Bolt Action Panzer 38(t) by Warlord Games, A Review

You can find a couple of video unboxings of Warlord Games' recent light tank offering, but none of them actually build the thing!...(Although Warlord Games themselves have ninja'd me last week. Should have posted this earlier!...)

Mighty artwork!

Mighty artwork!

So what do we get in the box?


Two sprues (well, one and a half really) in the usual hull, tracks, turret pieces layout.


One set of Axis transfers (German, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian) and the modern info card and damage markers. Also included is a nice glossy instruction guide, paint scheme suggestions and transfers guide.

First off, you essentially get the option to build either an 'early'  (Ausf. B/C) or 'late' (Ausf. E/F/G) version, (there are only minor differences, and rules-wise none at all) and the option to remove the hull MG for a platoon commander's tank. (Would probably do for the Recon variant provided in the rules). Equally you get an early-war tank commander with beret and a later version with standard sidecap.

The parts are numbered in the guide but not on the sprue, which causes a little back and forth, but is still technically an improvement from the 'no parts labelling at all, just guess if it looks like the picture' days.

The kit goes together well, taking me about an hour and a half to complete. You can build it quicker but I'm a stickler for every part being cleaned up and dry-fitting before gluing.

Things you might find tricky;

You'll find it easier to build the track assemblies if you put the rear pieces (parts 26 & 27) in first, there's a slot which should ensure you don't go wrong, allowing the adjoining pieces to go in smoothly.

The front hull plate was a pretty tight fit. It'll need a little bit of pressure to pop in, or you may want to insert it before gluing both track sides to the hull.

The rear panel of the turret doesn't sit particularly well until the top plate is fitted, so get that part ready to go at the same time.

Parts 40 and 41, which sit on the rear hull and are something to do with the running gear are incredibly fiddly to attach. Get your tweezers ready! I have no idea why the weren't simply moulded as part of the hull. I think it might be possible to glue them in before attaching the rear panel but I didn't think of that at the time...

Part 39 (turret handgrab) is tiny and will also require tweezers, as well as careful removable from the sprue.

Extras include the signature German jack (placed differently or simply left off all the example models) and a fire extinguisher, of which there is entirely no mention and I can only assume is there for the sprue's other purpose, namely making up part of the Marder kit.

Interestingly (or not...) Warlord always style their kits as being made of 'hard plastic'. I presume that's a technical definition, but I found this kit to be relatively 'soft' - it was very easy to file and clean up in comparison to their infantry sprues and some other makers' plastic.



She's a dinky little thing, I have a soft spot for many of the boxy early-war, bolted together death's a size comparison;

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...


In summary, this is a straightforward, no hassle tank kit that you should be able to knock together in no time. £18 is the going rate for Warlord's plastic medium tanks, so you might feel a little short-changed to pay the same for a light, but what can you do! If you play early-war you can gain same 'value' by buying the 3 tank platoon, and it's your only option if you want plastic, so what are you waiting for?  Panzer (38t) vor!





Plastic Soldier Company Spray - German Dunkelgelb; A Review

I picked up a can of Plastic Soldier Company's Dunkelgelb from Element Games back in February, at a reasonable  £7.50...probably should get around to trying it out then....


Firstly the good; I have seen people claim that PSC Dunkelgelb spray is both a perfect match for Vallejo's Middlestone, which is generally accepted as a decent approximation of Dunkelgelb, (and more pertinently, pretty easy to get hold of) and nothing like it at all, with photos to prove it. As far as I can tell, for me it is spot on. The finish is also very nice.

Pretty bang on!

Pretty bang on!

Next, the indifferent; I had seen a video on Youtube of someone applying this spray to several tanks in numerous gentle passes, over and over and over. (Admittedly this is a fair technique for avoiding clogging the details). Turns out it was more to do with the spray itself than any technique. The spray seems to be very low 'velocity'; very little paint comes out with each pass, so you do indeed find yourself slowly building up layers of paint on the model, spending time that would no doubt have ruined your model if you'd had a GW primer can in your hand.

The other issue is that aforementioned time; I could have sprayed nearly 1000 points of models with a GW primer in the time it took me to do one halftrack. As always, more haste, less speed!

It strikes me that the paint could well be best used over a primer, but I could find no real consensus on that. Regardless the finish it provided for me over bare plastic is more than good enough for me to continue to use it in this fashion. Equally the finish was flawless in ambient conditions that have seen GW sprays produce horrible grainy textures. 

I would question how much of the propellant is used up with the multiple light passes technique however. It could be using very little each time as very little paint comes out or I could end up with a very heavy paint-full, gas-empty can one day. I'm not an expert in these matters so will just have to wait and see...

Not fun...

Not fun...

Now sadly the bad; the whole reason I finally got around to using the spray in the first place was that I picked it up on a whim last week whilst on a tank-building drive. Unfortunately the can was stuck to the shelf by a horrible, sticky, yellowish gunk stinking of aerosol that was leaking from the bottom inside rim of the can. I bought the can in person too and it gave no indication of being defective for 6 months, so I can't blame it being blind-delivered, nor any abuse on my own part; it has merely sat on a shelf since the day I bought it.

This is probably just a case of bad luck but I have been using GW's overpriced sprays for 20-odd years like a good little fanboy and I have never had any physical issue with a spray can.

The other thought is that the leaking can is the cause of the low velocity of paint spray, but I have used it multiple times now and got the same consistent results; the paint comes out gently and evenly, with no degradation of pressure or change in paint flow. One can is hardly a great sample to judge by either way!

Overall I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this product. Having picked it up on a whim and not expecting much save maybe a half-decent base to work from I was half-hoping once I found out it was leaking that it would be trash and I could get rid of it - now I have to keep it somewhere - a pleasant little (aerosol-induced) headache to have...

It certainly provides a means of skipping the first stage of airbrushing a Dunkelgelb basecoat with paint from a pot, and anything that smoothes the course of my hobby progress get two thumbs up from me, and I would buy it again assuming no further leakage issues!

Guess I'll have to spray all my late-war German vehicles then!


Through the magic of the internet....ta-dah!

Through the magic of the internet....ta-dah!


Thought for the day; 'To question is to doubt'.

Bolt Action - AKA More Shame!

I saw that Warlord Games were having a sale last week. I messaged Der H to inform him; he'd already placed an mine's arrived! *CLANG*


Once more the bell of shame tolls..what you're looking at in this shonky pic is a plastic Hellcat, Panther Ausf. A and Tiger I E along with pretty much the entire metal range of winter Germans, plus the second edition Armies of Germany book, which I'd put off buying and which pleasingly comes with it's own unique winter German figure.

A Panther hull, yesterday.  I've done naught but bend the front mudguards as yet...

A Panther hull, yesterday.

I've done naught but bend the front mudguards as yet...

Worryingly (for Der H!) I in fact have 3 Panthers on the production line (Der H: "Kraft Panther!"). I'm also hoping to pick up Warlord's new Opel Blitz/Maultier to compare it with Rubicon Models' offering. Watch this space!

The Hellcat was just because it's an awesome looking piece of machinery, and a nice kit. Might lead to an American Armoured platoon though... 

And with the advent of new Tank War bundles, expect to see a build up of armour on the blog! (Der H: "weren't you obsessed with Tau last week?")




Thought for the day; 'Ask not for whom the shame bell tolls; it tolls for thee'.