Thursday, 4 April 2013

Bolt Action - Panzer Grenadiers! (Part 1)

The new club is well under way, we have a venue and have joined the GCN. If you happen to live near Poole check out our website and forum at or like Poole Gaming Society on Facebook, sessions should start on the 7th of May.

Because of this I've found a lot of people interested in Flames of War and Bolt Action.

I've had some of Bolt Action plastic Germans sitting in a corner untouched and unloved for lack of opponents, so I was time to have a second look.

This set is £60 and comes with 3 half tracks and 30 Infantry, for today I'll focus on the half tracks.

The vehicles are the Sd,Kfz 251/1 Ausf C, so suitable for any period from Blitzkrieg to Bastogne

The vehicles each come on two frames, this one with the Machine guns. You get one MG 42 for the rear pintlem and one held by the gunner for the forward mount, and the same again as a set of MG 34s.

A nice option for those doing early war battles, or if you want to have both weapons unmanned...

Sadly I can see why people might want to take that option, the gunner is rather poorly done. Only two parts, gun arm and a body (with the left arm and head attached), this leaves some unsightly filling round the left arm, and removes it from Warlord's 'Figure Head System'. It is almost as if they took their metal gunner and copied him exactly with barely a thought to the casting method.

The second sprue, with even more stowage. Nicely detailed, but lacking any further crewmen, passengers may have been a stretch, but a driver would have been nice. The sprue also lack any optional upgrades save the rear pintle option, and as yet Warlord have yet to announce any. 

It would nice if they sold their metal and resin weapon options separately. Currently buying a whole resin vehicle is the only option, and most of them are Ausf D.

The Good
Nicely detailed
Lots of stowage
The only plastic half track I know of in this scale

The Bad
The gunner is a missed opportunity
No crew bar the gunner
No optional upgrades for variants

Now for some painting

I'm going for Pioneers as Pioneers get cool looking stuff, especially the Sd.Kfz 251/7 with bridges on top:

Bolt action do a resin version of the vehicle, but only as an Ausf. D (produced from September 1943) which is not suitable for mid-war eastern front. Plastic Tanks make for easy conversions though. I also need to buy some red-white number decals, as the black ones from the box really do not stand out.

I also had to convert one to have an open rear door. It's always fascinated me how the mad thing opens, I suppose it is part of the reason they simplified the rear armour for the Ausf D.

Warlord do plastic the chunky GW style, 2mm thick. At this scale it works out as 100mm thick armour, same as a Tiger. Admittedly I would never have noticed had I not cut open the hatches.

From above the Gunners bulk becomes obvious, he has to aim slightly to the left as his legs are too chunky for anything else.

I leave you with the classic Band of Brother desaturated look.

I'll get round to the Infantry soon enough

~ Bob

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