Monday, 15 April 2013

Bolt Action - Panzer Grenadiers! (Part 2)

Having decked out my halftracks (most of them at least) it is time to look at the infantry.

There are 6 'body' sprues in this set, the standard infantry box contains 5 of these sprues;

Each has five bodies (I think I was a little hasty and clipped one off before taking the photo), one running, one kneeling and three standing poses, so quite a bit of variety can be gained in each squad.

Also there are a bunch of heads, more than enough are helmeted for every model to have one, plus one in an officer's peaked cap and one in a forage cap.

There is even a selection of back packs for your squad.

A couple of things disappoint me about this sprue, firstly there are very few arms designed to hold the MP40 or MP44, which is a nuisance for players using late war squads heavy in automatic weapons.

The second thing is the massive heads, almost as if they went true scale on everything, but decided to go Heroic on the head. It reminds me of the 'Big head mode' cheat on the original Hidden and Dangerous. Here are a couple compared to Tamiyas 1/48 Russians;


Its a shame about the heads as the one thing they really managed to scale back were the guns:

  Metal figures often come with guns three times the size they ought to be and so blobby as to be indistinguisable except as a generic rifle or SMG.

There are four of these sprues in the box (if I remember correctly), and they are very neatly detailed.

6 K98 rifles (one scoped, one with bayonet), a single G43 semi-automatic rifle, 2 MP40 SMGs, one MP44 assault rifle, one MP34, one MG 42, a Luger, a Panzerfaust and a bunch of other assorted bits.

Excellently scaled, the rifles do tend to snap if you aren't careful.

The Good
Far more detailed than the old metal models, especially the guns, with lots of optional extras.
Enough models to make a whole platoon, at a reasonable price.
Lost of variety for the unit.
These were the first plastic Germans in this scale on the market, but they are no longer alone.

The Bad
Silly bobble heads!
Guns are fiddly to attach, the rifles break rather easily

Overall a good set, although I doubt I will add any more to my collection. I am tempted to pick up a box of Wargames Factory's Germans for a comparison, or better yet wait for The Perry Brothers Afrika Korps to come out.

The army so Far

Command and some spare panzerfausts
Kneeling Rifle squad

 Standing Rifle squad: The MG42 gunner is from one of the half tracks

 Standing SMG squad: Converted grenade bundle

 Running SMG squad

  Since the SS nabbed all the cool camouflage schemes I had to content my self with lowly Sumpfmuster, basically the same colours as the half-track camo.

Next update will be after my PSC order arrives, time for some Flames of War I think.

~ Bob

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