Team Yankee – Battlefront SA-13 Gopher

Following on my earlier review of BF’s Shilkas, I have now had time to finish the cutely named but punchy SA-13 Gopher. Designed for SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) it is broadly equivalent to the NATO Rapier and Chaparral systems, providing point defence of key assets (Air bases, marshalling areas etc) as well as the ability to protect manoeuvring elements.


Un-boxing and Assembly.

Each box contains 2 x Resin SA-13s. Each one has 6 parts, body, 2 x tracks, launcher and then 2 x missile rails.  It’s these missile rails that may cause you a few dramas. They have to fix onto the side of the launcher and rely on 2 grooves on each side. This creates a weak bond and can be very hard to line up straight.  A plug attachment method would have been far simpler and stronger, but hey it works, but you need some patience and strong super glue!

Apart from that the models themselves are hugely detailed. Mine were literally faultless with minimal clean up.  As with the Shilkas there are no decals or magnets, again a shame for a premium product.




Painting as done exactly the same as in the Shilka article here. One thing I did find is that the raised hatches made modulation quite easy and allowed me to quickly highlight the detail.


In Game

As I discussed in the Skilka article, the Gopher statistically performs worse in every situation compared to the Shilka. However it has 1 massive advantage, it can shoot beyond 32 inches. It is here to provide an almost table wide AA umbrella, especially important in games like fighting withdrawal or fair fight when you are using the long table edge.  For me the Gophers are the back up to the Shilkas and I wont be leaving home without at least 2 along with 4 Shilkas (same cost as 4 vulcans).  However I will often be fielding 4 and 4 to really shut down the enemy Cobras and A10s. After all, he who controls the air controls the battle