Friday, 27 February 2015
Project 1232 - AIST Class LCAC - PART ONE
In 1967 the Nevskiy Morskoy Shipyard in Leningrad began work on Project 1232, the Air Cushion Small Landing Ship later to be known by NATO as the AIST Class LCAC. In 1970 control of the project passed to the Almaz Shipbuilding Company and became Project 12321. In the same year the prototype MDK-167 (Hull No. 539) was completed and by 1974 the AIST had gone into full production with MDK-117 being the first to be commissioned. In 1976 the original MDK-167 was designated a training ship. Since then 18 more have been built and by 1985 19 were in service with Russian Amphibious forces.
Last year I swapped some French GHQ/H&R vehicles for 4 Scotia Grendel Ship-to-Shore 1/300th AIST's and 1 Scotia Grendel Ship-to-Shore Lebed with fellow Cold War Commander Andy Canham. With the decision the return to 1985 Norway for this years 'Joy of Six' show in Sheffield in July I thought it was about time I got these ready.
So after a bit of research I discovered that the AIST operated in both the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. So my four are going to be modeled as belonging to the Baltic Fleet. I have decided that I will model the following four:-
MDK-113 (Hull No. 758 in 1984) - This ship had an added UB-32 decoy launcher which was removed in 1989. You can see some great photos of MDK-113 here, thanks to OldenBUA on the CWC Forum for this link http://public.fotki.com/mdkvp/de94d/12321-/113-/113/117.html#media
MDK-114 (Hull No. 741 in 1984) - This ship had an added PK-16 decoy RL (2 x KL-101 launchers) and had a Strela SAM system.
MDK-117 (Hull No. 737 in 1984) - This ship had an added PK-16 decoy RL (2 x KL-101 launchers)
MDK-165 (Hull No. 721 in 1984) - No additional equipment.
As previously stated the models are by Scotia Grendel, part of their Ship-to-Shore range (Cat Ref No. STS38) and come as a resin body with additional metal parts.
The castings didn't need much cleaning apart from a trim around the bottom edge. Here you can see all four with the additional parts added. There is another small mast but I am not sure where it goes. I think it is supposed to go on the existing mast but if it does I think it wouldn't last long during a game as it would be easy to snag and break off so if it does go there I will leave it off.
The one thing missing from the resin casting that in my opinion is a shame is the fan blades as they really add to the model. On mine I have added them using 4mm lengths of 0.50mm Plastruct square rod and I think they make the model look much better.
The next question is what do I do about the rotor blades? You don't get any as part of the kit. I am still undecided, I don't want to leave them off altogether so my first plan is to try some of the Hurlbat's 'in flight' style rotor blades available here http://www.hurlbat.co.uk/category-s/1824.htm. These are laser cut from PETg plastic and are engraved to give the effect of turning blades. They do a range of sizes suitable for 1/300th and 1/600th scale helicopters. When they arrive I will see what they look like. The other option is to scratch build some rotor blades.
Next is to scratchbuild some the additional equipment like the decoy launchers and Strela SAM systems and then I can start painting.