Monday, September 15, 2014

M14/41 and Oils

In preparation for Tank Battles I’ve been painting up some Italian tanks. I got my hands on three M14/41s. These are great little tanks for normal games of Bolt Action, sporting between three and four MMGs plus a (coax) light AT gun. The same model can also be used as the M13/40 (same rules but with slow) or the M15/42 (up to 5 MMGs!). I’m not sure how the M14/41 will preform in Tank Battles, but it’s a great looking tank, and in an historical match up against Commonwealth tanks from 41 and 42, I think the humble M14/41 will stand up. I’ve already painted two Italian tanks, one M14/41 using a dry brush method, and another using ‘panel highlighting’, which you can see below. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with either and wanted a change. Luckily I had Brian and Patch on had to walk me through the amazing technique of oils!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Warlord Games Panzer III J

Since tanks had been officially warring for a few weeks now, it was high time I did a new review on some Warlord Games vehicles. 

With a video on the laptop and some unopened boxes - sent to me by Warlord Games' UK staff - before me, I set to work. Check it out!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blitzkrieg Miniatures Valentine

Hi Bolt Actioneers! It's been a long time since I've posted here, and it's been an even longer time since I've painted any 28mm! (Steve saunters into the joint and shows off a Blitzkrieg Minatures Valentine! - J)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Luigi Pascucci & Pietro Bruno, Italian Tankers

Welcome to Tanko Thursday, a semi-regular article exploring some of the lesser known legendary tankers from the minor nations with house rules for representing them in your own Bolt Action Tank War battles. This week we look at legendary Italian tankers, Luigi Pascucci and Pietro Bruno.

Luigi Pascucci was a second lieutenant in the 132nd Tank Regiment of the Ariete Division. He would be post-humously awarded the Medaglia D’Oro Al Valore Militare (the Gold Medal for Military Valor), Italy’s highest award for his actions at the second battle of El Alamein.

On the 4th of November, 1942, Pascucci's platoon of M13/40 medium tanks was involved in combat against the British 22nd Armoured Brigade near Bir-El-Abd, to the west of El Alamein. The following day, the 132nd Tank Regiment was ordered to hold the left flank of the Axis retreat.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Listing Tank War, Part One

As the forum and other online avenues have showed me over the last few weeks, lots of us are hammering through our first "official" tank lists. In this first part of a two-part article series, I'll walk through my own thought processes for my first list.

Later, I'll get back to you with a second article after facing my dreaded nemesis Andy's forces. For now, though, allow me to offer a glimpse into the disjointed thoughts that go into the making a Judson tank list.

Review: Berlin or Bust Soviet Scout Army

Old Man Morin recently hit me up to help him out on a Big Project he is working on.  I was brought on to paint an entire Soviet army for the man from the land before time since it takes him a month to paint one figure.  The vast majority of the figures in this army are from West Wind Productions Berlin or Bust range.  The force is very thematic an consists almost entirely of light infantry with small arms.   Another requirement was that the arms would be painted in camouflage, instead of just being in khaki uniforms.

The command section is made up of an officer and two staff.  There were some interesting command figures in the Berlin or Bust pack.  Some I really liked, others were okay at best.  I really like the NCO in the fur cap behind the officer.

The main support weapons in this army are three anti-tank rifles.  The ATRs are from Black Tree.  I replaced the BTD ATRs, which are made of white metal, with plastic ATRs from left over Warlord bits.  Each ATR gunner is paired up with a scout with a rifle.  One of the downsides of Berlin or Bust's scout packs is they don't have true scouts with rifles.  Instead the Old Man sent me a giant pack of snipers.  Since you don't need anymore than a few snipers I cut the scopes of the rifles to create scouts with rifles.    You may also notice that I only painted the gunners' pants camouflage.  This is because they have padded winter jackets.  You will notice this on many of the BTD figures in the army.

Here we have a Soviet observer team.  I like the look of these figures.  They are very serious and have binoculars and maps.

Brad and I settled on two sniper teams.  Half of these figures are Back Tree the others are Berlin or Bust.  I prefer the BTD figures over the Berlin or Bust figures.  On the whole Berlin of Bust figures look like apes in the face and have weird mold lines, lots of flash, and lack detail you find in other figures.  This is especially true of the guns the figures are carrying.  These rifles are very generic.  I cant tell if they are Mosin Nagants or nerf guns.

The figures in these packs included two flame throwers.  Both of the flame thrower figures are average and I would much rather pick up a flame thrower from another manufacture.  Brad will be able to use these figures to make flame teams or to include them in Engineer teams.  I have included them in engineer sections for these pictures.

The core of this force will be scouts with SMGs.  Here we have four sections of six or seven figures.  Against some of these poses are every nice, others are crud.  There is a good mix of poses, but there are limits on the diversity in the packs.  If you have a large squad it will be hard not to have repeat poses.

Here are the other two sections of scouts with rifles.  Again these are all sniper figures with the scopes trimmed off.

The one thing that is really nice about Berlin or Bust range is cost, as it is one of the cheaper ranges out there.  I also do like that the you can get scouts with rifles (even though you have to trim the scope).  If you wanted to paint these scouts as assault engineers without armor, or snow troops, you easily could.

I really enjoyed working on this project for Grandpa Bolt Action (Official new name. - J) and it was hard to part with the army once it was done, but I now look forward to buying a bag or two of scouts from Berlin of Bust and painting them up for my self.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Soviet Deep Battle

After the devastation of Operation Barbarossa it took some time for the Soviet Red Army to recover, but by 1943 the Soviets were using a tactic they'd abandoned in the 30s. Called "Deep Battle", it required multiple spearheads to break-through the enemy front, followed by fresh reserves who could then push deep into enemy territory, creating havoc and threatening their rear operations.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Boltaction.net Weekend Review

Did you miss a daily article this week? If so make sure you go back and check them out.

Dark forces conspire to thwart the Allied advance in Normandy.

Old Man Morin showed us pictures from his visit to this amazing museum.

Judson, Dano, and the Mouth of Madness, got lose and talked Bolt Action. 

Anfernee told us about this little no Finnish Tank Ace.

The Great Patchimus Prime showed us his new Late War Germans from Black Tree.

This Week in World War Two History:

On September 4th, 1944 U.S. Marines from the first Division left their base on Pavuvu and headed to Peleliu. The Marines, together with soldiers from the Army's 81st Infantry Division, were engaged for over two months with heavily fortified Japanese troops.  That battle created a lot of controversy in the US because the island, along with its airfields, where of questionable strategic value and the battle led to one of the highest casualty rates suffered by US troops during any operation in the Pacific.  for example the 1st Battlalion, of the 1st Marines suffered a casualty rate of approximately 70% and it was estimated that during the campaign the US fired 1500 artillery shells for everyone Japanese solider on the island.  This did not include the more than 150,000 mortar shells used as well. Ultimately the airfield on Peleliu played little role in the subsequent push toward Japan.  

Make sure you join us next week for more exciting articles and Bolt Action news.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Black Tree Design Late War Germans

After finishing my early war Blitzkrieg Germans I felt the need to get dirty again. With all those rifles and not much else, those Germans had cleansed my spirit after building USMC and playing that lovely game entitled 'See how many BAR's you can fit in an army'. *shudder*

Late War Germans were an obvious choice after Blitzkrieg and I was really impressed with the Black Tree Design (BTD) Kradschutzen that I painted for that army. The decision then was made pretty easy when BTD had one of their frequent sales and I picked up a heap for 50% off.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Börje Brotell, Finnish Tank Destroyer Ace

Welcome to Tanko Thursday, a semi-regular article for the next few weeks exploring some of the lesser known legendary tankers from the minor nations with house rules for representing them in your own Bolt Action Tank War battles. This week we look at Börje Brotell, Tank Destroyer Ace.

In 1943, Finland purchased 30 StuGs from Germany. They saw heavy action in the Battle of Tali-lhantala in June 1944 and following that Finland ordered another 29.

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