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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.

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.

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.

6Sep/180

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – The Farstriders

The last of the warband supplements for Warhammer Underworlds Season 1 Shadespire in a review will be the Farstriders. We had Magore's Fiends early this week. Similar as the Fiends picked up the Khorne theme from the starter kit, the Farstriders pick up with the Stormcast Eternals from the same set.

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – The Farstriders Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – The Farstriders

The Farstriders are the first warband to actually cover shooting / ranged combat in Warhammer Underworlds. But they won't be the last to do so, for sure. Actually as the Farstriders are Vanguard-Hunters, the next Stormcasts that are part of the Season 2 starter set Nightvault will introduce Evocators as a warband and magic as a new component.
But let us take a look what the Vanguard-Hunters around Hunter-Prime Sanson Farstrider bring to the table. As a highly trained, elite group of warriors, it is no surprise that they are only three men strong. Priced at the usual 22.50 EUR for an Underworlds warband supplement or 20.00 EUR for the easy-to-build box without the cards. The Underworlds box covers two pre-coloured bright blue sprues, a deck of cards and an assembly leaflet.
4Sep/180

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Magore’s Fiends

The last duo of the Shadespire warbands I'll cover will be Magore's Fiends and the Farstriders, beginning in today's review with the Fiends. These kits stay with the factions that introduced the first season of Warhammer Underworlds, Stormcast and Khorne followers.

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Magore's Fiends Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Magore's Fiends

Magore's Fiends are a warband with 4 miniatures, three Blood Warriors and a Flesh Hound of Khorne. The warband supplement from the first season Shadespire costs 22.50 EUR incl. the Underworlds content or 20.00 EUR as an Easy-to-Build kit. This box covers two blood-red pre-coloured sprues, a card deck and brief instructions on the assembly.

3Sep/180

Bolt Action Waffen-SS Grenadiers

Closing the themed week on Operation Market Garden with one of the antagonists. Fighting against the Allied Airborne units were dominantly units of the Waffen-SS. Warlord Games released a plastic kit of the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel this summer and we're covering it in a review.

Bolt Action - Waffen-SS Bolt Action - Waffen-SS

This review is not meant to glorify any political ideas or (military) activities of the Waffen-SS and is purely meant to cover the quality of the plastic kit and its miniatures.

The former armed guards of the Nazi party grew from three regiments to 38 divisions over the war. Seen by many as the elite, veteran infantry of the German forces, the Waffen-SS is a controversial topic. They fought fiercely and zealous, indoctrinated and well equipped by the party, but not to forget committed many atrocities and war crimes. Units of the Waffen-SS weren't just drafted within Germany, but there were many volunteer divisions in (occupied) countries like in the Netherlands with the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland. These volunteer divisions could be as large as 80.000 men (Latvia) or just 54 (British Free Corps).

1Sep/180

Bolt Action Char B1 Bis

It might be a bit odd to present a French tank during the Operation Market Garden week, but the Char B1 Bis is in there for a reason. They were used for example by the Panzerkompanie 224 in the battle of Oosterbeek.

Bolt Action - Char B1 Bis Bolt Action - Char B1 Bis

The Char B1 was a French heavy battle tank that was designed in the 1920s and produced between 1935 and 1940. After an initial run of 34 Char B1, the pattern was improved and around 370 units of the heavier armoured and armed Char B1 Bis were build. It was one of the most powerful tanks at the time and proved to be very effective against German tanks during the Battle of France. But it was designed to be a break through vehicle and did not adapt very well to the modern, more fluid style of warfare, especially the rapid Blitzkrieg of the Germans.