Korean War “Beute” BA-64 Part 1


During an e-mail exchange with my friend (and PW site owner) Erik G the other day, he asked me why it was such a long time ago I posted anything on this site.

He has a good point, it has been a long while, so now I decided to get moving and do it. I am currently in the middle of a build which I think would be suitable for a blogg, so lets begin.

The subject:

I have always liked the BA-64, it has that “armoured sports car” look that I find incredibly appealing. A few years ago, whilst paging through one of my books on the Korean War, I found a picture of a captured North Korean BA-64 which the Americans converted by cutting a hole in the front armour plate, and removing the turret and mudguards. This was just too cool a subject not to model, and it was immediately added to my forever growing “modeling to-do list”.

Here is a picture of the vehicle (note that it is posted here for discussion purposes only):

A build with a purpose:

My guess is that all builds have some sort of purpose, and in my case the intent is to develop and strenghten one of my many weaknesses: weathering! After a number of projects which took hundreds of hours to complete, I always felt reluctance (and fear!) when approching the weathering stage, not because I did not want to, but because I was sure that I was not able to reach satisfactory results and was fearful that I would ruin all those hours of work. Looking back on previous builds, I have to admint that whilst I am still sufficiently pleased with the end results, they are incredibly under-weathered, and that is not something I am satisfied about.

Well, now its time to change that situation, so I decided that the best way to solve the problem would be to quick-build a model and use it as a palette on which to practice various weathering techniques. The idea was to build the model straight out of the box to rapidly reach the painting and weathering stage, the model of choice being the Vision Models BA-46 in 1/35 scale. As you will notice as you read on, however, it did not quite end up as a out of box build (call it an obsession, but I just had to scratch-build a little bit :-) ).

Ok, lets get started!

Building the interior:

Vision Models BA-64 is a delightful little model, but I discovered very quickly that I would need to do some work on the interior. Since this American “beute” vehicle is missing its turret and has a big hole in the frontal armour, most of the interior will be very visible. Unfortunately, the model is missing many of the key details in this area, amongst others the fuel tank, battery installation and various ammunition compartments.  I have made an assumption for this project that the Americans stripped out the unecessary interior parts such as the ammunition shelves/compartments and chose not to add these to the model. So, the scratchbuilding began only a couple of hours into the build. The engine is a “quick cheat”, stolen from a Jeep kit, and is only there to fill the void since the lower areas of the engine compartment are slightly visible because the mudguards will not be mounted.

It is worth mentioning here that an aftermarket company by the name of “Minor” will soon release a complete etched update set for the BA-64, which includes all the missing interior parts. I will certainly procure this set if/when I build another BA-64.

Painting and Weathering:

Now its time to practice that elusive weathering :-)

The interior was airbrushed in Tamiya acrylics, followed by weathering with a mixture of oil paints, pigments and a large range of weathering products from “AK Interactive” which I can warmly recommend. The damp oil stains in the dust on the floor are “engine and oil stains” from this manufacturer.  This is also the first time I have tried AK’s “chipping fluid” which essentially works the same as hairspray. Chipping and scratching was coerced using an old still paintbrush as well as a sharp, pointed tool.

Not too much more to write about this, I think most of the techniques have been described in full in other bloggs, forums, books and sites, so here are the pics:

Here with all interior parts mounted:

Time to complete the body:

So, this is as far as I have come at the time of writing. Not as fast a build as I have hoped (then again, are they ever as fast as we hope?), but still a record for me regarding the pace of building and painting this far.

In the next chapter, I will attack the exterior, and as you can see in the picture below, assembling the upper and lower halves of the body will be a challenge due to the fit not being entirely optimal.

Part 2 coming soon! :-)

Thanks to Erik for encouraging me to write on this site again!

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4 Responses to Korean War “Beute” BA-64 Part 1

  1. Erik Gustavsson says:

    I forgot to thank you for the article this weekend at Art in Miniature, Sven.. as usual, too much to do, too little time! So I say it here instead, thankyou! :-)

  2. Edward Hall says:

    I was just going to post my limp efforst at an interior for the BA 64 and after seeing your outstanding build I think I will do something else. Great job.


    • Sven Young says:

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for your very kind comment, very much appeciated. I am glad you like the build.

      Please don’t hold back on posting your own build, though, it would be great to se it!


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