I’ve assembled my entire Late War German Panzergrenadier army already, and having played a few games with them have decided it’s probably worth having more than one Panzerfaust in each squad. This excellent BoltAction.net article clearly states the reasons why you should do this.
Panzerfausts are one shot weapons, carried by a Panzergrenadier, and once they’re fired the soldier stays on the table with his normal weaponry. So I thought it would be nice to have removeable Panzerfausts. I was pondering how to do this after a recent loss at a friend’s place when Aaron (a spectator to that game) suggested I use magnets. Brilliant! Fortunately I recently picked up 160 more tiny ‘pill’ style rare earth magnets from Dangerous Magnets.
Taking the spare Panzerfausts I had from the plastic box set, I snipped the heads off every one. The haft (which in the real Panzerfaust contained the propellant) was replaced with some straightened, galvanized garden wire. I used 1.2mm wire for the larger Panzerfaust heads, and 0.9mm wire for the smaller Faustpatrone heads. You get a mix of both types of weapon in the Warlord plastic box. The Faustpatrone have the smaller, bell shaped cover on them. Although it’s not shown in these WIP photos, I also made a simple push mold of the folded down spring leaf sight from the original plastic hafts, and added that back to the metal ones.
Having given my Panzerfausts magnetic, metal hafts I proceeded to torture a bunch of my assembled plastic Germans by drilling massive 2mm wide divots in their backs, and super gluing 1mm x 2mm pill magnets in there.
This second photo shows my first experimental German equipped with a Panzerfaust being held in place by the magnet. They’re held securely enough to game with, but easily enough to remove from the figure in a second. More tidy up work was required of course, involving smoothing some epoxy putty over the wound to hide the magnet in the figure’s back.
The rare earth magnet is strong enough not to be phased by 1mm of putty over the top of it. They’re so strong you can actually hang a couple of Panzerfausts off a single soldier. This has no effect in the Bolt Action rules, but does look quite characterful. However I need to share out all the remaining Panzerfausts I have between my three squads, so carrying multiple weapons is verboten!
One thing you have to be careful about is how you place the magnet I’ve found. You probably either want it quite off-centre in the side of the model as shown, so the Panzerfausts tend to hand down. Alternately you could place the magnet dead in the centre of the figure’s back and they can carry Panzerfausts horizontally. Of course that’ll require a bit more sculpting to fix up the webbing you’ve drilled through.
Quick thinking by Aaron and an evening with a pin vice means I now have three squads of Gerry armed with 2-3 removeable Panzerfaust each. Now let’s see if that keeps the damn flame throwing Universal Carriers at bay…