.: Jon Bunce's Copplestone Castings Austin-Putilov-Kegresse Armoured Car (Half-Track)

Copplestone Castings
Modelling Time:
3 hrs
PE/Resin Detail:

"This is a resin kit for Wargaming - hence the unusual scale. Moulding is really fine and it went together easily"

Austin Armoured Car

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Austin Armoured Car, 3rd series
Austin 3rd series used by the Don Cossack forces, 1919.
Type Armoured car
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Weight 5.3 t
Length 16 ft (4.9 m)
Width 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Height 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Crew 4 or 5

Armour 3-6 mm
2 x machine guns (Maxim or Hotchkiss
Engine Austin 4-cylinder inline, 4 stroke, water cooled gasoline engine
50 hp (37 kW)
Power/weight 9.5 hp/ton
Transmission 4 speed, 1 reverse gearbox
Suspension 4x2 wheel
125 mi (201 km) radius of action
Speed 35 mph (56 km/h)

Austin Armoured Car was a British armoured car produced during the First World War. The vehicle is best known for its employment by the Russian Army in the First World War and by different forces in the Russian Civil War.

In addition to the British-built Austins, a few dozens of vehicles were manufactured in Russia in 1918-20. These are usually referred to as Austin-Putilov or - if fitted with a Kégresse halftrack chassis - Austin-Kégresse.

Production history

British Austins

Austins 1st series.

In August 1914, just after the beginning of the First World War, the army of the Russian Empire started to form armoured car units. Due to limited production capabilities of the country's automotive industry it was decided to order a number of vehicles abroad. A committee was sent to the United Kingdom, but didn't find an armoured car which met their requirements for overhead protection and two machine gun turrets.

To meet these requirements, the Austin Motor Company designed a new armoured car. The vehicle, known as Austin 1st series, was based on a passenger car chassis with rear axle drive. Wheels were wooden, spoked, with pneumatic tyres and an additional set of wheels with full rubber tyres for use in combat was carried. Two Maxim machine guns were mounted in separate turrets placed on both sides of the hull behind the driver's cab. The vehicle was protected by armour plates 3.5–4 mm thick screwed to a body frame. The crew of four - commander, driver and two gunners - could enter or leave the vehicle via a door on the left side of the cab or via big two-leaf rear door. On 29 September 1914, 48 armoured cars were ordered. One car cost 1,150 pounds. After arrival in Russia the front and turret armour was replaced with 7 mm plates. First combat experience, however, revealed that the protection was still too weak and the vehicles were fully rearmoured at Izhorski Works, Izhorsk. The improved armour made the Austins much heavier, resulting in limited mobility and occasionally in chassis damage. However, the car was still considered more successful than alternative designs by, among others, Armstrong Whitworth, Renault and Sheffield-Simplex.

On 6 March 1915 the Russians ordered 60 vehicles of an improved design, known as Austin 2nd series. This time the chassis of a 1.5 ton truck with a more powerful engine was used. The hull was shorter, with thicker armour, the driver's cab roof was modified to improve machine guns' angle of fire. Less welcome was a removal of rear access door. The army also decided it wanted a rear driving post, so after arrival to Russia all vehicles were fitted with a redesigned rear hull section, which housed a second driving post and additional hatch. Another upgrade was the addition of side shields to the machine guns.

Sixty units of Austin 3rd series were ordered on 25 August 1916. The vehicles were similar in characteristics to the 2nd series, but had modified rear hull with driving post, MG shields, bulletproof glass in the front vision slots and lacked big side windows.

Yet another version, with strengthened chassis and double rear wheels, sometimes referred to as Austin model 1918, was ordered in 1917 but due to events in Russia none were delivered.

Russian Austins

Austin-Putilov in the Artillery Museum, Saint-Petersburg.

In 1916 a decision was made to produce a Russian armoured car on the well known Austin chassis. 60 chassis units - identical to those used in 3rd series - were ordered from Austin. The mission of building armoured hulls was entrusted to Putilovski Works, Saint Petersburg. It was planned to build the cars by July 1917, but work was virtually brought to halt by the February Revolution and the subsequent chaos. Not until March 1918 were the first cars produced. Later the production was transferred to Izhorski Works. A total of 33 vehicles were produced in 1918-1920. In contemporary Russian documents the model was referred to as Russian Austin (Russian: Русский Остин - Russkij Ostin), but eventually became better known as Austin-Putilov (Russian: Остин-Путиловец - Ostin-Putilovets).

Twelve hulls identical to those of Austin-Putilov were mounted on a Kégresse halftrack chassis, resulting in vehicles known as Austin-Kégresse. Production continued from July 1919 until March 1920 when it was stopped by shortage of materials and parts.

Russian Austins' most obvious features were diagonally placed MG turrets (in order to reduce width) and additional right side door. They also had MG mounts with better elevation and other minor improvements.

Please go to Wikipedia, if you want any further information

Thanks Wikipedia!

Box art:

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