Eine kleine Maus

Panzer VIII Maus

The Maus was a German World War Two super heavy tank that was completed in late 1944. Five were ordered, but only two hulls and one turret were completed before the testing grounds were captured by advancing Soviet forces.

It is the heaviest fully enclosed armoured fighting vehicle ever built at 188 metric tons. It was armed with a 128mm gun and a coaxial 75mm gun.

The Maus was intended to punch holes through enemy defences in the manner of an immense “breakthrough tank”, whilst taking almost no damage to any components.

Panzer VIII Maus

I’ve always been impressed with the 1/100th scale models from Zvezda as well as being good quality plastic miniatures they are also reasonably priced. My only real complaint is that the other types of models in the range are designed to fit the box, not the same scale of the vehicles. So the infantry figures and artillery pieces, are 1/72nd, some aircraft are 1/144th and even 1/200th. I have even seen 1/350th boats in the range. This is a pity. The1/100th scale vehicles though fit well with my other 15mm models.

I was intrigued the other day to see that my local model shop had the German super heavy tank Maus in their range of Zvezda kits.

Zvezda Panzer VIII Maus

I think it might have been priced wrongly at £3.50 as similar boxes (i.e. the bigger boxes) were £7.00. So I bought two for potential objectives or models for alternate history games set at the end of World War Two.

Zvezda Panzer VIII Maus

The model comprises two plastic sprues and look detailed and I think it will capture the feel of this monstrous tank.

Zvezda Panzer VIII Maus sprue

Zvezda Panzer VIII Maus sprue

The next stage will be to construct the models, even though it says snap-fit, I think I will glue the model together. I will also add some weight to the model too, so give it some heft and ballast. I think a super heavy tank, even at 1/100th scale, should be “super heavy”.

I wonder if Zvezda will produce any other models similar to this? If they did what would you want to see?

Rolling Stock

I mentioned the armoured locomotive a week ago, well here is the rolling stock to go with my Flames of War German Armoured Train.
Artillery Car
Artillery Car
Flak Car
Flak Car
I got an Artillery Car and an Anti-Aircraft Car (or should that be a Flak Car?).
Like the locomotive the main parts of the model are resin with metal wheels and components.
I know I really should have gone for an Infantry Car, but to be honest the thought of trying to glue together the radio aerials put me off, so I didn’t.

Flames of War German Armoured Train

After much consideration I did in the end get a German Armoured Train for Flames of War, well an armoured locomotive to begin with.
Flames of War German Armoured Train
Though they were not used on the Western Front (as far as I am aware) it is my intention to use it against British (and American) tanks. Then again I might just get in a few Soviet tanks for a quick game.
Flames of War German Armoured Train
As with most Battlefront models the kit contains resin with metal parts for the details. The engine and tender are two resin parts with the front, the funnel and the wheels in metal.
Flames of War German Armoured Train
Flames of War German Armoured Train
Flames of War German Armoured Train
Next stage will be washing the resin, and cleaning the castings before constructing the engine.

Bolting

Bolt Action Rulebook

I know, I know, a new set of rules, a new scale and more painting!

Written by veteran game designers Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley, Bolt Action provides all the rules needed to bring the great battles of World War II to your tabletop. Using miniature soldiers, tanks and terrain, you can fight battles in the shattered towns of occupied France, the barren deserts of North Africa, and even the sweltering jungles of the Pacific.

Players get to decide which of the major or minor World War II powers they would like to represent, and then construct their armies from the lists provided. Army options are almost limitless, allowing you to build the kind of army that most appeals to your style of play. The choice is yours.

Created as a joint project between Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing, the leading independent military history publisher, Bolt Action is sure to be the most popular new wargame on the market.

I have been intrigued by Warlord Games’ Bolt Action rules for a while now so was pleased to get hold of a copy.

Initial impressions are very positive, it is an extremely well produced publication, with great looking photographs.

I’ve not had a chance to read it fully or even play the rules, but one of the reasons I am looking forward to playing the game is I like the idea of using order dice.

One thing I do need to decide is which army to go for.

I do quite like the look of the Assault on Normandy starter set.

Assault on Normandy starter set

Assault on Normandy starter set gives you everything you need to pit your tactics and wits against your opponent as you recreate the great battles of World War II on the tabletop! In addition to the glorious Bolt Action rulebook and eight Orders Dice, you will find forty hard plastic, multi-pose 28mm miniatures as well as terrain for them to fight over. This is a great starting point as you seek to defeat your foes and bring an end to the greatest conflict in history.

This is the perfect starting point for Bolt Action, and I would have probably bought it if I knew it was available when I bought the Bolt Action rules…

The ruins are very nice and hopefully will be available separately.

ruins

In the box you get two starter armies, US and German, however my regular opponent, Simon, has told me that he wants to go Italian. To quote him

“So I can wargame with a really silly accent and not worry about having to paint camo on paratroopers.”

My problem is who do they fight?

The obvious option is the British in North Africa. I am also thinking about Greek forces. Another option would be the invasion of Sicily.

Time though now to read the rules.

15mm E-50

Having posted a few of Forged in Battle’s pictures earlier I had a look back at what other photographs they had posted. A month or so back they had posted their model of the E-50.
E-50
This was a future tank design that never got further than the drawing board.
Really liking these future models. It was nice to read on their Facebook page that they are going to make a British Centurion and possibly the Black Prince too.

Jagdtiger

Looking through the Nuts Design Notes I did notice these pictures.
Jagdtigers
Jagdtigers
Hmmm…
The Jagdtiger (“Hunting Tiger”) was the common name of a German tank destroyer of World War II. The official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd. Kfz. 186. It saw service in small numbers from late 1944 to the end of the war on both the Western and Eastern Front. The Jagdtiger was the heaviest armored fighting vehicle operationally used during World War II. Due to an excessive weight the Jagdtiger was continuously plagued with mechanical problems.
Maybe I shouldn’t…

German Fallschirmjäger Platoon

German Fallschirmjäger in World War II were the first paratroopers to be committed in large-scale airborne operations. They came to be known as the “green devils” by the Allied forces they fought against, as well as for their uniquely distinct Esprit de corps.
These are the Forged in Battle Paratrooper Platoon blister pack.

I don’t know, even though I read and wrote blister pack, I some how expected these to arrive in a box! Well they don’t you get a blister.

These were a bit of an impulse purchase, which came about after reading Seelöwe Nord which is a book on a German invasion of Yorkshire!

Late summer 1940, and Britain stands on the brink of complete and uttter defeat. Thrown out of mainland Europe by the unstoppable Nazi war machine, the British stand alone against the might of Hitler’s Third Reich.
Poised for imminent invasion, cut off by U-Boats and bombarded daily from the air, the British strive to re-equip their shattered army. They don’t know when, and they don’t know where, but one thing is certain…
The Germans are coming!