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"Big Fred" (Nato)

Battlefield Surveillance Radar

Soviet Army, 1986

Siga Model

This model added to on November 10, 2004
One of the most widely deployed battlefield surveillance radar systems of the former Soviet Union was the self-propelled SNAR-10 (Stantsyiya Nazemnoy Artilleriyskoy Razvedki). NATO codenamed the system "Big Fred". It was first introduced into service with the Soviet Army in 1975.
The SNARs primary role is to provide the locations of stationary and moving targets in the forward edge of the battle area. It is normally deployed close to infantry or artillery observation posts.
The system consists of a two-dimensional pulse Doppler radar, navigation system, and topographic equipment housed in a turret that is mounted on an amphibious MT-LB tracked vehicle.
When traveling the antenna folds forward onto the top of the turret. The standard MT-LB forward turret-mounted 7.62-mm machine gun is retained for defensive purposes.
This limited run kit requires extra effort to clean up and assemble.  The final result is a fairly detailed and accurate representation of an important piece of armor in Soviet history.
The shape and dimensions of this kit compare very well with the real deal. I had no idea the MT-LB was so small - shorter than a HUMMV and not much longer or wider.
One of these days I'm going to use my old ESCI/ERTL "Warsaw Pact" or "Spetnatz" 72nd scale troops to make a fine diorama... but don't hold your breath waiting.
Here's my SNAR on the workbench before the weathering process. In the background you might notice a few other ACE projects in the works - the 2S1 Gvozdika, BRM-1 and SA-9.

Siga Model
Kit: Siga # 72-M11
(also ACE # 72136)

Scale: 1/72

Comments:   The box contains 161 parts on 5 sprues. All parts require cleanup. Assembly is straightforward but test fitting is very important on this kit. Fit ranges from good to fair (the turret top to bottom seam gave me some problems). "Link and length" tracks provided. Details are surprisingly crisp for this type of low-tech molding.
Decals: Decals are provided for DDR, Urkraine, Polish and Soviet armies. I chose to omit the decals since photo research seems to suggest that the SNAR is rarely visibly numbered or marked.
Paint: Base coat of Testors Model Master "Russian Armor Green" #4808 was airbrushed overall. Then White was added to the base color and "faded" areas were painted. Next I hand-brushed 1 coat of Future Floorwax over the entire kit. To bring out details. Then I used an oil wash of mostly Ivory Black with a touch of Titanium White. I also applied a second oil wash of an earth tone to the lower part of the vehicle. Once the washes were done I used the dry-brush technique to apply the base color to selective raised areas to create highlights. I sprayed a thin coat of Testors Dullcoat to finish it up.
After Market Parts: None.
NOTE: Some releases of this kit contain Photo-Etched parts (mine was not one of those).
Customizations: I used tiny pieces of reflective sequins for the many vision blocks and optics. Evergreen styrene strips were used to make headlight guards and various other bumps and details of the hull. Small gauge wire was used for the many hand rungs. Sewing thread was used for the tow cable.
Cost: I paid $10.99(US) for this kit at the late great Phil's Hobbies. A fair price.

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