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Friday, January 25, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games M10

by Dirty Jon

Judson and Steven have roped me into creating a Bolt Action army.  I took the opportunity to create an army based on the US 29th Infantry Division and I am trying to be as historically accurate as I can.  As it so happens,  the 115th Infantry Regiment of the 29th was charged with guarding some M10s in France - I read all about this in The Clay Pigeons of St. Lo by Glover S. Johns.  So, I went ahead and ordered an M10 and got started.

The box includes everything you need to make a basic M10.  The detail is very nice and the heads for the men are particularly well detailed.  There was no bending or other weirdness to the tracks at all -- arrow straight!  I would like to have seen some instructions and perhaps some stowage.  I used some pictures to figure out all the pieces.  I can add stowage later if I want.

The tracks did not join the upper hull very smoothly.  When I first pulled the pieces out of the box, I immediately thought that this join would be a problem.  With resin, I would think that it would be nearly impossible to make these nearly 4" long edges line up.  The right was not bad, but the left needed fairly extensive Green Stuff.

I am 100% sure that I could have gotten a replacement from Warlord.  I did not ask for this for a few reasons:

- I did not expect any replacement to be any better.  To me, this looks like an overly ambitious design.
- The join is on the under side of the hull slope -- who the heck is really going to see this?
- It isn't that bad, really.  It looks like a LOT of Green Stuff, but 90% of that pictured above is to more gently blend -- the gap was not very wide.

The rest of the model needed only minor flash removal and trimming on the resin.  The metal pieces did need some extensive trimming, but not an enormous amount.

I primed this in flat black, then sprayed it with Battlefront's US Armor.  I also used three magnets on the hull and three on the turret.  I was actually amazed at how well the turret stays on the hull.

Highlights and first coat of rust applied.  I decided early on that I wanted to do a worn and weathered M10.  I hit the Internet and the WWPD Bolt Action Forums for some inspiration.  I mixed some custom reds and browns for the rust color.

The finished model.  Decals are from Company B and i94 Enterprises.  Company B actually sent my order twice - when I pointed out the error, they let me keep the extra set!  Excellent customer service, indeed!

I dry-brushed the model with some Vallejo Brown Violet to start.  Next, I lightened the Brown Violet with Khaki and did a very light dry-brush to bring out the details.  I used a sponge to put on some of the rust and grey weathering.  I used a fairly wide brush then pulled down some of the color into streaks.

Vallejo Black Wash was applied all over the model, but thinned out quite a bit.  I was pretty happy with the shading achieved.  I used some Battlefront Pigments to put rust and track dirt on.  It seems that most of my mud was eaten up with the Dull Cote.  I will likely re-apply some pigments to get a more muddy and rusted look on the tracks.

Right before sealing with Testors Dull Cote, I used some Vallejo Sepia Wash to put some stains and rusty spots around the bolts.

Here is a shot of the larger gap - not much, eh?  If you turn the model over and look closely you might be able to notice something - who is going to do that?  This model is fine.

The model accompanied by a Bazooka and an LMG team from my 29th Infantry guys.

The Good:
- Generally, the model is very well done - great detail
- No glaring historical problems!
- This thing looks great assembled with the crew in it
- Great idea to put the crew bodies in the turret, but provide the heads.  I painted the heads up on a popsicle stick and it worked out great.

The Bad:
- No instruction sheet for assembly
- No stowage

The Ugly:
- Ambitious design with two 4" straight edges in resin - Gah!

Conclusion: 7 of 10 
I am happy with this model.  There were a few issues, but what model doesn't have issues with such a large hunk of resin in play?  I think it turned out pretty darn well.  I am going to love putting this guy down on the table, for sure!

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