I ordered a couple of these 1:56th German WWII scout cars from Bolt Action Miniatures just before Xmas last year and they arrived this week. So here’s a quick review.
First the BAM packaging was nice, with both vehicles in snappy white boxes sealed with a printed sticker showing their contents. Inside the parts are split into two baggies, one for the two resin pieces, and one for all the metal parts. This photo shows all the pieces involved.
The main body is split into two large resin parts, which is a cunning arrangement that means there’s less casting issues around the wheels or undercarriage of the armored car. Flames of War 15mm resin vehicles have bad flash and molding issues around the wheels because they’re cast as a single resin piece with attached base, and the large undercuts made by the wheel arches and undercarriage cause problems. Detailing on the 222 is provided by a number of white metal parts for the fenders, lights, front bumper and a freely rotating turret ring with cannon and a two part wire ‘mesh’ grenade guard.
The white metal parts are all nicely cast and there’s no issue with them, however the bodies and wheels of both Sdkfz’s show several very obvious air bubbles in the resin which I’ll have to patch with green stuff. One bubble was so large it almost cut the front axle in two. Bubbles in resin casts of this size are to be expected, but it is a minor annoyance that I’ll have to deal with before I paint anything.
The moveable turrent ring drops into the resin body very nicely and rotates well so I’ll probably paint the turret and main vehicle separately as these vehicles will be used for Pulp gaming. The cannon, MG and sight fit into the turret, but the barrels don’t quite slot into the ring gaps correctly. The problem seems to lie with the MG which has a slight angle on it meaning the barrel won’t drop into the gap for it. I can’t bend the MG barrel so the issue will have to be fixed by sanding down the turrent ring gaps to make them larger. This issue occurred on both vehicles so I don’t think it’s a problem with the casting, but rather with the original masters.
The rest of the metal parts fit without a hitch though, the lights and bumper have cast holes they slot into and the fenders slide over generous lips on the main body. That’s good because they’ll have a fair amount of surface for the superglue to bond with. I suspect the fenders will get knocked around most during play as figures are moved around the car.
The main body doesn’t quite drop onto the wheels properly though and some sanding of the axle arches will be required for best fit. I notice the wheel axles aren’t modelled straight onto the base either. Look at the above photo and you can see the front axle is at a slight angle. I assume this is intentional to indicate the steering is slightly turned to the right. I does mean I’ll have to pay some attention to which way around I glue the body down though because the straight axle needs to go in the rear!
Once assembled the whole armored car certainly looks the part. The stowage boxes and spare wheel are nicely represented on the body. I also have a blister of Ebob Miniatures 1:56th German equipment that’ll I’ll use to add a little more stowage to the exterior.
Speaking of Ebob, this shot shows the Sdkfz 222 next to a primed white metal 1:56th Ebob Opel Blitz truck. They look pretty good together and once painted (whenever that may be) will most likely be used in convoy for some .45 Pulp Adventure scenarios. Carrying looted Nazi antiquities across the desert perhaps, or bringing a squad of Germans in to garrison a sleepy desert village.
Here’s another comparison shot with a couple of 28mm Artizan Designs DAK Germans. 1:56th is a little smaller than the 1:48th scale 28mm figures actually correspond to. However it’s a good compromise for gaming with because a 1:48th vehicle would take up considerably more of the gaming table.
Vehicles are typically just used to block line of sight or present a victory objective to reach, although we did have one mad .45 adventure where three different gangs insisted on climbing into and onto the Opel Blitz while is was being driven recklessly across the desert.
These vehicles from Bolt Action do have a few flaws, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a little patching or filing. The mixture of a resin body with metal parts works well and should represent a sturdy little vehicle once assembled and painted. Despite the fact I usually don’t like molded on bases I have to say once you put the kit together the groundwork underneath it is totally inoffensive and when painted will blend in well with my modular table.
Assembling one with blue tack for these quick photos did fill me with a desire to bust out the primer and paints which is always a good sign. Hopefully I’ll have a painted one up on the blog before 2007 ends!
Addendum: On patching and fully assembling both 222’s this afternoon I’ve discovered you also have to cut away a fair amount of the right rear fender to get it to fit around the spare tire.