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Friday, January 11, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games Panzer II

Update 11JAN13: A new Panzer II is on the way, courtesy of Warlord Games customer service. A follow-up review will take place when I receive the new tank, as well as a review of the systems Warlord Games has in place to take care of issues like these. While I'm certain the stated goal of every miniature manufacturer is "no mistakes", I've yet to play a mini game where they didn't happen occasionally. I'm looking forward to this rare opportunity to review the whole process! Stay tuned!

My little brother, like all well brought up little brothers, pays attention. Truthfully, by "well brought up" I mean, "tortured daily by an older brother"; and by "pays attention" I mean "is big enough to crush me now but generally buys me good stuff for my birthday, regardless of the daily torture."

He knows that the Panzer II, for some reason, is my favorite tank of the Second World War. Does it even count as a WWII tank? Who knows! I'm not here to debate the value of the Panzer II on the battlefields of 1939 and '40 Western Europe. I am here, however, to talk about the Warlord Games Panzer II he bought be for my birthday.

You order one from Warlord Games, and it arrives inside a bubble wrap bag within a box. The metal bits are inside their own baggie, which is not pictured. My brother said it took two weeks to arrive, from England, and he ordered it early in December. Pretty good turn around!

I think it's important to note that the items were very well packaged. No damage took place in transit. As a matter of fact, I was amazed at how straight the metal bits arrived - no bending at all. More on that later.

Here's a shot of the rougher of the two sides of the hull. As you'll notice throughout this article, I'm not an experienced nor overly talented modeller. I'm not sure how much "flash" is expected in a 28mm resin kit. I felt like while there was quite a bit of noticable "extra" on the hull, the vast majority of it would fall off with the slightest brush of a file.

Not very impressed with the right side of this tank. I'm no modelling pro, but, I feel like I could get a little better out of this.

Just in case you needed another shot of it. That right side is really jacked up. I'm not talented enough to remodel that right side.

Oddly, the tank fits together perfectly. I don't know how this happened, but the severely bent track matched perfectly with the severely bent right side.

These tracks look great. I'm really impressed by the springs. This camera doesn't do the details honor, because a lot of the details with the wheels are great. Unfortunately there's a lot of flash still here, which doesn't seem like a big deal, and some of the wheels look a little weak.

There's a lot of curve here, and the tracks don't line up. You're never going to make this look like a real track... but... somehow, it fits perfectly with the bendy right side of the tank. I'm not sure what to think of this. It sort of forces me to model and paint in battle damage. I'm not a fan of being forced into something.

These pieces all arrived perfectly. Even the straight pieces arrived perfectly straight. I was completely amazed at how these pieces arrived compared to the condition of some of the resin pieces.

That's a huge chunk of resin I need to file off the left side of the turret. Maybe this is a normal occurance with resin 28mm kits.

The other side of the turret looks pretty great. I guess maybe it was only flawed on the other side.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to whittle away at the stub underneath this turret. It would not fit into the hull. I hate chopping away at these resin casts, because inevitably more comes off than I intended to. All told, this model is ... OK. As far as Panzer II models in 28mm go, it's pretty good - but there are a lot of quality assurance problems here that led to a lot more work for me. Some of the problems, like the bent right hull and bent right track, are unfixable without a complete return.

Maybe this is all to be expected in the 28mm resin vehicle market. I'm not very experienced with it. Some of the excess resin will basically fall off when touched by a file, but some will take a bit more effort, and some things, like the track, is beyond any fix I know how to do.


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