Monday, 23 December 2013

The old and the new

An old SSU armoured train rolls through a sleepy Russian village on its way to the front in Zverograd. The train is supported by a new model SSU Drasine with a heavy calibre Gatling gun which checks and clears the vulnerable train lines. 

The armoured train is a resin and white metal kit from Brigade Games in the US. It is designed for the Russian Civil War (RCW) but I have added extra turrets to give it a Dustified look. The turrets and additional weapons can be removed so that I can use it in my RCW games. 

The kit is designed to run on some strange model train gauge that I could not find in Australia. I was lucky enough to find some very cheap O scale model trains with tracks and I have added the wheels to the undercarriage of the trains. This involved a lot of cutting and the addition of armoured skirts on the under side of all carriages. It is not exact for RCW but I am happy with the results and it is good enough for the gaming table.

        KV turret with 100mm gun.

Armoured locomotive. Lots of work involved in cutting out lots of resin underneath to fit the O scale wheels.

Scratch built gun carriage with the lovely 100mm gun and crew from a SSU gun tractor. The gun tractor is one of my favorite kits and I have 4 painted with the AT gun and 2 awaiting paint with the 220mm mortar.

Gun turret carriage with the addition of quad 12.7mm AA guns from a SSU walker. The gun in the turret is a 45mm automatic in Dust Warfare (like the KV walker). The AA guns can be removed and a plug is placed in the hole to cover it up (returns to a RCW train). 

Infantry carriage with a 45mm gun and automatic mortars from a KV walker. The mortars are removable as well. The carriage carries two squads of SSU troops and is also equipped with 4 12.7mm MGs.

Last infantry carriage and another gun turret carriage. The last carriage is equipped with a rounded KV turret with 100mm gun.

Below are some WIP progress shots.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Building an SSU armoured train

Having seen the SSU resin armoured train models from Dust Studios I set out to build something similar to use on my Dust Warfare gaming table. The first thing I did was to select a cheap O scale locomotive that I picked up from my local model shop (thanks Dwayne).

Marked area ready to cut

I used a marker pen to highlight the area of the model that what I wanted to cut off. I used a small hand saw to remove the unwanted areas of the locomotive ensuring that I was careful whilst cutting as I didn’t want to spend too long filling in areas with green stuff.

Marked areas ready to cut

Cut out the highlighted area

Areas have been removed with the small saw. Front and rear above and part of body below.

The cut has been made and now we need to add the armour plate to cover up the sections removed. I used 020 (05mm) scale styrene sheet from Evergreen Scale Models and glued the three separate pieces onto the locomotive body. Whilst your armour plate is drying carefully remove the detailed fans from the roof of the model with a strong model knife, I use a Stanley knife as the blade is very strong. Add sections of L shaped styrene card along the edges of the armour plate, this adds detail and covers up your mistakes in cutting (covered mine anyway).

Two locomotive ready to receive the styrene sheeting

Sheets added and L shaped sytrene is used to cover joins and add detail.
Fan sections are removed and ready to place on the top the superstructure.

Once the fan sections have been removed they are ready to glue onto the top section of your model. Before you do so however you need to build your turret from the T34-85/KV 1 (Hobby Boss) and remove the turret housing from the kit in addition. Once you have finished the turret and housing, glue them onto the locomotive roof as well as the fan sections.

One of the turrets and turret housing from a Hobby Boss 1/48 kit

Once the fan sections and turret are dry add a simple door to the front and rear sections of the armoured train. This is done by the addition of a small rectangle cut from your plastic card; ensure you add small squares of plastic or sections of the L shaped styrene that will represent the door hinges.

Side skirts added

Fans and turrets housing

Now add long strips of plastic card along the bottom of the train ensuring you cover the rear wheels. Add additional sections of plastic card for armour protection wherever you feel is necessary. You can add sections of L shaped styrene along the bottom of the wheel protection if you require it. You need to then add your wheels and create four box protection areas made from you styrene sheet.

Add details to your model to give it character. You can use one or two of the plastic hand holds from the tank kit and add the plastic machine guns from the SSU tank kit on each side of the train. You could use plastic weapons from Tamiya or Hobby Boss kits or create your own using wire of the right gauge with a green stuff muzzle brake. I used the plastic springs from the tank kits to create a machine gun that looked very similar to the 12.7mm DSHK.


That is as far I went with my train but you could go to town and add all sorts of detail. I would recommend the 1/48 resin rivet sheets from Archer Transfers in the US and the train section on the Lead Adventures Forum which is a font of information on building trains for gaming (as well as all aspects of miniature gaming). I try not to go over-board with adding too much detail as these are gaming pieces and will be handled constantly and small things always get knocked off. If you make a model please post pictures on the Dust FB pages as it is always good to see what other fans are doing.

Two versions of the SSU train

The first train (of 3) finished and painted.

Materials required

O scale locomotive (cheap one as you are cutting it up)

1/48 scale T34 kit. I used a Hobby Boss kit which is cheap and readily available. I also used the chassis for a Dustified SSU APC

Gun from a Ludwig walker to replace the 85mm in the tank kit

020 (5mm) scale styrene sheet or hobby card

080 (2.0mm) styrene L shape brackets

Hobby wire or paper clips

Thumb tacks 



Monday, 25 November 2013

The trap is sprung

The Axis advance units were wary of the deserted streets and they were right to be so. Suddenly the roofs of the houses were full of SSU soldiers, volleys of rockets fly down into the week top armour of the tanks and the walkers. Heavy machine gun fire, grenades and molotovs rained down upon the infantry. Suddenly a chopper rose above the ramparts of the fort unleashing a hail of 50mm and machine gun fire upon the advancing Axis infantry. A chopper swoops in and dropped of a rocket eqquiped walker ready to attack the rear of the Axis force.

          A world of hurt is unleashed.


Tractors and light walkers come out of their hiding places and fire into the advancing armour.

            Rooftops are full of Red Guard.

Chopper drops off a walker in the rear of the advancing Axis armour.


         Axis walkers are in trouble


                   SSU gun tractors to the fore.

Koshka and Grandma lead the assualt







              Red Guard on the roof of the Mosque

        SSU AA support in case any Axis aircraft appear.