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24Mar/180

Aviators, get your engines running!

I got my hands on a Airfix Dogfight Doubles set back in 2016, and build the Messerschmitt Bf109 and a Spitfire MkVb right away. Now I found some more 1:48 scale kits, that could be used as terrain. So I bought a Junkers Ju-88 by Revell and a Ju-87 by Italeri.

About the scale, that is a longer discussion. The proper scale would be 1:56, but there is currently only one kit availabe of a Stuka in that scale by Blitzkrieg Miniatures. And to be honest, 40 GBP ist in my opinion to much for a "stand-in". I got a Junkers Ju-88 A-4 by Revell for 30 Euros, quite a lot of plane for that money, as you can see from the pictures below. It works quite well scalewise as you can see from the comparison with the Fallschirmjäger.

Revell - Ju-88 A-4 Revell - Ju-88 A-4

The wingspan is amazing and overall it was an okay-ish fit. Some parts were rather annoying to assemble, like adding the engines to the wings. I'll paint the windows of the cockpit in a light blue and saved myself the trouble of building the interior. And some other parts were even more fun, like the 0,5mm thick struts that frame the bomb wings.

Revell - Ju-88 A-4 Revell - Ju-88 A-4 Revell - Ju-88 A-4

10Mar/180

Bolt Action M3 Lee medium tank

This is a M3 review double feature, as I'll show you today the M3 Lee and the M3 Grant (with track guards). The M3 Lee kit is a regular shelf product, that comes in a boxed set. Warlord offers the Grant as a made-to-order / direct order product.

Bolt Action - M3 Lee Bolt Action - M3 Lee

The M3 medium tank (not to be confused with the M3 Stuart / M3A1), was an American medium tank, that was supplied to other allied forces, like the British, Australian or Soviets during World War II. The differentiation between Lee and Grant, was done by the turret. The American issued turret (like in this kit) was called Lee, after the Confederate General Lee, the British issued turret after the Union General Grant.

10Mar/182

Bolt Action M3 Grant medium tank with track guard

In addition to the M3 Lee review, this article will cover the british Grant variant of the M3 with track guards.

Bolt Action - M3 Grant with track guards

Unlike the M3 Lee, this kit is only available as made-to-order and therefore comes without a box in a simple bubble wrap bag.

As the M3 is already introduced in the other article, I'll focus here on the M3 Grant. Of the more than 6,000 Units the Americans build of the M3 Lee, 2,855 units were handed over to the British, who supplied them within the Commonwealth. The British had added modifications to their order, a different turret was designed with thicker armor plate, more space to house radio equipment and the machine gun cupola to be replaced with a simple hatch. The later was even done to some of the M3 Lee turrets in use by the British in China, Burma and India. And some of the M3 that were to be deployed in North Africa received sand guards, as this kit has as well.

6Mar/180

Bolt Action Universal Carrier Wasp Mk II

Along with the previous introduced Chindits, there is need for suiting vehicular support. In Burma they used the nimble bren carriers to transport soldiers and goods, some of the universal carriers were fitted with a flamethrower and called Wasp, which I want to introduce in this review.

Bolt Action - British Wasp Flamethrower Carrier

Of the more than 110,000 units that were build of the universal carrier, roughly 1,000 units were manufactured as the wasp. The wasp carried the Ronson flamethrower system, with the Mark I having it fixed in the front and the Mk II the projector on the co-driver's position. Both had two fuel tanks with a capacity of 100 gallons. The canadians developed the Mk IIC with a single 75 gallon fuel tank. As you can see from the product image, this is the Mark II of the wasp.

5Mar/180

An army with an exotic theme – Chindits for Bolt Action

I have this lot of chindits lying around for quite some time now, and I want to explain why I chose these and what is the motivation behind it.

First of all, why a themed army? I always liked from background to my projects, wether it is sourced ficitional or historical. I like to have a proper base to start from. A source to begin with, a common thread that combines the miniatures. And it doesn't matter, if it is sci-fi, fantasy or historical. Simply painting your marines blue like on the box, is less interesting to me, than to read the books and see for something that catches my eye. I have to go back in my arguments, back when I started wargaming, I played Warhammer Fantasy and 40k, like many others do or used to do. A regular army project was already an invest and a themed army would easily be something that would drive up the costs by at least 50%, as you had to gather specific bits and pieces for conversions etc. But historical wargaming is usually much cheaper, as there are more companies offering the same ranges.  Exotic or themed armies can still be difficult or more costly, as in some cases only one or a few companies are covering specific nations or conflicts.

In this case, as we're talking Bolt Action, we're talking World War II. The conflict is rather Euro-centric and most go for the elite or well known armies, US Airborne, Afrikakorps or something similar. You have battles between Americans, British or Russians on one side and Germans on the other. There is often not that much variation, as you more or less see the same armies. As with the armies I already have, different German forces, US American and British late war western front forces, those have broad vehicle pools, only a few limitations. So I looked for something far from home. I could have gone with the blue division (spanish volunteers on the eastern front), but that is more or less a regular german army with a minor different paint job. Along the campaign supplements for Bolt Action "Empire in Flames" was a very interesting read for me, as it showed that there many conflicts that lead to a global war scenario, beside the tension after World War 1, but I don't want to go into detail on that, I'll pick up the conflict in the pacific in the upcoming review on the Campaign: New Guinea. More interesting was for me this specific special army of the British in Burma. Warlord has these in their Bolt Action range and they were sculpted by the talented hands of Paul Hicks, so the miniatures had it easy to "lure" me in.

As the chindit range is entirely metal, it is spread across a couple of blister codes and a single larger box, with lots of different poses. I went more or less with ordering one of everything, as you can see below. And as we're talking Bolt Action, around 1,000 pts should be enough and not to costly.

Bolt Action - Chindits

28Feb/180

Infamous JT Warsaw Uprising Kubus

The "crown jewel" of the currently running Warsaw Uprising Kickstarter campaign by Infamous JT is most certainly the Kubus, that I want to show you in this pre-release review.

Infamous JT - Warsaw Uprising Kubus

The Warsaw Uprising is part of the late war years of the second world war. It was an operation of the polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from the German occupation. There were resistance cells in many occupied countries, in some cases the Allies supported the resistance with equipment and gear, in other cases the underground look after themselfes. In this case, the polish resistance built an armoured car in secret, based on a Chevrolet 157 truck and called it "Little Jakob" (Kubuś). It was one of a kind and often seen with a captured Sd.Kfz.251/3 Ausf.D named Grey Wolf.

5Jan/180

Ersatz StuG Ausf. G and more Germans in winter gear

The StuG is done and here are the proper picture of the third vehicle for my Unternehmen Greif / Panzerbrigade 150 force for Bolt Action.

Bolt Action - Ersatz StuG III

You can read about the work in progress in more detail over here, Ersatz Stug Ausf. G WIP. I thought a double sided Zeltbahn camouflage would be a nice detail for the vehicle. Went with winter / snow camouflage in "pure" white on the one side and a splitter tarn on the other side. There were reversible smocks for the infantry, proper details on the zeltbahn or vehicle netting are more difficult, so take this with some historical "liberty".

22Dec/170

Ersatz StuG III Ausf. G Work-in-Progress

Almost there with the Ersatz StuG Ausf. G for the 150th Panzerbrigade / Unternehmen Greif. Finished the white wash camo, decals are done, weathering with mud and cracks is satisfying. Only part missing so far is the stowage. Have to take care of the spare wheel, the jerrycans and the Zeltbahn. Actually, I'm thinking about doing a splinter-pattern on the one side and leave the other one white, as snow camo.

Bolt Action - Ersatz StuG III Bolt Action - Ersatz StuG III Bolt Action - Ersatz StuG III

When I started converting the Ersatz StuG I had a few black and white pictures of the Battle of the Bulge aftermath, and some more pictures of the Flames of War 15mm variant and a conversion tutorial by Warlord Games. In addition I found this one by Roy Chow on Network 54. I covered my own conversion in here (Unternehmen Greif) and here (Captured Ford M8a).

18Nov/170

Perry Miniatures AEC ‘Dorchester’ Armoured Command Vehicle

Fresh from the molds, the AEC Command Vehicle by Perry Miniatures, directly covered as a review as part of the Africa themed week.

Perry Miniatures - AEC Dorchester

The AEC 4x4 Command Vehicle was the most common ACV (armoured command vehicle) of the British Army. It was based upon the AEC Matador chassis (although available by the Perrys as code WR W47), as the British used to develop and employ purpose-built armoured trucks and busses as command vehicles.

16Nov/170

Rubicon Models SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Yesterday we had the shorter command SdKfz 250/3, today it is time for the SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C by Rubicon Models in a review to shine.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C