From the Shed: Russian Airborne Armour.

Following on from my post on VDV Air Assault Brigades I’ve done some light armour to give them some support.


First up we have the ASU85: a light self propelled gun on the PT76 chassis, designed to give the VDV some anti- tank support. It was a replacement for the much earlier ASU57. At the time of its introduction its 85mm gun (based on the WW2 tank gun) was barely adequate for the task by the 1980s when it was still in service it would have been useless at its intended role. Still any soft skins or light armoured cars would be vulnerable to its gun.


Next we have the little known 2S25 Sprut SD, the replacement to the ASU85. Mounting the usual Russian 125mm smoothbore gun it can fire all the same ammo as an MBT but from a lightly armoured chassis based on the BMD3. Given the ammo types it can fire it makes up a pretty potent support vehicle for the modern day VDV.


Although not an airborne vehicle I painted up a few PT76 amphibious tanks. Developed after WW2 as a recce vehicle it is fully amphibious, accordingly it means it is not very well armed or armoured. Kept in service untill surprisingly recently in has seen combat in the Middle East, Vietnam, India, Africa and even Chechnya.

light armour

All models are 1/300th (6mm) scale and are from Heroics and Ros.







19 comments on “From the Shed: Russian Airborne Armour.

  1. Brilliant, Pete, just love ’em! Long story short, I remain the only person amongst the crowd of wargamers I went to school with who had a tank sunk in a wargame, and it was a scratchbuilt PT-76!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks John. That is great- what was the wargame- it seems a sad game end to a lovingly scratch built model.



      • What I should have said was that the PT-76 was only “sunk” because that was its fate during the game, since the model soldiered on for a while after that! Way back in the 70s a bunch of us at school all set up our own countries for a wargames campaign and armed them with whatever we could get kits of or scratchbuild. I built a PT-76 from card and promptly got it sunk when it got hit by shell while trying to swim ashore during an amphibious operation against one of my neighbours. Given its poor performance, I think I retired it not long after that, although I always used a reasonable number of OT-62 APCs (built on the PT-76 chassis) because they could carry loads of troops! Simpler times! Fond memories! That notwithstanding, my PT-76 model could probably best have been described as “adequate” – that was when I had enough time to be able to scratchbuild a tank in a couple of days!

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        Ah got you.

        Sounds like a great campaign… those school games when things were simpler are always good to look back on.

        As long as you don’t meet a proper tank the PT76, when it came out, was a decent bit of kit.



  2. Bill Weston says:

    Some very nice stuff there mate and with all that thin armour my 49 Inf Bge LAWs & MAWs have a good chance of putting quite a large ‘freedom dent’ in them.

  3. Azazel says:

    Awesome stuff, mate. Somehow I thought they were 15mm until that last photo and the reveal, so well done on making them look so good!

  4. Lovely mate. Smashing job

  5. Great stuff Pete and I like the informative narrative too but for the life of me I cannot get my head around that scale!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks TIM. You should give it ago. Don’t worry how an individual model or even base of them looks but how the overall unit does.



  6. Marvin says:

    Nice work, Pete. A fine collection. You sure know your armour!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Marvin. That’s years of working out stats for various wargames systems for you… builds your knowledge in useless trivia.



  7. patmcf says:

    Wow mate I can’t believe how small they are !! .

  8. Great job on these Pete, bringing back Cold War memories. I remember an armor officer instructor back at West Point, and he described a story about the glee that a USMC M48 commander had when he saw PT76’s – “mmmm, hard targets”: The first tank-to-tank engagement occurred in mid-1968 when a US reconnaissance airplane observed a PT-76 being washed by its crew in the Bến Hải River in the DMZ (17th Parallel). The Forward Air Control pilot radioed the tank’s position to a nearby M48 Patton tank unit of the US 3rd Marine Tank Battalion. With the FAC adjusting fire, the Patton fired three 90 mm rounds;[17] obtaining a hit with the third round. The tank crew abandoned their vehicle. Shortly afterwards, some returning F-4 Phantom jet fighter bombers, with ordnance to expend, observed the PT-76 and bombed the remainder of the vehicle.[17]

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Mark. Great info there, I was vaguely aware of the engagement but I didn’t realise that the M48 was firing indirectly… Still a tank kill is a tank kill however you get it.



  9. […] we have a platoon of Soviet ASU-85 self-propelled guns. I actually thought that these were 15mm models initially, but they’re actually […]

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