Zvezda Cruiser Mk.IV A-13 (1:100) — a first look

I bought a troop of A-13 cruiser tanks for my 15mm BEF forces. The snap-together kits are by Zvezda, for their Art of Tactic game, and were sourced from PSC for about four quid each. They're moulded in a tan brown plastic — I've photographed them here after spraying them with Khaki Green #3 over a black primer.

As wargaming models go, they're really very good, especially considering their cheapness. There are a few issues to be aware of though:

  • First, due to the construction of the turret, there's a fairly prominent seam running across the front plate that purists will probably want to address with filler. Whether I'm all that pure is yet to be decided.
  • The headlight isn't moulded into its housing, so it will have to be painted in.
  • There is no aerial mounting provided at all, so if one is desired it will have to be scratch-built or otherwise sourced.
  • The 2pdr gun barrel is moulded extremely finely and looks to me as though it might be a bit fragile for the hurly-burly of wargaming; I will probably replace them at some stage with turned brass barrels, as I usually do with my resin models.

Aside from these fairly minor problems, they're excellent little models. I haven't checked them for absolute dimensional accuracy, but they don't look out of place next to my older resin/metal cruisers. I've glued lead slugs inside their guts to give them a little bit of weight, as the bare plastic models could easily blow away in a slight breeze. Although they really do snap together and stay together (Zvezda's tooling is excellent) I've glued everything just in case.

I'm pretty happy with them; they're really excellent value for money and provide a welcome reinforcement to my plucky BEF.

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