Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WI277 - Sneak peak of Stalin's Europe

Wargames Illustrated #277 arrived at the front door today. I was very happy to see the cover and a Battle Report about Stalin's Europe inside.

I haven't been this excited about a new sourcebook since Hammer & Sickle over 1 1/2 years ago.

I snapped a few photos of the cover and the inside contents.

The Cover

German list from the Battle Report

Russian list from the Battle Report - Shermans!

Finally, a bio of the Russian tank hero - Dimitry Loza

Those M4A2(76) Shermans are expensive! My 229th and 3rd Guards Mech Corp run companies of 8 Shermans. I think for an M4A2(76) company, I may want to run them in groups of 7 to save points.

What the heck is the Emcha Gunner special rule? Is that why the A2's are so expensive compared to T-34/85's (taking into account Protected Ammo for the Shermans)?

In other news, I looked over Das Book. It's the size of the Open Fire mini rulebook. There are 9 missions in the book. Hasty Retreat, Roadblock and Cauldron are some of the new missions - is Cauldron a new mission? I don't know, I haven't played it before. Absent from the mission choice is No Retreat. It was an easy mission to set up, but you wanted to be the defender because the defender won 75% of the time (so say the postings on the FOW boards).

Nation Arsenals are up to Stalin's Europe. Although, Blitzkrieg unit stats are NOT in Das Book.

I don't use the amphibious rules or airborne rules, but for $8, it's hard not to pick up the book with the new missions. BF really should have put the EW stats in the book, though.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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

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!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Greatcoat PzGrenadier Commander

I despise painting infantry. I'm too methodical. I'm too much of a perfectionist. I cringe when I make an "error". My painting skills make cute kittens weep.

Okay, okay, I might be exaggerating a little. =)

My point is, it will take me awhile to paint up an infantry platoon of any size. When I see the infantry that Rich "GeekEGuy", Steve "indierockclimber", Carlos "Sentinel", Bill "Gothmog", Ryan "RJM Miniatures" and numerous other great painters out there I just sigh.

They are great painters and it's a joy to see what they come up with when they post samples of their work at the FOW Gallery.

Still, I've had a blister of greatcoat grenadiers sitting in the bin for months. I finally decided I should paint them. I have my daughter to thank for kicking me in the rear with motivation. Okay, she guilted me into starting by saying I was hurting "their" feelings leaving them all alone in the blister. Or maybe it was the fact she got hired to paint a squad of 40K Termies (more on that later with pics).

Here's the commander. He turned out alright. What I struggled with the most is drybrushing the german grey (with white mixed in) for highlighting. I messed up the brush work and it gave the coat a dust-look. I went back and hit the recesses with german grey again to provide shading.



The one area I'd like to do better is the faces. Instead of dots for eyes, I want to paint a "T" and "U", leaving the black primer to give definition to the mouth and nose.

It took me 2.5 hours to paint this guy, doing about 20 - 30 minutes at a time. At that pace, I'll finish 7 stands of infantry by 2012! LOL

On a side note, I want to shout out Steve over at WWPD. His blog is "Blown Up". He's also a featured writer at Bell of Lost Souls, writing about FOW. Now, he and his buds are planning a monthly podcast!

Great work, Steve! You're an example of the FOW community needs to keep this great game growing.