Things of note

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bolt Action Finnish

    Well, they're finally done and can be shown.  This will be a brief showing and review of my 28mm Finnish Bolt Action Army.  I've yet to play a game of Bolt as we've recently started collecting, but I'm excited to throw these on the table. 

     So first, let me talk a little about Bolt Action and what got me interested.  The miniatures and rule set are made by Warlord Games.  Historical gaming has always been my first love, especially WWII or American Civil War so anything I can get in that realm will always get my attention.  Next as much as I love Flames of War, I've really been getting into smaller scale/skirmish style game systems.  Bolt also has the appeal because it has a few rules that I've always like and found intriguing.  One is the idea of being able to put units in ambush mode.  Effectively making your opponent consider if running across an open field or alley way is really a smart idea.   In most games, as long as their range of movement allows them to get to hiding on the other side by the end it was a no brainer.  But with ambush, it gives the feel of combat.  You can run across for a better vantage, but you're going to take some losses when it happens. 
     The other is how the order plays out.  For those who don't know, for each squad you have in your platoon you get an action dice.  So 9 squads = 9 dice.  Your opponent gets the same in a different color.  All dice are mixed and put into a bag or container.  You reach into the bag and pull out a die.  Whose ever it is, you then can pick a squad that has not been given an order that turn and give them one.  This keeps it guessing of who will get to activate a squad and how to handle your force.  It takes away from that "I'm going to move everything, then shoot at you a bunch, then give you the chance to do it back" game play.  What ever order you want to give them, you then place that die by the unit with the order face up. 
     I want to touch a little bit on the models themselves before I get going with the pictures.  I won't go into heavy detail or review as I don't consider myself an expert on every manufacturer out there and quality of said manufacturers across the board.  Most of my models are metal although Warlord games has been expanding their line of plastic miniatures.  For the most part the metal models are a good mold.  There were times when painting belts and straps that I had trouble determining what was jacket and what was equipment.  The metal models also sit on a pretty big metal base.  Warlord had said that they did this for those who like to build up their bases that the feet wouldn't be covered.  The problem I found is that most were inconsistent and too bulky.  The other issue is the plastic models don't have that base on their feet so you're going to have to base around them anyway.  So I ended up spending a lot of time grinding them down.  The plastic models are pretty clean.  The only negative thing I've found with them (as Erik and his Soviets discovered) all weapons are separate on a sprue.  It's good because it gives you the option to really customize, but trying to line up weapons in hands and arms leaves gaps in shoulders as you try to make it fit.  Both my vehicles I've purchased are resin so I haven't worked with their plastic kits yet.  But their resin molds are spot on.  Really clean and crisp.  Great detail and go together really easily.  I'm not really a fan of Warlord plastic bases.  They're a little thinner than most other companies.  Although they're sturdy and will hold up well I went with Proxie Models.  Now on to the good stuff.

     So the base around any Bolt Action force is of course the infantry.  For my first foray into 28mm WWII I went with the basic Finnish uniform used during the Continuation War.  I bought some winter ski troops that I'll be working on as a fun project, but I've never really undertook white on anything as large as the parkers or snow terrain so I figured I'd keep it simple for now.  I threw enough together to give me different options within each squad.  This way I can take SMG's, LMG's or just rifles depending what I'm feeling that day.  Below is a small smattering of the infantry I put together.

Commander leading the charge

A small selection of troops

A small selection of troops

A small selection of troops

A small selection of troops

    Bolt gives you plenty of different options for weapons support teams so I tried to build a good variety so again I wouldn't be stuck to the same list all the time.  Below are the majority of the support teams I put together.  I'm still working on a medium howitzer, but it's taking a bit longer to get together and I'll do a small post about it when I get it done. 
AT Rifle

AT Rifle

AT Gun

AT Gun

AT Gun

Flamethrower

Flamethrower

Light mortar

Medium MMG

Medium MMG

Medium Mortar

Medium Mortar

Panzershreck

Panzershreck

Sniper Team

Sniper Team
     Finally, my two vehicles I have together so far.  For my armored car option I went with a Soviet captured BA-10.  I always thought it was cool model.  Although I've seen them where the Finns converted to them to their paint scheme I decided to keep it mainly looking Soviet with some Finnish flair.  You can see below where I took some of my ideas from.  I wanted to make sure it still looked Finnish so I added the Hakaristi in black which the Finnish army put on most of their captured equipment to identify themselves.  The Finns used the black variant later in the war (late '44 timeframe) and I wanted to represent this captured from that time period.
    For armor, of course I had to go with the BT-42.  Although it may have been easy to take out, they are one of my favorite Finnish vehicles.  For those who are unfamiliar they are a BT-7 frame redesigned with a new turret to carry a 114 Psv.H/18 howitzer.  So when playing an infantry heavy opponent the ability to have mobile medium howitzer rolling around with decent armor sounded appealing.  I went with the blue Hakaristi on the BT-42.  The blue variant was the first color introduced to the Finns in 1918 and was the color used by the Finnish Air Force and most armored vehicles during the Winter War and the beginning of the Continuation War.  The color scheme is 100% with the percentages of each color.  But after painting this by hand, I've decided I'm going to be looking into an air brush. 
Finnish Tank Museum (Panssarimuseo) in Parola, Finland

Captured BA-10

Captured BA-10

Captured BA-10

BT-42

BT-42
     Well that's it.  Overall I'm happy with how they all turned out and am already looking at what I can get to expand my force.  As others finish off their stuff, we will be putting up some demo games and I'll be sure to report on how it plays.  Thanks for checking in.  Please feel free to comment and until next time,