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4Feb/190

Warhammer 40.000 Killzone: Sector Fronteris

A bit unexpected a new Killzone was released, the Killzone Sector Fronteris. So far, the existing Killzones were based upon already released terrain kits and repacked them with a solid bargain. The Sector Fronteris makes use of the STC Ryza Pattern design, that were first introduced with the Realm of Battle Moon Base Klaisus and later in a smaller kit as the Ryza Pattern STC Ruins. The later I already covered in a review on here.

Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Fronteris Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Fronteris

What does STC Ryza pattern mean in this case? A STC is a standard-template-construct, that enables the Construct Machines of the Empire to produce specific objects, to a certain standard, equally and easily all over the Empire with the local ressources. These STC aren't just covering buildings like the Ryza pattern, but vehicles, like the Rhino, generators or shelters.

This kit comes at the regular price tag of 65 EUR for the Killzones. It is a bit tricky to calculate the savings on this kit, the other kits usually have a value of at least 110 EUR. Beside the last before this one, the Wall of Martyrs, where the saving dropped by quite a bit. This box covers the large frame from the Moon Base twice, but none of the smaller ones (those were moved towards the Killteams Starn's Disciples and Theta 7), so a new sprue was added to the box. But more on that below.

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.

7Jan/190

Das Boot – inspiring wargaming

I watched the tv mini-series version of the original movie Das Boot from 1981 on amazon prime last year or the year before. It had enhanced audio and video quality, with 6 episodes covering 52 minutes each. In November and December 2018 a tv series sequel of the same name, was released as an 8-part. It plays 9 month after the original movie, and due to the nearly 40 years between both movies, of course with different actors. I had the chance to see the location and mock-up of the submarine in Munich, in the Bavaria Filmstudio. It was quite impressive to see and transported the claustrophobic atmosphere of the submarine quite well.

8Oct/180

Gangs of Rome Civilian Mobs Secundus and Tertius

With the Blood on the Aventine starter just introduced on here, and my ancient SAGA with roman participants, I laid my eyes upon the extended range of Gangs of Rome. These cover beside the fighters several sets of civilians.

I wanted to buy all three of the Mobs, unfortunately the mob primus wasn't in stock that time, so I got "only" mob Secundus and Tertius. But I'll pick that one up on Crisis or so.

Gangs of Rome - Civilian Mobs

The blisters are 8 GBP each and cover 5 civilian miniatures, sculpted by Paul Hicks, along with five 25mm round base and one 80mm mob movement base. For some reason my Mob Tertius was missing its mob base.

4Oct/180

Heer46 Carro Armato P43 Bis

Following the Krupp-Steyr Waffenträger from Tuesday, today we unpack and build the Armato P43 Bis by Heer46.

Heer46 - Carro Armato P43 Bis Heer46 - Carro Armato P43 Bis

This is another tank from the resin series produced in cooperation with Rubicon Models. The Armato P43 was an Italian heavy tank that was developed by FIAT and Ansaldo, but never left the draft stage. The sources why the development stopped are not clear, some say the design was dropped in favour of the lighter P26/40 tank, but it is likely that the resources were just not available after the armistice of Italy with the Allies in 1943 and the Axis had other things valued higher than Italian tank development. Only two mock ups were build, but as mentioned before not further progressed. The tank was intended to weigh around 30 tons and have a 420-430 hp diesel V12 engine. The name Carro Armato P43 stands for armoured vehicle, P for pesante - Italian for heavy - and the number '43 most likely standing for the development year.

2Oct/180

Heer46 Krupp-Steyr Waffenträger

There is a new range of 1:56 scale resin kits produced by Heer46 in cooperation with Rubicon Models, as an addition to Rubicon extensive plastic range. One of the vehicles offered as part of this assortment is the Krupp-Steyr Waffenträger.

Heer46 - Krupp-Steyer Waffenträger Heer46 - Krupp-Steyer Waffenträger

Among the several Waffenträger (and their blueprint / papertank / prototypes) the Krupp Steyr Waffenträger is one of the less known vehicles. And like many of his kind, this tank destroyer never actually saw service. Only a similar concept of this Waffenträger, known as the Ardelt project was produced and can be seen nowadays in the Kubinka tank museum in Russia. Two wooden models and one trial Waffenträger were produced in 1944, that had a chassis constructed by Steyr mainly using parts from the RSO (Raupenschlepper Ost), and armed with an 8,8 cm KwK 43. This was the base for the model we see here. Due to the turret, and in combination with a small mobile ramp, the firing arch of this Waffenträger was amazing versatile. As this is a rather special vehicle, there aren't that many further information available. Most may know the Waffenträger from games likes Warthunder or World of Tanks.

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).