault the detail and overall look on these kits though. Coming in just four parts – chassis, two sets of tracks, and the turret, it is covered in accurate touches. At £7 for two ($9.50 US) it’s good value too.
Soviet BRDM-2 ‘Konkur’ Section
Two BDRM-2 armoured patrol cars are included here for £6 ($8 US) and they’re a still fairly sizable 35mm long. Coming in six parts, there’s the main chasis, four wheels, and the 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank missile rails to go on top.
As with the Gvozdika, the detail here is good, though if you care enough to flip your vehicle over you’ll see that wheel axels don’t match up. We did put some thought into the turret though – it has a guide hole to sit in, but the Konkurs doesn’t fit. On one of our two kits we trimmed down the top part to fit, on the other we sat it higher. Neither option feels quite right. A problem in the kit’s tooling perhaps?
Other than that issue this is another fine-looking option to add alongside the Gvozdikas to bring some amphibious anti-tank power to your force.
British Spartan Patrol
A bit of a bargain, this one – £6 ($8 US) for two FV103 Spartan APCs and eight fire team models. The Spartans come in three parts – the chassis and left and right tracks and as with the other stuff we’ve looked at, the details are great, though we did get quite a bit of mess to clear up around the rein feeds. Shouldn’t be too tricky with a sharp knife and file, but worth keeping in mind.
The four-man fire teams had very present mould lines, so be aware of that, and they went across detail areas like faces. We’re finding that the times we get mould lines on PSC Ultracast models seem to be somewhat random, perhaps because these kits are currently being cast to order, to meet demand.
Although we have slight quality control concerns here it’s a good pack to add versatility to your British force.
British SAS Patrol
Finally, we roll in with the elite – a four-man SAS fire team and an iconic Land Rover to get them to their insertion point. Just a vehicle (made of the chassis and four separate wheels) and four small minis included here then, but at a lower price point of £4.50 ($6 US).
The fire team looks to have three men armed with C8 Carbines and a fourth with an M16 (you’ll have to forgive us for slight hesitation – these models are very small!). They’re kitted out with the plethora of extras you’d expect, and looking very much like the Falkands troops, with their beanie hats. A crouching Soldier has an M72 LAW slung over his shoulder too.
Their Land Rover is the Series IIA 90, fitting the period of NORTHAG’s ‘what if?’, as it was not changed out for the 110 HCPU until ’85. Good detail is present on the vehicle though the driver does look a little bit blobby. Will you be bold enough to wear pink when you paint it? We very much hope so!