I bought the Bolt Action rulebook a while ago from Book Depository out of curiosity. I haven’t played any more than a couple of simple squad based games to get the feel of the rules, but recently found out the TCOW club in West Auckland is on something of a Bolt Action bender.
If you’ve followed this blog you’ve already seen a bunch of 28mm scale WWII vehicles and Artizan DAK Germans I’ve put together for Pulp .45 Adventure gaming. The TCOW crowd seem to play at 750pts for a Bolt Action force, so with a little juggling and some help from the Easy Army site I put together a 750pts 1942 DAK force.
This required a few purchases, namely a bunch more Artizan metals to fill out a second DAK squad, an HMG team, and a single Panzer III for some armored support. I was considering picking up one of Warlord Games’ Panzer IIIs, until Damian Caulfield over on the TCOW Facebook page suggested Rubicon Models as an alternative. So here’s a quick review of the Rubicon Panzer III that arrived from the Plastic Soldier Company last weekend.
In the box you’ll find three bagged sprues, some lovely clear instructions and a sheet of decals. You’ve got the option of building a Panzer III Ausf J, M or N and the box includes armored skirts (shurzen) and turret surround. You can’t build a Panzer III earlier than the Ausf J because the model only comes with the up-armored gun mantlet and glacis front plate. I built an Ausf J and the kit went together like a dream. It took me a little less than 90 minutes to build the entire tank to completion. Many of the pieces can actually be left as snap on until you’ve finished painting them. For example both track assemblies slide nicely onto spikes on the hull and will stay there happily without glue. The turret stand off armor and the side skirts don’t require glue either as they either clip or slide into grooves on the main body. The main gun is also easily interchangeable. This means you can easily switch between the Ausf J, M, and N if you paint all the parts.
I have two minor nit-picks about the kit, first is the fact no side escape hatches are modelled on the main body between the return roller wheels. That’s possibly because this kit is intended for war-gamers and as such you’d never notice the missing detail on a typical gaming table. However it’s a little odd they’re absent when even the box art shows them on the tank. So you can see I’ve added them with a little white plastic card on the Panzer III I’ve built. The other nit-pick is the fact the driving lights that come with the kit seem considerably out of scale compared to what you can see on period photos of these tanks. As such I left them off and sanded down the rectangular mounting points on the fenders. In the photo, you can see the two grey dots where I’ve patched the hole that was left. That’s a 28mm Artizan Designs DAK German for scale.
For a little variety I’ve also added a jerry built cargo rack behind the engine deck, holding some EBob Miniatures metal Jerry cans and a 40 gallon drum. You can find period photos of North African Panzer III’s sporting a variety of cargo racks like this on the internet, presumably because of the supply line problems both the Axis and Allies had fighting across the desert.
I’m looking forward to painting up this lovely little model in desert colours shortly for my Bolt Action force. It should look great on the table and I’m perfectly happy with this excellent kit which is great value for money too. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on future Rubicon 28mm vehicle releases.