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19Apr/210

Valentine for Operation Lightfoot

One of the final pieces to add to my 8th army motor pool is a Valentine infantry tank. As the army is themed around Operation Lightfoot, a mid-war tank and mark would a great fit. As I've stocked the british themed army mostly with Rubicon vehicles, I wanted to keep on doing so. It is just ridiculously difficult to receive stock. The Valentine is part of the second wave 2020 novelties and it took until this week to get my hands on a boxed set.

Tabletopper NL Drop

I kept looking for it on my usual suppliers, like Fantasy-In, got in touch with them, but due to Brexit and the incredibly bad preparations by Rubicon UK, there was just no info on when it would be deliverable. Earlier this week Tabletopper.nl posted an update on their stock, covering the Valentine as well, and I gave it a go. As they "only" charged 7,90 EUR for shipping from the Netherlands to Germany, and even had some other items on stock that I was looking for for a while now (for example Empress' WW2 range, which I ordered through a german store in November and Empress didn't manage to supply them with stock pre-brexit nor afterwards), so I had an order with a total beyond 100 EUR it was free of shipping costs. But what amazed me the most, I ordered it on Wednesday morning and within an hour my order was picked and packed, and I received my tracking number just 75 minutes later. DPD did a great job as well, bringing the package within 48 hours to me. So chapeau to Tabletopper.nl, will keep an eye on you from now on.

8Oct/200

Bolt Action – Carro Armato M13/40 and M14/41

After a bit of a pause, a new plastic vehicle kit for Bolt Action. Not bound to a certain campaign book this time, and from the cooperation of Italeri and Warlord Games an italian medium tank multi-kit, the Carro Armato / Semovente.

Bolt Action - Carro Armato / Semovente Bolt Action - Carro Armato / Semovente

This is the first italian plastic tank kit for Bolt Action, so far they only had access to resin kits and among those primarely tankettes. With this kit, the player is able to field either a Carro Armato M13/40, M14/41 or Semovente da 75/18.

2Apr/200

Bolt Action Centurion Mk III Heavy Tank

This is a review, that I was really looking for, as that tank is simply a must have for myself - the british Centurion tank! Warlord Games added the main battle tank to their range as part of the Korean supplement.

Bolt Action - Centurion Mk III

The Centurion was a successor of the cruiser tank line, with prominent ancestors like the Cromwell or Comet. These were proper tanks, but were no match to the heavy guns, the Germans could put into battle. So one of the requirements for a new, heavy cruiser tank, was that it had to withstand a hit from the feared 8,8 cm gun. They didn't solve that by giving it thicker armour, quite contrary, with 76mm the first prototypes of the Centurion Mk I had much thinner plates than a Churchill (101mm) or later Mk VII and VIII (152mm), but it was highly sloped, creating an effective thickness far above. Something the Russians brought into WW2 with the T-34 and was later picked up by others, like the German Panther tank.

24Aug/190

Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Part 1

A Rhino is probably one of the, if not the, most sold vehicle kits from the Warhammer range. It has been around far before the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40k and as the kit lending its chassis to a couple of further Space Marine vehicles quite numerous.

When I got to know the kit in the late mid 90s, it came in a compact blue box, containing the four sprues and four decal sheets, that gave you the basic rhino. Of course, the cover showed the armoured personnel carrier in the colours of the Ultramarines. The posterboys of the Imperial Space Marines.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

But of course, there were more Space Marine chapters than just the Sons of Macragge back then. A lot more. And thus the box showed the Rhino in service of the Blood Angels and Space Wolves as well, including minor variants you could build from the kit.

7Jun/190

Modern Combat – Modern Tanks M1A2 Abrams

As I had quite a good impression of the Tamiya kits in the past, and the 1:48 scale vehicles fit well with larger 28-32mm models, I added to the 1:48 Tamiya HUMVEEs and Black Scorpion's Last Patrol a M1A2 Abrams.

Tamiya Main Battle Tank M1A2 Abrams

The kit is usually priced around 26-30 EUR and casted in sand yellow plastic. The kit is spread across multiple sprues, giving Tamiya the opportunity to use them in different sets / variants. In addition to the decal sheet, there is an a lead bar to up the weight of the tank.

11Apr/190

Bolt Action A12 Matilda II Tank Troop

The latest plastic vehicle kit for Bolt Action is the Matilda II, shown here as the tank troop with 3 tanks. The Matilda II kit available either as a single vehicle boxed as A12 Matilda or as a three tank troop.

Bolt Action - Matilda II Tank Troop Bolt Action - Matilda II Tank Troop

Of the Matilda Mk I only 140 units were build and the successor Mark II saw action in early in the war in France, but became more famous in the Desert Campaign against Italian tanks. The A12 / Mark II was produced between 1939 and August 1943, with a production run of around 3,000 units. Roughly a third of these were delivered to the Soviet Union under the Lend & Lease agreement. Captured Matilda II were used by the Germans under the nomination Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk II 748 (e) or Pz.Kpfw. Mk II 748 (e). While the British replaced the "Queen of the Desert" beginning 1941 with Valentine tanks, the Australian army used their Matildas until the end of the war.

24Mar/190

Some Perry Sprues and Bits

On the Sweetwater board (a German speaking online community with focus on historical wargaming), on irregular intervals a centralized order at the Perrys is organized.

Perry Miniatures - Aggregated order sprues and bits

Usually I'd suggest supporting your local dealer, but as the Perry blisters and individual sprues are more or less direct only (you can buy them at events like Crisis or Salute via Dave Thomas) this is a good way to save on shipping and even get a bit of a discount. Thanks to emigholz/Thorsten for organizing the whole bit. The last one was held before christmas, but as the Brexit (maybe) is right in front of us, we did a quick "last" one.

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.

23Jul/180

Bolt Action King Tiger with Zimmerit plastic kit

The King Tiger is in a couple of variants available at Warlord Games, with the plastic kit in cooperation with Italeri being the youngest incarnation of the German heavy battle tank.

Bolt Action - King Tiger with Zimmerit Bolt Action - King Tiger with Zimmerit

The King Tiger, or sometimes called Royal Tiger, has the internal designation of Sd.Kfz. 182 or Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B Tiger II. Ausführung B and Tiger II showing it as a derivate of the Tiger I tank, but improved with sloped armour that made more use of the thick armour plates of the Tiger tanks. After initial problems with the reliability, it proved to be a remarkable battle tank towards the very last month of the war. The Tiger II was the pinnacle of the heavy tank series that actually got into production, unlike the Panzer VII Löwe or Panzer VIII Maus that never really left the drawing board (or in case of the Maus just had some mock-ups or prototypes).

22Jul/180

Bolt Action IS-2 Heavy Tank

The heaviest plastic tank kit Warlord Games offers for the soviet forces is the IS-2 heavy tank - a perfect match for the Bolt Action campaign supplement The Road to Berlin and worthy enemy for the King Tiger. Time to honour it with a review on its own.

Bolt Action - IS-2 Heavy Tank Bolt Action - IS-2 Heavy Tank

The IS-2 (Iosef Stalin, in Wnglisch often called JS-2 for Joseph Stalin) was the successor of the IS series heavy tank and counts as one of the most powerful tanks of World War 2. It was developed to withstand the German 8,8 cm guns and to counter Tiger and Panther tanks with the 122mm gun. It went into service in April 1944 and was used in the final offensive of the Red Army towards Berlin. Of the IS-2 were 3.850 units built between 1943 and 45, making it the most numerous tank of the IS series and triple the number of produced Tiger I. Besides being field by the Red Army / soviet forces, the IS-2 was part of the Polish and Czechoslovakian tank forces towards the end of the war. To the end of the war, the IS-3 was introduced as a derivative of the IS-2. IS-2s often would carry soviet soldiers into battle, offering valuable protection from enemy infantry. Warlord pays respect to this and adds a sprue of plastic infantry to this kit.