The Dark Side - NATO, Warsaw Pact and other Nation's Vehicles

Stridsvagn Strv-103B Main Battle Tank, Royal Swedish Army, 1985

Trumpeter 1/72

The Stridsvagn (Battle Chariot) 103 was a truly radical AFV design, introduced by the Swedish Army in the mid 1960s to replace their Centurion MBTs. Optimised for defensive combat operations, the tank had an exceptionally low profile and compact overall dimensions, due to its lack of a main gun turret. A sensitive hydraulic suspension and steering system allowed the fixed hull-mounted 105mm gun to be aimed by traversing, raising or lowering the entire tank hull.

Powered by a Rolls Royce K60 diesel for normal travel, with an auxiliary Boeing gas turbine providing extra dash power when needed, its ammunition auto-loader allowed a crew of only two, with a third rearward facing driver permitting the tank to proceed at equal speed in either direction. A large integral flotation screen allowed it to cross rivers and lakes, whilst toughened steel bar armour on the sides and front was fitted to defeat contemporary armour defeating ammunition.

S-tanks saw several updates and remained in front-line service until the late 1990s, when they were finally replaced by the Strv-122 Leopard 2.

Uralvagonzavod T-62 Main Battle Tank, Iraqi Regular Army, Al-Faw 2003

Italeri 1/72

The T-62 was an up-gunned development of the T-55, entering service in 1961 as a counter to advanced western tanks such as the Centurion. Difficult and expensive to build, it fell from favour when new ammunition for the T-55 regained its effectiveness. Production ended in 1975, but it remains in widespread service around the world.

Iraq acquired a total of 2,850 T-62s, with the final 500 used (and largely destroyed) during the second Gulf War.

GAZ BTR-60P Armoured Personnel Carrier, Soviet Naval Infantry, Barents Sea, 1970s

ICM 1/72

The BTR60 series APC was the mainstay of Soviet forces during the early part of the Cold War. This early version has an open roof, a major disadvantage that was rectified in later versions. Equipped with a water jet propulsion system and twin petrol engines driving separate pairs of road wheels, the vehicle was used as an amphibious assault craft by the Soviet Naval Infantry (Marines) as well as the Red Army.

Urals 43203 Command Vehicle, Soviet Red Army 1980s

ICM 1/72

I love the brutal look of this enormous vehicle; apparently the Urals 4320 is the current "standard" large truck in Russia. Its excellent ground clearance and powerful V8 or V6 Diesel engines mean that it has seen widespread use in the Russian (and associated) military since the early 1980s, in a range of body styles.

KMW Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tank, German Army, 1990s

Revell 1/72 (ex-Matchbox?)

The Leopard 2 is the current MBT fielded by many European nations, plus Canada. Danish and Canadian vehicles are deployed in Afghanistan, where they have proved highly successful, despite the tank-unfriendly terrain and tactical situation.

The current Leopard arose from a joint US-West German project to build a state of the art tank. Although this project folded, the 2 sides went on to build the Abrams and Leopard instead. The German tank is well suited to European operating conditions and until the 2nd Gulf War was widely considered to be the best MBT available. However, the outstanding combat performance of the Abrams and more unexpectedly, the British Challenger 2, mean that the "Top MBT" title is now less clear.

KMW Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle, German Army 1990s

Revell A 1/72

The German Marder was designed to travel with the Leopard Tank, providing protected and fast transport for Bundeswehr troops. It has seen several upgrades since its introduction, including the current remote weapons station.

FMC M113 APC, US Army, 1970s

ESCI 1/72

FMC's M113 is one of the most widely used AFVs across the world, and continues to be refurbished to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

Bizarrely, FMC, the company that produced and designed the 113, is the Food Machinery Corporation!

General Dynamics Stryker, US Army, Europe, 2010

AAVP7 Amtrac, USMC, Iraq 2005

Dragon 1/72.

The AAVP-7 is the most recent in a long line of vehicles designed to allow the US Marines to conduct opposed amphibious landings. This version is one of those recently refurbished by BAE SYSTEMS Land Systems to an as-new standard, including attachment points for add-on armour and a new, more heavily armed turret.

All I can say is that it must take a great deal of faith to drive one of these off the ramp of a landing ship into the deep sea!

M977 HEMTT, US Army, Former Yugoslavia, 2005

Academy 1/72.

The Oshkosh M977 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck is widely used by the US Army in logistic roles. Capable of carrying over 10 tonnes of ammunition or other loads, it has also formed the basis for several specialist conversions including a launch vehicle for Patriot missiles and as a platform for a Phalanx anti- rocket/mortar defence mounting.

British Cold War AFVs NATO, WARPAC & others WW2 Tanks & others Ship Models

Academy 1/72

The Stryker is a wheeled armoured infantry vehicle in US service. It is based on the Canadian LAV series of vehicles, which in turn are based on the widely used Swiss Mowag Piranha vehicle.

GDLS LAV-25, USMC, 2005

Trumpeter 1/72.

The LAV-25 amphibious vehicle has been in service with the US Marines since the early 1980s.  Based on the Swiss MOWAG Pirahna, it is built under licence in Canada by General Dynamics Land Systems and is available in a range of variants including anti tank, command and recovery versions.

MAN Kat 1 Mil GL 5 Tonne 4x4Truck

Revell 1/72.

The MAN Mil series of military trucks was developed in the 1970s for the West German army. Available as 4x4, 6x6 or 8x8 versions, they possessed excellent off-road mobility and were used in a variety of specialist roles by all branches of the german military, including as weapons systems platforms for the Roland, Patriot and Pershing II missiles, as well as their intended logistic role.  

Over 9,000 of this series were produced, with many undergoing refurbishment and life extension during the 1990s.  A modular armour protection system and cab is also available for use in high threat areas such as Afghanistan.

#Stridsvagn #T62 #43203 #Refuelling #Dingo #Leopard #Marder #M113 #Stryker #HEMTT #LAV #BTR #4x4Truck #Cougar #LAV_1

Click on the tile or scroll down to see the individual models

Zil 157 Refuelling Truck, Soviet Air Defences, 1960s

ICM 1/72.

TThe Zil 157 truck was  a mainstay of Warsaw Pact military forces in the late 1950s and 1960s, seeing use in a wide range of applications as well as licence production in China as the CA30.

GDLS LAV-25, Afghanistan, 2012

Trumpeter 1/72.

LAV-25s of the USMC were deployed in large numbers to Iraq and to Afghanistan.

MAN Kat 1 Mil GL 7 Tonne 6x6 truck

Revell 1/72.

The MAN Mil series of military trucks was developed in the 1970s for the West German army. Available as 4x4, 6x6 or 8x8 versions, they possessed excellent off-road mobility and were used in a variety of specialist roles by all branches of the german military, including as weapons systems platforms for the Roland, Patriot and Pershing II missiles, as well as their intended logistic role.  

FPI Cougar HEV MRAP, USMC, Afghanistan, 2012

4D 1/72.

Manufactured by Force Protection Industries, the Cougar Heavy Engineering Vehicle was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the USM, US Army and USAF as well as several other NATO nations, alongside  UK specific versions (Mastiff & Ridgeback).  Developed as part of the USMC MRAP programme their heavy armour and v-shaped hulls provide excellent protection against mines and IEDs in urban and asymmetric warfare environments..

IVECO/OTO Melara B1 Centauro, Italian Army, 2019

Unbranded Die-Cast 1/72.

Manufactured by a consortium of Fiat/IVECO and OTO Mealara, the B1 Centauro is intended to provide the firepower of a Leopard 1, but with much improved mobility.  Capable of up to 67mph and able to fire whilst on the move, with a 500 mile range, it was designed for territorial defence and armed reconnaissance.  Production of the initial version ended in 2006, but an improved up-armoured and up-armed variant is now entering service.  The Centauro is currently in service with Italy, Spain, Jordan and Oman.

M142 HIMARS  5th Btn 11th Marine Regt USMC, Afghanistan 2010

Amercom pre-built 1/72.

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a lightweight air-deployable launcher for MLRS family of munitions, based on the BAE Systems US Army M1140 FMVT 5 tonne truck and Lockheed Martin pod-based rockets. It is able to carry a wide range of munitions, including a single MGM-140 ATACMS tactical missile with a range of over 190 miles and able to attack moving target son land and at sea.

#Centauro #HIMARS #Amtrac

Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW) ATF Dingo 1 MRAP - German Army, Afghanistan 2005

Revell 1/72

The Dingo is an armoured mine-protected vehicle based on the commercial Unimog chassis and introduced in 2000. A modular V-shaped hull, protected passenger cell with mine resistant seating and separate engine compartments provide good protection against roadside IUDs, whilst layered MEXAS armour provides protection against shrapnel and light weapons fire.  

A remotely controlled weapons station, mounting a 7.62mm machine gun, 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm grenade launcher can be fired from within the closed down air-conditioned and NBC protected vehicle.

Dingos have seen service in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

General Dynamics M1296 Stryker Dragoon, US Army, Europe, 2021

Dragon 1/72

The Stryker Dragoon adds a Kongsberg turret and a 30mm Bushmaster II gun to the basic design.

Thales Bushmaster PMV (Australian Variant)

Dragon 1/72  This is one of 2 very nice Bushmaster kits released by Dragon in 2020. More pictures on the build page

The Bushmaster  Protected Mobility Vehicle was originally conceived in the early 1990s, intended for operations in the Australian Northern Territories. Based on a design from Australian firm perry Engineering,  itself derived from an Irish  design by Timoney Technologies, it featured 4WD, commonality of parts with the US FMTV vehicle series and a high level of protection for its occupants against small arms fire and mines. Able to carry 9 troops and their supplies or up to 3 days, it is fully air-conditioned and has a range of over 800 km at up to 100 km/h. It is also air-transportable by C-130.

A production contract was awarded to the former Australian Defence Industries (ADI), now Thales Australia. Over 800 vehicles have been built, seeing active combat service  in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria. Bushmasters are used in various roles by the Australian forces (Army & Air Force), British Army and Royal Netherlands Army, as well as Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan and New Zealand.

#Bushmaster #Dragoon Top of Page Main Index