bolt action

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!





Idea time - Brecourt Manor Board (Part 2)

...where were we....oh yes!

Look what I found!

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A huge board of Xtratherm. 10cm deep, 81cm wide and 169cm long. I was thinking of making two different Arcworlde boards for Troubles in the North. I also toyed with the idea of a cross roads map. In the end I settled on making the battery at Brecourt Manor. The only problem was modularity and mobility. the board as is is huge and unweildy (hence the chipped/torn edges). I wanted to make it as two boards with interchangeable positions - I love the assault on the guns, but not enough for it to be all I play!


Taking the line diagram above, along with the satelite image from google, I started to use GIMP to work out a board. GIMP allows images in cm measurements so things can be scaled appropriately.

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Although the guns line up with the hedge row quite well, the fields to the left of the image dont...GIMP to the rescue!

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This plan, to scale with my board, has the hedges moved and re positioned to match the google earth view. This fits nicely with a two part board where the left hand board can be moved and rotated to match any of the other edges!

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Unfortunately there is a minor this scale 6 inches and the 25mm bases don't quite work...and to run an 80cm x 80cm board I need to lose 10cm from one end!

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Idea time - Brecourt Manor Board (Part 1)

Hot on the heels of another unnecessary purchase [Brother Handro: "Is any of it necessary..."] we have another project lined up.

Everyone loves Band of Brothers, right? Anyone who says they don't is a liar! Of course, best episode is hotly contested with Bastogne often winning out. Best individual that is a question. Foy is of course legendary, as is cross roads, but I have to say the assault on the gun battery at Brecourt manor is something else all together.

For those that don't know the operation, there are some great descriptions here, here, here, and here!

The general premise is that Winters, tasked with taking out some presumed 88mm artillery, takes a small force from Easy Company and successfully assaults a fixed position to eliminate 4 German artillery pieces which are shelling the landing zones on D-Day. The operation, and Winters' tactics, are reportedly still taught at West Point today.


The area around Ste-Marie-Du-Mont includes a manor house at Brecourt. Various maps are available at the sources linked to above, and some of these help give an idea of the exact position of the field.

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Some careful google mapping, and it is possible to find the corner of the field today - note that North is now roughly at the 8 O'clock position.

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The sattelite photo graphs dont give much of a clue, but thankfully the history keen community have drawn up a number of handy maps giving an idea of the locations of guns and various important details.


This diagram gives a nice range of detail. but can be nicely cut down to the important details as seen below.


In the next post I'll give more detail on how we can recreate this terrain for wargaming!

Unboxing - German Heer leFH 18/40 10.5cm howitzer (1943-45)

Behold, more frivolous purchases!

I finally caved in an bought my self a treat....amongst the many other treats!

I've recently met someone who has never watched Band of Brother - who doesnt love Band of Brothers right! As such, it must all be watched again. It doesnt take long to get to the infamous Assault of Brecourt manor with Winters' attack on a fixed gun battery.

In this sequence Easy Company take on a German artillery battery which, although initially thought to be 88mm guns, turns out to be a battery of LeFG 18/40 10.5cm Howitzers.....funnily enough, I know a company who makes those!


Helpfully, Warlord gave many people a voucher recently - under the guise of a survey to see why I havent bought anything recently....needless to say I spent MUCH more than they gave me in discount so they win again!


Its a nice looking kit....I'll take 4! (and two MG42s!)

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The kit is, currently, unassembled still. This is because larger things are in the works. It does look very tidy. Nice casting as usual from warlord, and the addition of the three equipment, ammo and gear boxes is nice. Once the plans are revealed I will start some assembly and let you know how it goes together!


Did someone say shame?


Project Progress - Konflikt 47 Soviet Heavy infantry

Sorry folks...It's been a busy week!

Work/sickness/real life all get in the way some times but, after all, for a grown man playing with little metal men should come after such things! (Brother Handro: "never!")

Today I give you what little progress has been made - assembly of my Soviet Heavy Infantry for Konflikt 47.



I tried to ensure that there were no identical poses/combinations. The sculpt is clearly uniform, with two hammer wielding, and the rest split between two dual weapon systems and one dual weapon system.


These guys have since been primed and will be painted green. I may use a muted white stripe to demarcate the NCO, historically identifying your NCO too clearly wouldn't be wise, but historically your NCO wouldn't be in a rift powered armour suit fighting undead Nazi's, werewolves and weird bat things....

I plan on basing in a winter/rubble/blasted terrain theme - to match with my current winter Bolt action terrain and the, soon to be started, winter Stalingrad/urban/ruins board.

Stay tuned for some more articles over the next few weeks!

Der H

Bolt Action, AKA Shame, Part III

In which Handro finally receives the final part of his order/descends into hobby madness...


At last, the final (who am I kidding?...) part of my recent Bolt Action splurge arrived, very tardily. - The new British Tank War starter set (Tank War supplement, mini V2 rule book, templates, damage/pin markers, dice, stat cards etc), 3 Churchills and a Sherman troop (2 Vs, 1 VC Firefly). Additionally some paint, dismounted panzer crew (just for fun, but actually useful in Tank War) and the new Opel Blitz/Maultier kit - expect a review and comparison to Rubicon's offering soon!

Lastly some 11th Armoured Division decals. I went with this outfit as they were pretty busy post-Normandy, allowing for themed games around Market Garden (Neunen, Band of Brothers style), Battle of the Bulge and into Germany. You can also run with Shermans/Fireflies, Cromwells and very late-war Comets, allowing for flexibility of models. 

I've had a fair few head-scratching moments regarding British tank markings, squadron colours, senior/junior regiments, etc but think I've got a handle on it now. May be the subject of a future article, stay tuned!




Thought for the the day; 'Heresy grows from idleness'.