Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Closer Look at Bolt Action Germans

Well, today is September 20th down here in Australia and that marks the official release date of Bolt Action.  Now the excitement for me has slightly diminished due to my having the BA rulebook for a month now but I have to say it is nice, as a customer, to be able to communicate with the game designers (Rick Priestly no less) on their rules forums AND to know how to build a unit/ army prior to release date. 

More on that later… For now I thought I would write a quick and dirty review of the Warlord Games (makers of BA) plastic late war Germans.   As a long time Warhammer player I can’t help but compare my experiences with the Warlord minis to my years of working and playing with GW products… I would like to begin with the most obvious comparison: Price.  I was about to get a box of 25 multi-pose German plastics with bitz to make everything from minor officers to inexperienced foot soldiers.  The box comes with pistols, rifles, sub-machine guns, team machine guns, grenades, assault rifles and panzerfaust anti-tank rockets.  It also includes bitz like binoculars, backpacks, ammo pouches to match the guns, and gear to attach√© to the webbing.  Frankly I was astonished to discover all the little bitz and bobs included on the sprues… You can see them below:

Now when I first saw pictures of the models I was not super excited but my local shop had an open box and I really fell in love with the detail on these plastics.  It is top of the line (GW style maybe 5 years ago).  They are easily as good as the plastic Cadians currently on sale if not a little better.  They are true 28mm so they are a little smaller than what I am used to which is fine BUT the guns are not heroic scale which leads to guys carrying around weapons that look childishly small compared to their hands.  If you look at pictures of people with the real things though…  It actually fits (I still think that things look a little small though).

The models themselves have crisp clear details that will easily lend themselves to detail painting later.  The faces are a little bland expression wise but The gear that attaches to the webbing is almost a little too busy and might look messy if not properly detail painted.  As I plan to have my guys mounted in half tracks I will probably skip the extra bits...

Now I have two boxes of guys that I have been assembling and while most of the bodies are one or two pieces this process has taken me forever.  Part of that is my own schedule being nuts but here lies my only gripe with the excellent stand of the Warlord models…  The mold lines…  Now the models don’t really have any kind of weird or extreme mold lines, in fact they are barely noticeable.  The problem is that because the models are one or two pieces and that they are so finely detailed the models end up with line that run across clearly visible areas that need to be removed.  Over the years GW has generally gotten much better about hiding their lines along the creases of their kits.  Warlord have yet to learn this lesson.  That said they are easy to remove and I have actually enjoyed the process.  I feel like I have a good handle of what the models look like now and I have actually started planning in my mind exactly where my highlights might go once the paint gets on these guys.

Another note with assembly.  The Warlord plastic infantry kits come with a double sided, colour, sprue and assembly guide.  Good stuff.  It labels exactly which arms match which gear/ weapons and gives you a guide to how what the finished troops will look like. 
As an aside I also like how Warlord already has a series of spare variant heads on their website to further individualize your models.  True most of the heads are for the Germans but I assume this will change over time (The German plastics have been out the longest).  I have a few blisters of metal models at this point as well and while those models are one piece their heads are separate (OK, I guess that makes them two pieces).  This means that you can individualize your artillery crew for example and as the plastic Germans come with loads of extra heads… I have lots to choose from… 
In short I am a huge fan of these guys.  I highly recommend them if you are looking to get into the 28mm WWII (Bolt) action…


  1. Good review, thanks. After seeing pics of the Brit Infantry sprues I am rather tempted to take a dip into BA afterall.

  2. They do look VERY good! I love the American stuff... Might have to get that stuff next!