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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.

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.

30Aug/180

Bolt Action US Airborne

After we started the themed week with the supplement Campaign Market Garden, it is time to introduce and cover the matching Airborne units in a review - starting with the US Airborne. They were the second paratrooper unit released in plastic after the German Fallschirmjäger.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

The US Airborne was founded more or less in 1942, when the 82nd Infantry Division was renamed 82nd Airborne Division, regrouped and assigned a new task, Operation Husky, the airborne landing in Sicily, Italy. The 82nd Airborne are along with the 101st Airborne Division the only airborne division of the American forces, and both took part in Operation Overlord (D-Day / Landing in the Normandy) and Operation Market Garden. US Airborne soldiers were heroically represented in movies like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.

24Aug/182

Warhammer 40.000 Killzone: Sector Mechanicus

As supplements for the Kill Team Starter kit Games Workshop released a series of specific Killzone Environments. These kits are bundles of already available terrain kits with added content for the Kill Team rule set at greatly reduced price.

In this unboxing and build review, I continue with the terrain kits after the Sector Imperialis Basilicanum and move forward to the Killzone: Sector Mechanicus.

Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Mechanicus Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Mechanicus

For 65 EUR we receive a huge and heavy box, with a lot (and I mean it, a lot!) of sprues. I had to add the comparison with the Primaris Space Marine so you get a feeling for that huge stack of frames you get for that money. But that is not all, as mentioned above, this is not simply a discounted terrain bundle, this is a Kill Team Killzone supplement, covering a double sided thick card board gaming mat and additional gaming material, like an environment chart for the Sector Mechanicus, 4 new scenarios using the terrain from this kit and 12 new tactic cards.

Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Mechanicus Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Mechanicus Warhammer 40.000 - Killzone Sector Mechanicus