Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Friday, 3 October 2014

Review - Model, Cromwell models, 1/72 MT-LBu (ACRV)

The MT-LBu is an Artillery Command and Observation post varient of the MT-LB family of vehicles but with a raised and extended hull to facilitate its use as a Command Post.  It comes in a wide variety of fits variously covering communications, observation equipment including radars and fire control computer systems that aid in the adjustment control and cordination of Artillery fire.  The vehicle is also used in a variety of other units including Air Defence.  As such the vehicle is a fairly essential component of any Soviet force. 

Sadly I know of only two models both currently Out of Production the first is the MMS model which I believe is now owned by the Hobby Den but has yet to be offered for sale.  The other is by Cromwell and is the subject of this review, I was told when I received my four models that they would not be making more as the mold was degrading.  I obtained mine through the good offices of Charles McClaren (email) who offers a great service as he lives close to the Cromwell shop and will nip round confirm availability, pick them up and pop them in the post.  The cost of the model was £13.50

The model is part of Cromwells 1/76 Combat Ready range which means its simple but simple in the case of Cromwell should not be confused with either a lack of detail or quality of casting it just means that the models have very few parts.  In this case the parts include the commanders hatch the armoured covers for the forward windows, the turret mounted MG and the ducts for chaneling the wash from the tracks when the vehicle is in the water.  The Turret includes a useful recess which easily accommodates acrew figure.

The model is extremly well cast with no pin holes, however the tracks which are molded with the vehicle come with a significant amount of resin sprue which needs careful removal with a saw and is a bit of a painful job.  On my model about 4 of the gaps between the Road Wheels were also obscured with resin which is the reason it has been dropped from production.  The options here were to drill them out or ignore them. Iwent for the idle optiona and whilst visible does not detract unduly from the vehicle.  There was a level of flash associated with the smaller parts but this was easily trimmed away.  Care needs to be taken with the armoured window covers as its easy to over trim.

I reviewed a number of images both on line and in books hull numbers tend to be placed on the hull side forward of the vehicle centre or on the hull side at the front of the vehicle.  Immages included hull number only and hull number with unit symbols.  I have seen no images with markings on the rear door although a number and unit marking could be added here as well.

I could find no images showing unditching beams but a variety of vehicle equipment could be stowed on the side of the vehicle this can be seen to include from the pictures above.
  • Stowage Boxes
  • Vehicle Equipment
  • Tentage
I crewed the vehicle with one of the Soviet Vehicle crew figures available from Wee Friends, these are quite small and work well with 1/76 vehicles.  I used decals from a model collect sheet which included unit symbols and number and is covered in the Modelling - Cold War Soviet Vehicle Markings and Decals post.

Painting is in line with the rest of the Soviet vehicle fleet using Tamiya XF-13 JA Green and XF - 65 Field grey and the detail of which is outlined in the MTLB post.

Baseing is always a bit of debate and is more valuable when airbrushing as fingure grease can seriously wreck a paint job.  As ever I am using pre cut MDF bases from East Riding Miniatures covered in white Glue and Sand before painting and livenng up with a variety of foliage products.

In summary nice simple resin model that paints up well and is a good physical representation of the vehicle sadly OOP which is a shame as with my Soviet artillery obsession I always feel I need more. The hot rumour is Shaun has one close to being production ready and I think Brian has one in with the MMS modern stuff, hopefully we'll see one in the not too distant future.



  1. I do like that and I hope that the old MMS one makes an appearance soon.



    1. I am with you on that one Pete, I need a lot :)