Saturday, November 18, 2023

Praga 53/59/70 30mm AA 1/72 review

Praga 53/59/70 30mm AA Lizard

History Praga 53/59

The Praga M53/59 was developed post ww2 and entered service in 1959, mounted on a armoured cabin, the cabin armour was quite thin 10mm on the front and 6mm on the sides making it small arms fire proof only. The vehicle was the Czech V3S 6 wheel drive truck chassis. The chassis, engine and electronic components were upgraded and improved in 1970, these vehicles became the M53/70. Further electronic additions were added in the eighties so electronic air tracking was available via connection to a battery command vehicle using the M85 Zirafa radar allowing it to remain in service for some time in the Czechoslovakian army until 2003. A large number of both models were exported during the Cold War and quite a number still remain in a number of armies today.

The 30mm cannon was originally designed by Bruno for the kreigsmarine during ww2 as a submarine anti aircraft design. The Czechoslovak designation was the 30mm PLDvk viz.53. The top mounted magazines for the gun held 50 rounds, however weighed a hefty 85 kilos when fully loaded. The guns had a practicable rate of fire of 150-200 rounds per minute, AA effective range was 3500m and on ground targets 2000m. The gunner had optical sights only and manual trigger and hydraulic assisted traverse and elevation, until the 1980s when the upgraded system appeared for targeting. The twin guns could also be dis-mounted from the chassis into a fixed ground position. The vehicle had a crew of five, Commander, driver, two loaders and a gunner, and normally operated in a division of 6 vehicles, plus a command vehicle for the battery of two divisions.

The Praga had the nickname the lizard due to its code name during its development and was widely used in the ground role during the Yom Kippur war and the Yugoslavian wars, where Praga became the nickname for all anti aircraft SP cannons.

Review NB models Praga 53/59

A superb offering of the Praga 53/59 30mm SP AA gun by NB models. This is the 1/72 version, there is also a 1/35th scale available too. 

A very crisp 3d print with very little clean up, a bit of light filing and sanding where the supports were, predominately on the underside of the pieces and on the back of the Gun. A little sanding and it was ready to assemble. Assembly was simple and straight forward and  every thing nicely together with no problems, I used super glue gel for assembly giving me time to square up wheels and the gun assembly.

My only critiques are, I would of liked the tyre treads on the wheels to be more detailed, a posable gun for the deployed AA role with removable and spare ammunition drums plus the racks and finally the crew compartment to be open so I could add crew, a gunner and loaders. 

I will mount this on a base to prevent it being knocked about whilst it is on the game table as I can see the mirrors and rear steps becoming detached quickly.  I also left off the clear canopy for painting as it can easily be placed after painting. One will join my Egyptians the other my Iraqis, and I will possibly get them painted before Christmas! 

The Praga 53/59 NB models kit fully laid out, a very crisp kit

Cabin detail is excellent, a few delicate parts…. A few bits to clean up but overall great

The NB models Praga 53/59 Guns and cabin front, the light mounts and mirrors are superb

NB models Praga cabin side, the tools are superb, as are the lights, handles and mirror

The Armoured glass cupola and gun sight…. 


AK interactive- vol III Arab revolutions and border wars.
You tube training clip of the Praga 53/59
Praga 53/59 walk around
Yugoslavian wars use

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