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20Sep/180

Bolt Action Campaign The Western Desert

I have already covered the plastic kits of the Afrika Korps and 8th Army Infantry that came along with this campaign supplement for Bolt Action - Campaign the Western Desert. Now it is time for the book itself.

Bolt Action - Campaign The Western Desert Bolt Action - Campaign The Western Desert

The name already gives it away, this book covers the first chapter between 1940 and 1942 of the Afrikafeldzug or North African Campaign. With 168 pages a rather big book, actually currently the one with the highest page count, pushing The Road to Berlin from his former throne at 148 pages. Warlord Games keeps the price at 19,99 GBP or 30 USD and offers as usual a direct exclusive miniature, in this case the very fitting Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Next to the final cover, with Rommel himself, is the early cover with a British soldier carrying a Bren LMG. Nothing unusual, we already had different covers early among others for Duel in the Sun as well.

19Sep/180

Dead Man’s Hand: Outlaws – Part 4

In one of Vince Venturella's many videos on YouTube, he once said that, no matter if you're in the midst of an army project, you should always try out new and different things while painting. Since I was in the mood to do so anyway and this approach offered itself to a Dead Man's Hand gang, I took his advice to heart and experimented a bit with the colors of the skin and the jacket.

The skin of el Toro has a slightly darker nuance than, for example, McMiller's sons Eugene and Seamus. The jacket was a rather unusual experiment. I searched Google for pictures of mariachis, western jackets, and the poncho that Clint Eastwood wears in "A Fistful of Dollars". In the result the jacket received embellishments on the sleeves in the form of yellow stripes and a stylized bull's head on the back, inspired by the Dead Man's Hand logo.

Dead Mans Hand - Outlaws El Toro

I also painted the sash around his waist in a rather unconventional way, brghtening the red up with Dwarf Flesh, giving it a milder, pastel tone. Since in my mind a sash is never just plain, I decided to paint a few stripes on it too, which eased the tense look of the miniature a bit.

18Sep/180

Bolt Action British 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry

As already mentioned with the review of the Afrika Korps box, the Western Desert supplement is supported by two new infantry kits, and here is the second one, the British 8th Army Commonwealth infantry kit.

Bolt Action - British 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry

As these were prepared at the same time, we had the chance to see the 3-Ups at this year's Salute in April 2018. The Africa campaign is something special to many wargamers, especially those with relatives, who fought in that battle. The duel between Montgomery and Rommel is often connected with some kind of chivalry, a mutual respect between both opponents. Surely glorified to some degree, as war is war, but still a somewhat special part of World War 2 and therefore of special interest for many people.

Similar to the Afrika Korps box, who was released 1973 (!) by Airfix, the 8th army plastic kit was even around earlier than this, in the 1960s, so for some of the veterans in our rows, these were among the first toy soldiers they to play battles on the living room floors or kitchen tables. Thus reminding many wargamers to their first memories of this hobby.

17Sep/181

Bolt Action Deutsches Afrika Korps German Grenadiers

Warlord Games released for Bolt Action the latest campaign supplement, The Western Desert, and this time the book is accompanied by not just one but two new plastic kits. We're talking about the Afrika Korps Grenadiers we're going to review today and the 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry we'll see here as well.

Bolt Action - Deutsches Afrika Korps German Grenadiers

We were shown the 3-Ups of these kits at our visit to the Warlord Games Studio and the day after at the Salute 2018 in London back in April. The wargaming crowd is eager to get their hands on both of these boxes. But why is that so? Well, back in the day, when the now veterans of our hobby started, long before there was this broad range of miniatures made from plastic, pewter or resin, the only commonly available resource for toy soldiers were 1:72 or 1:32/1:35 plastic kits from companies like Airfix (if you're British) or Revell (if you're German). And from what I've heard, for many people the conflict in North Africa was in particular interesting from the war stories that they heard from their parents or grandparents.

15Sep/180

Bolt Action 8,8 cm FlaK 37

Final part of this week's anti-tank gun series makes the 8.8cm FlaK 37 by Warlord Games / Italeri.

Bolt Action - 8,8cm FLAK 37 Bolt Action - 8,8cm FLAK 37

The 8,8 is one of the most famous guns of World War 2. Similar to PaK for Panzerabwehrkanone, FlaK is a contraction of Flugzeugabwehrkanone. Actually developed as an anti-air gun, but due to the ability to shoot horizontally, it was often used as an anti-tank gun. The 8,8, depending on where you are either called eight-eight or eighty-eight, was produced as prototypes early as 1928, later wide spread production started in the early 1930s and the gun was used in the Spanish Civil War and Sino-Japanese War as well. The here shown FlaK 37 is the latest of the first generation of 8,8s.

14Sep/180

Heer46 8,8 cm Pak 43

Heer46, the German resin forge for small series, released this 8,8 cm PaK 43 late 2017 / early 2018 and it fits well, with this week's anti-tank gun theme. I have covered their Panther F-Schmalturm and Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. B on here as well.

Heer46 - 8,8-cm-PaK 43 Heer46 - 8,8-cm-PaK 43

Initially designed by Krupp as a competition to the 8,8cm FlaK 41 (the second generation of the 8,8 cm Flak 18/36/37), it was reworked and went into production in 1942. The first units were mounted to the Nashorn tank destroyers, later in mid 1943 available on cross outrigger or split rail carriages (as PaK 43/41).

13Sep/180

Rubicon Models PaK 40 AT Gun with Crew

After a brief detour into the Wild West, we're back to anti-tank gun week with the PaK 40 by Rubicon Models.

Rubicon Models - PaK 40 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models - PaK 40 AT Gun with Crew

The 7,5 cm Panzerabwehrkanone 40 or PaK 40 was the backbone of the late war German anti-tank guns. More than 23.000 units were produced and mostly used on carriages, but some were mounted to tank destroyers like the Marder series. Development of the PaK 40 started early, when the first Soviet tanks were brought to Berlin in 1939 and the 5 cm ammunition of the PaK 38 that was still tested at that point, proofed to be not powerful enough to deal with the newer designs of slopped and thicker armour.

12Sep/180

Dead Man’s Hand: Outlaws – Part 3

With the growing number of gang members, the concept and backgroundstory of the gang gradually grew as well. Seamus McMiller is Eugene's younger brother and comes from another affair of old McMiller. To illustrate that they're brothers, I tried to use the same colors as on Eugene.

The only exception to this was the shirt. While I was painting, I had the idea of distinguishing the brothers primarily by the color of their shirts.

Dead Mans Hand - Outlaws Seamus McMiller

11Sep/180

Rubicon Models PaK 38 – PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Today we're looking at the successor of the PaK 36, the PaK 38 by Rubicon Models. This kit covers the variants 38 and 97/38 of the anti-tank gun including a crew.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Rheinmetall-Borsig, who produced the earlier PaK 36 as well, were ordered to develop a new, heavier anti-tank gun after the Spanish Civil War. After an initial sketch of a new pattern named 37, which was not approved by the German authorities, they had to come up with an improved version, the PaK 38. This more powerful anti-tank gun was one of the few guns being able to penetrate the sloped armour of the T-34 in 1941.

10Sep/180

Rubicon Models PaK 36 AT Gun with Crew

This week is all about anti-tank guns. We'll cover a couple of different sets in 28mm, beginning with this PaK 36 AT Gun incl. crew by Rubicon Models.

Rubicon Models - PaK 36 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models - PaK 36 AT Gun with Crew

The PaK (Panzerabwehrkanone) 36 was a German anti-tank gun, that was issued to the German army in 1936 and used by the tank hunter units until 1942. It even saw action before World War 2 in the Spanish Civil War, and performed well against the light tanks and later against the Polish tanks in 1939. In the Battle of France it showed its weakness against French and British heavy tanks. The PaK 36 was replaced from late 1940 onward by the 5 cm PaK 38 anti-tank gun and from November 1941 by the 7.5 cm PaK 40. Until the production ceased completely, there were over 20.000 units produced, of which roughly 6.000 were built for export. Other nations like the Soviet Union and Japan copied the design in the 1930s.