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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Italian Saharianas: Spotlight!




REVIEW
I just finished up a force of the new Italian Raiders that Battlefront Miniatures released to match the list in Burning Empires.  We received one box of the AS37 Autosaharianas and one box of the AS42 Autosaharianas for review.  I couldn't wait to have a foil for my LRDG.


 Each box comes with 5 of the appropriate trucks (Either AS37s or AS42s) and all of the options you can use- 2x 20/65 AA Guns, a 47mm AT Guns, and a Solothurn AT Rifle + a metric boat ton of extra MGs.  

The AS37s lack stowage, but the AS42s are each unique.  I'm a big fan of the sculpted on stowage as Battlefront always seems to get the balance just right.  Enough to look used, not so much as to be a pain to paint.  However, for those who want to add to their AS37s or pile more on to their AS42s, Battlefront is also offering a package of desert raiding stowage!


The models themselves are up to Battlefront's typical excellent quality.  Very good sculpts, very little work was needed to be done to prep them.  I would personally prefer them to not have the big resin base, but that's been the norm for Battlefront's transport vehicles for a long time.  The AS42s especially standout as their extra stowage is very well done.  Every vehicle also has the option to be upgraded to any of the weapon systems allowing quite a bit of flexibility.  My only real complaint is that there is very little variety in the included crew: a driver, a guy with a rifle sitting, a guy with an SMG sitting, a guy standing and waving, a guy standing.  There's also the crewmen for the solothurn rifle and the gunner for the 20/65.  But, you can arrange them in a variety of ways so the monotony is not obvious in the finished product.


The AS42 box is hands down my favorite.  That vehicle looks so cool as is- but the stowage brings them over the top.  The AS37 box is really good, if just a bit monotonous.  But you can spruce that up yourself by acquiring some other trucks (like the trucks recommended in Burning Empires), and doing just a bit of extra work.  Overall I'm gonna give these guys 11 Ciantis out of 12.  Avanti Savoia!


FROM WIKIPEDIA
(link)
The SPA-Viberti AS.42 Sahariana was an Italian reconnaissance car of World War II. The AS 42 Sahariana was developed by SPA-Viberti using the same chassis as the AB 41 armored car, including its four-wheel steering, specifically for desert operations, primarily in a reconnaissance role. Its origins trace back to requests stemming from units operating on the North African Front for a long range, highly maneuverable vehicle, similar to those widely used by the highly successful British reconnaissance forces, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).


(link)
The SPA AS.37 was an Italian military vehicle of World War II. The AS.37 Autocarro Sahariano was developed as from 1937 on the frame of the TL.37 artillery tractor and was especially conceived to be employed in the North-African desert. The most outstanding evolutions of this new vehicle were its autonomy by far higher than that of the tractor since it reached 900 km with vacuum, as well as the added water tanks. A.S.37 could transport 8 men and their material in its rear cargo box.


The military authorities did not judge the problem of desert vehicles urgent, FIAT, supported by Marshal Italo BalboGovernor of Libya launched its own initiative which resulted in the A.S.37. The first 200 A.S.37 specimens were sent Libya in 1938 and were assigned to Commando LED the Sahara Libico and to Autogruppo della Tripolitania. Marshal Balbo wanted to use A.S.37's for the motorization of the Company Sahariane, which was to have 22 vehicles. In March 1942, 584 A.S.37 were in service, and by April 30, 1943 a total of 802 were in service in North Africa.
The crews of A.S.37 put forth very favorable judgments on these vehicles; their four wheel drive and large diameter wheels prevented them from becoming easily bogged down. The A.S.37 principal defect lay in a silhouette too high and thus too visible.



IN FLAMES OF WAR

Name weaponMobility rangeFront ROFSide anti-tankTop FirepowerEquipment and Notes
AS.37
 With 20/65 Gun
 With Solothurn ATR
 With 47mm (early) 
 With 47mm (late)
Wheeled
16"
16"
24"
24"
-
4
3
3
3
-
5
5
6
7
-
5+
5+
4+
4+
AA MG
anti-aircraft






AS.42
 With 20/65 Gun
 With Solothurn ATR
 With 47mm (early) 
 With 47mm (late)
Jeep
16"
16"
24"
24"
-
4
3
3
3
-
5
5
6
7
-
5+
5+
4+
4+
AA MG
anti-aircraft







These raiding vehicles use the Blitzkrieg Motorcycle rules (essentially making them recon cavalry while mounted up- giving them a 3+ save which makes them far more survivable).  Thus, being cavalry, they may dismount and be represented by Rifle/MG teams.  Unlike normal cavalry, however, they may later remount, giving them ultimate tactical flexibility!  For the full rules check out Burning Empires!




7 comments:

Neal Smith said...

Drool...

I picked up the AS 37 box because I had gotten some of the older AS 42s from an FLGS for a great price and I was going to do one of those "transition" units where they are mixed.

I can't wait to get painting on these things. I might just have to spend some Christmas money on the AS 42 box now... :)

indierockclimber said...

Yeah I wanted to make sure I had 37s and 42s to review, so I settled on a transition unit as well.

Look out for L Patrol Part 5: The Hunters Hunted coming soon!

Max M. said...

OK that is a sweet color ... what did you use fo rthe base color?

indierockclimber said...

The vehicles themselves are Green Ochre. But all of my italian stuff is then washed with "Didi's Magic Ink" which is basically just the minwax wash I believe. Which darkens it up substantially. I like that it makes them look worn and aged.

You can see the original color on the guys' helmets which is also Green Ochre.

Rhinexing said...

Thanks for the review. Great looking finished models... wish I would have added them to my wish list this year. Cheers!

crimsonexec said...

Great looking miniatures!! Thanks for the good review. Looking forward to part 5 of "L" patrol

indierockclimber said...

Ask and ye shall receive! Just went live :)

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