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17Jan/190

Bolt Action Opel Blitz & Maultier

In late 2017 Warlord Games covered the Opel Blitz / Maultier combi plastic kit for Bolt Action.

Bolt Action - Opel Blitz / Maultier Bolt Action - Opel Blitz / Maultier

The truck is one of the workhorses of the German army, transporting troops, supplies and ammunition were they were needed. The Opel Blitz is the most known of these trucks, other companies like Ford or Daimler supplied their own trucks, in some cases like the DB 701 by Daimler, it was simply the Opel Blitz without the markings built under license.

Where the Opel Blitz was build between 1937 and 1944 and made it to around 70,000 units, the half track variant of the Opel Maultier was released later in 1942/43 and around 20,000 units were built. As these trucks were the standard solution for logistics of all kind, there were multiple variants of them, converted and built for use as ambulance, communication, weapon carriage and even uparmoured ones.

14Jan/190

Rubicon Models SdKfz 301a Opel Maultier with Box Body

Based upon the already available Opel Blitz Kit (RM280026), Rubicon published the Maultier variant that replaces the rear wheels with tracks. As with some of their other kits, like the SdKfz 25x, they cover further accessories. For the Blitz and Maultier there is the option to upgrade the cargo bed with the box body "Einheitskoffer".

Rubicon Models - SdKFz 3a Maultier with Einheitskoffer

After the first winter in 1941 on the Eastern Front, the German army high command realised that the trucks weren't capable of handling the weather and terrain conditions. The vehicles often got stuck in the mud and snow. A unit of the Waffen-SS build the tracks of a Bren Carrier under a truck to confront those conditions. After realising the benefits of this modification in 1942, Opel, Ford and Daimler added these variants to their truck production. Depending on by whom the LKW Gleiskette 2t was build, it was called SdKfz 3a (in case it was built by Opel), 3b (Ford V3000 S) or 3c (Daimler L4500). The variant was called Maultier (mule) and further variants were build upon the halftrack vehicles, like the Panzerwerfer or with a 2-cm Flak 38.

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.

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/181

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.

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.

31Aug/180

Bolt Action British Airborne

One of the latest kits and the youngest of the paratrooper plastic kits, are the British Airborne. A must for this week's series of reviews around the Operation Market Garden along with yesterday's US Airborne kit.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

The British airborne is one of the many special combat divisions of the commonwealth's armed forces. They were founded in 1941, roughly a year earlier than their US American counterpart, and the 1st Airborne Division was send to North Africa for Operation Torch. But this kit covers the Red Devils in their North Western European gear, making them the best fit for the mid to late war operations of Pegasus Bridge, Operation Market Garden and the late fights crossing the Rhine / Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation in history. In cinema the British paratroopers are mostly known from A bridge too far.