Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battlefront Pz IIIE's - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


The Good

wargmer of Bartertown has been offering individual EW vehicles for $12.50 (no shipping charges or sales tax) by breaking down the EW army boxes. This is great since the Pz-IIIE blisters don't appear to be scheduled for release until after November.

I ordered three Pz-IIIE's for my Barbarossa 2012 project and received them within a week. All tank components were there. Thanks wargmer for the prompt service! You can order EW vehicles individually at store.waterloominis.com.

Next, I was presently surprised to see that Battlefront pre-drilled the hulls for magnets. Take a look.


The rare earth magnet is 1/4" x 1/32" and fits perfectly! I did have to drill holes into the turrets, but with the hulls already done, it cut down the drilling work by 50%. Thank you Battlefront.

I found it odd though that Battlefront drilled out the hulls but then didn't include any rare earth magnets in the Light Panzer Company box.

The Bad

Here's a close-up of what I consider clean lines on a turret.


Now here's an example of a "bad" turret. Note how the molds for the turret MG's didn't come out as good as the first turret.


The detail on the track stowage, such as tools, spare road wheels, etc, is also hit and miss.

This roadwheel looks like a smashed danish treat.


And this is just plain poor quality. The roadwheel sucks and so does the towing line etched onto the track guard. Wait a second, there is NO towing line. It's gone!


The best track of the bunch.


It's difficult to see in the picture below, but one of the tracks didn't fit flush to the hull. I checked for any blemishes or raised mold lines that would cause the track not to fit snugly. Nope. The hull mold didn't come out correctly and there's a gap between it and the track piece.


The Ugly

I didn't take any pictures of this bit of quality from Battlefront. The main gun is a metal piece that is intended to go into the cut out square (see close up of turret above). Well, the main gun is too big. It didn't fit. I had to cut a portion of gun base down in order to fit it into the square.

At $12.50 a piece, I expect things to fit reasonably well and not require me snipping off a portion of the gun base. =(

Nobody else has reported this problem, so maybe I received a bad batch of Pz III's.

Oh and to top it off, when I primered the vehicles, I sprayed too far away and the guns received a flaky layer of primer. Arggh! I scrapped the flaky parts away and will just blast it with the German grey and hope for the best. I hope this doesn't mean the gun barrels are cursed and I'll never make a FP roll in future games. LOL

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Rather disappointing considering these are supposed to be "new" releases. I'm guessing they did not re-master the tack sections but continued using the older ones.

    The turrets and that mess of resin (which for some reason I tend to call "slag") is an almost universal problem, occurring especially under the turrets and on the hulls where the tracks fit in my experience. It's not too difficult to fix by cutting in with a blade or filing away, but it is doubly-disappointing to see it on something this new.

    Generally I spend around 30 minutes per tank on cleanup alone before I'm happy to undercoat and start painting. I am quite picky however. Its just something I've come accept, though would prefer not to of course. The most annoying to date are the British Sherman V turrets which are slightly too large for the hull turret rings.


  2. I've had similar issue's with some battlefront tanks (M4 Shermans). When the hull cast wasn't straight along the tracks I just fill the gap with greenstuff. I've also found placing the tracks on a flat surface and apply pressure helps - sometimes the tracks have a bit of a twist in them.

  3. @CdlT - Disappointed is the word that sums up my feeling as well. I think if more quality issues turn up with the new vehicles, people are not going to be happy paying the higher prices. That will cost Battlefront sales because one of the reasons for buying Battlefront is their supposed "quality" advantage over other 15mm alternatives.

    @jmilesr - My only experiences with M4's are the Soviet Emchas and I usually have to file away a notch on the left track because it doesn't mate correctly to the hull. It's off just enough to not make a good fit. If the track I highlighted falls off, I will definitely slap on green stuff to bond/fill the gap.

    Thanks for the comments guys.