Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review of Warlord's Atlantik Wall Terrain Set

I LOVE a good looking table.  There is nothing better in my mind than playing a good game on a great table with fully painted models.  It is the perfect combination.  Apparently I am not alone as up at MOAB passerby after passerby would stop to get a closer look at the great tables and armies.  Now, I am time poor and a slow painter.  This means that I am constantly battling my age old nemesis… time… to get armies to the point that I feel comfortable putting them on the table.  This leaves little time to build and paint terrain…  This is why I am such a big fan of Gale Force Nine’s battlefield in a box range.  Pre-painted, good looking durable terrain? Yes please!  Now I will get back to GF9’s products soon as I am a big fan BUT today it is time to talk competition!  Warlord Games has stepped into the pre-painted terrain business in a big way with the release of their Atlantic Wall set.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Review Of The Company B STUG 33b

As covered in an earlier post, I purchased a STUG 33b from Company B a while back and as I did not know exactly what to call it in the game, it sat in the back of the bits box until, DaveOWar and I figured out what it was.  After the success of the KV2 at MOAB I got to thinking that maybe playing around with a heavy tank could work after all in Bolt Action.  The result, the ol' STUG got called up to the workbench and hobby time began!

I have ordered from Company B a number of times in the past and I have to say that I am very happy with their customer service.  Their prices are on par with other manufacturers and their shipping times are excellent! I have had a few small hiccups quality wise in a few of the products but this kit was the first time that I actually cringed at the quality of a resin model.

The main body of the kit was pitted badly and several of the hatches looked soft edged and melted.  additionally the back right track guard was missing and the left was dangerously thin.  I have included pictures above in black and white so show these defects as clearly as my camera allows.

This is not enough to get Mama Morin's boy down though.  As an old school model maker I did not get frustrated or angry.  I got converting!  I added stowage from Company B, Die Waffenkammer and Warlord games all over the kit to cover problem areas that shaving could not fix. I also removed the rear track guards entirely on both sides so they matched and re-enforced the remaining front guards with thin layers of green stuff (underneath).  I then built back the edges of the exhaust boxes on the rear sides so they had a hard 90 degree corner to them, at least I did to the best of my abilities.  The end result looked like this.

I like the final results ALOT!  I think the extra gear covering the tank gives it an experienced campaigner look that I look forward to painting.  It also adds beef to an already intimidatingly large beast of a tank.  VERY SEXY!!!

In short, I love it!  I could have asked for a new kit from Company B and I am sure they would have replaced it given their reputation (with me at least) for being helpful and friendly.  Will this keep me from ordering other Company B kits?  Nope... I bought and Japanese truck yesterday.  Could it have ben better?  Yup, but then I never would have spent as much time doing me best work to make the kit work.  Sometimes I think the best results I get as a hobbyist come from mistakes and broken models.  The extra effort goes a long way I suppose. Time to get painting!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Love of Impractical Things (STUG 33B in Bolt Action)

Well, I am back from MOAB and I have all sorts of interesting army list ideas floating around in my wee head.  As this was my first foray into the larger Bolt Action community I was keen to see what people were bringing to the table list wise and painting wise.  I have to say list wise I was very impressed! (not to say that the painting was shabby, quite the opposite)  Players were taking lists that used all levels of experience, lists that mixed experience levels within lists and themed armies that not only fit historic battles but also worked well on the table top.  In my last game I played Richard who came first overall.  He ran a KV-2 in very themed Russian list.  Now, Heavy tanks are not something that one often encounters on the BA field (at least here in Melbourne) and I was shocked at how effective this tank was.  This got me thinking after my old buddy DaveOWar dropped in the other night and helped me identify a tank I bought when I first started playing BA (cuz I thought it looked cool!).  The Stug 33b (P.S. Thanks Dave!!!)
Company B sells this big bad boy and I initially thought it was the SIG 33 based on the panzer 1 chassis but a good look on google disproved this notion.  As I could not find the tanks technical label in the German book I assumed that the writer’s of BA had left that variant of that tank out of the book.  I was wrong.  With Dave’s help we found and cross checked and sure enough…  It is the Stug 33b.  This is 310 heavy tank totes a heavy howitzer and an mmg and on paper looks remarkably like the KV-2 I played in Richard’s list.  Now… it is more expensive and lacks a turret…  which well… sucks BUT it is a MUCH cheaper version of the Sturmtiger that I have been trying to shoehorn into a list for over a year now.  True, it does not fire a 4D6 HE shot, BUT 3D6 should be enough to deal with most threats. 

Now I can hear people in internet land screaming at me from here…  DON’T DO IT!!!  HEAVY TANKS SUCK IN BOLT ACTION!!!!  I get it.  I do.  That said I think the model looks BOSS and hey…  I could say I have a finished German army because it is a heck of a point sink.  I have signed up for the BA GT in Sydney in late November and I need an army and honestly, I need a break from the Partisans and I want to take something radically different.  My Germans are modeled with city fight bases and the STUG 33b is a tank built for urban assault.  Sounds like a good match…  I think I need to trial a few lists and see where this goes…

FYI: From Wikipedia
The Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B was a German self-propelled heavy infantry gun used during World War II. A new, fully enclosed, and heavily armored boxy casemate superstructure was built on the chassis of the Sturmgeschütz III. It mounted the improved sIG 33/1 infantry gun, offset to the right side and a Maschinengewehr 34 machine-gun was fitted in a ball mount on the left side of the superstructure.
The first dozen were delivered by the end of October 1942 and assigned to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen (Assault Gun Battalions) 177 and 244, then fighting in Stalingrad. The remaining dozen vehicles could not be delivered to Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen 243 and 245, also fighting in Stalingrad, after the Soviets surrounded the German 6th Army on 21 November. Instead, the vehicles were formed into Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Lehr-Bataillon (Assault Infantry Gun Batterie/Demonstration Battalion) XVII. The battalion was assigned to the 22nd Panzer Division as the Germans attempted to relieve the trapped 6th Army. The Division was virtually wiped out in the fighting and the battery was assigned to the 23rd Panzer Division where it became the Sturm-Infanterie-Geschütz-Batterie/Panzer-Regiment 201 (also known as 9. Kompanie/Panzer-Regiment 201) for the rest of the war. The last strength report to mention them lists five remaining in September 1944.Only one survived at the Kubinka NIIBT Research Collection at Russia.[3]

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Old Man Morin Paints Up Some Partisans

Well, I survived MOAB.  I came 7th and had a blast! (More soon... lots to discuss)

I was also able to get all of the additional partisan models done to finish the army.  Here are a few of the finished models.

HE love!

My Objectives

The Hortch Field Car

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Partisans VS Germans... BOLT ACTION STYLE!!!

Today Brad and I ran through a game of Supply Run (5 objective grab from the MOAB player pack) with my Germans against Brad’s Partisans. I was running what I considered to be a reasonably tough German list without taking the piss or going over board in any way: