15. August 2019

Zvezda 1:100 KV-2

A closer look at the Soviet KV-2 1:100 model kit by Russian producer Zvezda. This model belongs to Zvezdas "Art Of Tactics" wargame. A a lot of tankmodels in 15mm scale are available for this game, but the level of detail and the general look of the models from that range, as also from their other wargame "Hot War  - Battle For Oil", is not always the best.

Let us take a look at the plastic to get a clue about this:

The kit comes in 2 green sprues with all parts included to build a KV-2 tank model. Basically I could copy-paste most segments from the closer look at the KV-1 Mod.1941 in the previous post, this kit is generally good but should have better tracks.
There are some mouldlines to remove but except for that, I see no issues with this kit. Building it may be tricky, but while I built this kit, everything went fine. I like the way how Zvezda solved the barrel, but the piece for the barrel tip was hard to clean from any residue.

As also for the KV-1, I only checked the dimensions of the hull, 67,8x33,5mm, and compared to Wikipedias data of 6,75 x 3,32 meters, the difference is minimal and this fits in scale.

Everything fine except for the tracks which are pretty basic and lack of greater detail.
By the way, this kit uses the same hull and track parts as the KV-1 Mod.1941 which I reviewed in the last post, and I would say, that the same 4 parts are used on the KV-1 Mod.1940 too, you may look for yourself in this review at Modellingmadness.com.

All in all, this is a nice kit, which was built pretty fast without issues. I painted it the same way than the KV-1, and for the two on the picture below, I had to take decals from the sparebook, since Zvezda does not include decals in their "Art Of Tactics" 1:100 tanks expansion.

You can see the result below, 2 KV-2 are finished out of the box and they look fine. I got them to have a chance against future custom units, since there are some big kitten on the way, but I still have to order decals for them.
Since the KV-2 will become a custom unit for "TANKS", you may expect its unitcard after the weekend.

13. August 2019

Zvezda 1:100 KV-1
Mod. 1941 With F-32 Gun

A closer look at the Soviet KV-1 Mod. 1941 1:100 model kit by Russian producer Zvezda. This kit belongs to Zvezdas "Art Of Tactics" wargame, which features a lot of 1:100 tankmodels. The overall level of detail differs from kit to kit.

But no further words, let us take a look at the modelkit from this box:

This Zvezda kit comes in 2 green sprues, including all 6 parts to build the KV-1. You have the choice of 2 different guns, but only one of them is mentioned in the instructions. It seems that the other barrelpiece may come from the KV-1 Mod.1940 kit, but I can not say this for sure.
As in all other Zvezda 1:100 tank kits, also a flag (which can be attached to the tank) is on one of the sprues, but since this is for use in "Art Of Tactics" only, it will be unused.

The overall quality of this modelkit is good. The used plastic is pretty hard, just as the stuff they use for their newer 1:100 kits.
Neither sinkholes nor visible injectormarks can be seen, but the grade of detail could, while in general it is ok, be more distinct. I did find only minor mouldlines, except for the tracks, which will need some work. As usual, the tracks lack of detail, especially the inner side of them, what is sadly shared among all other 1:100 wargaming tank models of Zvezdas various wargames.

I only checked the dimensions of the hull, 67,8x33,5mm, compared to Wikipedias data of 6,75 x 3,32 meters, the difference is minimal and this fits in scale. And while I am at the lower parts of this model, this kit shares some parts with at least 1 other Zvezda kit.

This kit uses the same hull and track parts as the KV-2 which I reviewed in the next post, and I would say, that the same 4 parts are used on the KV-1 Mod.1940 too, you may look for yourself in this review at Modellingmadness.com.

The building instructions are on the back of the box and clear to understand. Actually, cleaning the parts took more time then building the tank. While glue would not be needed to built this tank, I used some Revell modelglue and the plastic took it without issues and binded very fast.

I added decals from the sparebook, since decals are not included in this box, and this is what I got as final result:

Building this kit went without issues as I wrote above. After it got primed with the Russian primer by AKinteractive (great stuff), I painted it by hand before it got its matte varnish seal, again via airbrush. May be I will make it dirtier, but it is already a nice proxie unit for "TANKS".

By the way, yesterday was another productive Montagsmaler session, somehow I managed to assemble my crude interpretation of a Soviet truck with a 3,7cm flak, but look for yourself:

11. August 2019

1:100 M36 Jackson
Bitsbox/3D Print Hybrid

When I built the Achilles tank hunter from its expansion for "TANKS", I had an unused spare M36 Jackson turret that went to the bitsbox. Since I had some time ago the idea to combine leftover parts with 3D printed parts, you may already know what I did.

This chimaera is the result of combining the Battlefront Miniatures M36 turrets with a 3D printed hull from Thingiverse.com, if I remember correctly, I took it from this collection. The last indegrent were the tracks, taken from a 1st generation BFM plastic Sherman. 
The tracks are a little oversized what clearly can be seen when this tank is compared to his British comrade, the Achilles.

While the lenght and the height of the printed hull do not differ much from its plastic counterpart, the printed part should have been 2mm wider, what clearly can not be seen on this picture. Except for that, I am pleased with the print.
Sure, since the machine which made it is, ahm, let me call it, ahm, pretty basic as also the overall print quality is pretty basic and would be better with a better machine. But I am still fascinated with this relatively new technology and what is possible with the cheapest printer we got.

I do not want to get too enthusiastic about 3D printing, I think you can see the endless possibilites of this stuff, not only for modelling purposes but on a bigger level, for yourself. As I may have written sometime in the past, I compare 3D printing to the replicators of "Star Trek", even when these are completely different technologies.

But back to the Jackson, then there are the tracks.
The scavenged tracks are the reason for the height differences of both tanks, while they look ok, they are way to big and I may change them in the near future. This would be the oppurtunity to get some "Art Of Tactics" Shermans, to see if their tracks could be used.

Sunday, funday, and since the next Montagsmaler meeting is on close sight, you may not expect another post for today except for the case, that I will get motivated to drop some lines about another Zvezda 1:100 kit. But at the moment, the chances for that are pretty low.

10. August 2019

1:100 Zvezda Opel Blitz
3D Printed Flak 38

I recently finished another 3Dprinted/modelkit hybrid, this time it is the 1:100 Opel Blitz model of Zvezdas "Art of Tactics" game which got equipped with a 3Dprinted Flak 38, like this one I did some years ago.
The built of the truck went fast and without any issues, all parts were casted fine and had a good fit. There will come no closer look at the kit, but some good reviews can be found on the web and youtube.

I changed the freightbed and added the flak to use it for a final playtest of my planned planes expansion for TANKS. The plastic of the kit seemed very soft but it took modelglue without any issues.

On the left side you can see the 3D printed Opel Blitz of my mate Olli, with a scratchbuilt freightbed and also equipped with the same flak model. Both files came from this excellent collection of 1:100 .stl files of tanks and trucks, the Flak 38 was icluded within the Horch files, at least I think so.

Another time I was positively surprised by our printed stuff. While the Opel was one of the first kits we ever printed, we had no idea what we did and its quality could be much better nowadays, I would not say its is bad, but it is not good either.
The flakguns got very well done with the cheapest 3D printer on the market (1 1/2 years ago). They needed some cleaning from the support structures but would have been ready to paint after that.

A view on the additional stuff which was added, I decided to add a scratchbuilt seat and a gunner from the bitsbox for both Flak 38. The gunners had a shoulder amputation for a better fit, but this can hardly be seen on the finished model.
Another small modification was magnetizing the flak. I glued a 2x2 rare earth magnet into the socket of the Flak 38 and glued a small metal plate right on the freightbed under the carriage for the gun.
When Olli has finished his truck, I will show you how it is applied.

Next Monday the Montagsmaler will continue their roguish projects, since 3 of 4 factions got their mobile AA units finished, the only thing left to do is to get some AA units for the Soviets.
And this will be (what a surprise) more 3D/Zvezda hybrids. I already printed some guns but I think I will have to redo them because the scaling seems wrong.
By the way, is it 3Dprinting or 3D printing, I think I will continue to use both versions.

By the way, all new  kit pictures are uploaded, so stay tuned to get a small overview (hehe) of Zvezda 1:100 wargaming kits which we use and will use for ww2/ww3 TANKS games in future posts.

8. August 2019

AMX-10P Expansion
TANKS The Modern Age

A closer look at the AMX-10P tank expansion for "TANKS The Modern Age" from Galeforce 9. Set in a fictional 1980ies world war 3 background, this game is the followup to ww2 "TANKS" (also made by GF9) with an slightly advanced ruleset and air units.

As usual, this kind of expansion contains a 1:100 modelkit made by Battlefront Miniatures and some cards for the game. First a look at the kit which came in this box:

The kit comes in one green sprue containing all parts needed to built this tank. I can not see any flaws, there are virtually no mouldlines to remove, no sinkholes were found and any ejectormarks would not be seen when this kit is built. As usual, this is a nice engineered kit, like all of the newer BFM kits.

After a look at the plastic, next are the cards included in this box, first we have the card for the unit itself:

The French AMX-10P is a light support tank with a relatively high Initiative and the "Scout" ability which means this tanks should stay in cover. It has with its Rapid Fire ability 5 dice against unarmoured vehicles and helicopters, and if it is equipped with MILAN missiles it has the ability to attack any unit on the battlefield. But this arnament is needed since its base attack is only 2. For 13 points (including the missile option) you get a light tank which is pretty fragile with only 3 hitpoints and 0 armour, but it may be a threat to any enemy unit.

Beside the actual card for the unit itself, the following crew and equipment cards are included in this expansion:

First there is the equippable "MILAN Firing Post" missile launcher for only 2 points which adds the option to  attack with 4 missiles. This may be a nice option, but I think it will not be used often, to be honest, I think that the French forces for "TANKS The Modern Age" can rely on the AMX-30 with its Rapid Fire 5 ability.

Then there are (as usually) the hero units for the French.

The driver "Henry Delacroix" offers the possibilty to re-roll one Defence dice when the tank has a speed token, this is not bad for the cost of 4 points. When you discard the card, this ability is gone but the tank then can do an additional single move in the movement phase without adding a speed token.

"Andre Mareau", the gunner, adds an additional Attack point and gives the ability to re-roll up to 2 Attack dice when the target is in close range. Costing 5 points, this seems like a must-have for any French platoon, since this card offers a big advantage.

Next is a card which the (French only) "charging" pre-fix, this time it is the "Charging Gunner" for 3 points. He adds an additional Initiative point during the Shooting Phase. Since this is one of those revealable cards, when this is revealed, for that round the tank gets an additional attack die when shooting the side of the enemies tank for that round.

The last card included is the "Artillery Observer", which is well known from the ww2 TANKS. Just read the text on the card for yourself , this card is very useful, if you rely on artillery tanks this is a must have worth two points.

There it is,  a closer look at the third and final expansion for the French.
It offers a light support unit capable in bringing down helicopters. The kit of this model once again has a high standard and the grade of detail in fine for its scale. The new crewmembers offer more tactical choices, especially the "Artillery Observer" is very useful, since the French are the only nation which can use artillery.
But the usefulness of this unit is unclear. For only 2 more points you could choose the AMX-30 which has way better stats. But since all reviews for the French expansions are done, it is time to get a view at the possible tactics and platoon builds for them in a future post.

This has nothing to do with the AMX-10P, but since the tank got painted in the same style and I am to lazy to take a picture of it, here is a picture of the 3Dprinted/bitsbox AMX-AUF1 artillery tanks for my French platoon, in the foreground a potential custom unit can be seen.

It is possible that I will add one or two additional posts tonight, at the moment the "TANKS The Modern Age" Cobra helicopter and another 3Dprinted/bitsbox hybrid are waiting for their sealing with matte varnish.