Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Salvaging the Skytrex BTR-60

I took advantage of Skytrex's last Easter sale to buy some Soviet AFVs, including a few BTR-60s. These are the same models as the ones sold by Old Glory but I preferred to order from Skytrex because their moulds tend to be in better shape and they worked out slightly cheaper during the sales.

I was a little dismayed to find out that Skytrex had switched the BTR's production to resin without mentioning it on the site (this has now been changed) and that it came on a plinth! The models themselves are very nice, crisp and clean and the resin is top quality. But, in my opinion, they are totally marred by the very obvious lump of resin behind the wheels.

When I contacted Skytrex, I was told that the switch had been made to reduce costs since the previous one-piece metal casting were hand poured and time-consuming.They also offered a refund of any returned items but I passed on that. I did give filing down by hand a try, which was a miserable failure as there is simply too much resin to remove so I just put the models aside. I recently decided to try to salvage them and out came the trusty Dremel. Removing the offending resin wasn't particularly hard but neither was it particularly enjoyable or fast.

There is indeed a very large amount of resin to grind away! This is best done when neither the Health and Safety Department nor SWMBO are around because it is a messy process that will leave your work area looking like a Pablo Escobar picnic...

It is possible to make them more acceptable by thinning down the surplus resin behind the wheels but it is very hard to do so without damaging the tires in some way. As you can see, I overdid the sanding to remove the resin under the tires but I'll just pretend I intended to have realistically sagging tire... These will still make their way to the tabletop but the effort is frankly disproportionate. If you do want to field some BTR-60s, I would recommend ordering from Old Glory if you want these particular models or looking at the alternative from QRF.

I have usually found that production quality was one of Skytrex's main strengths, somewhat offsetting their slightly higher prices, but in this case, they appear to have shot themselves in the foot. Judging by their recent decision to increase the price of all their 15mm vehicles by nearly 50% despite the switch to resin, they seem to enjoy the feeling...

One last thing: I find the BTR model a tad big when compared to non-heroic 15mm figures such as Peter Pig or QRF but the jury is still out on this one.

Size comparison with QRF and Peter Pig figures:

1 comment:

  1. Pablo Escobar Picnic - That got a genuine "Laugh out Loud!"