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Monday, February 11, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Black Tree Designs Soviet Anti-Tank Guns

Feared by German panzer commanders up and down the Eastern Front, Soviet anti tank guns were known for their ability to knock out oncoming Fascist tanks and frustrating their advance.  Black Tree Designs make two Soviet anti-tank guns. The small but effective 37mm, and the reliable 57mm Zis-3.

Both of these guns come with three crew and four to five pieces for the gun.  Assembly is easy, but there are no instructions.  I based my 37mm on a large Flames of War base and the 57mm on two large Flames of War bases.  The guns had a fair amount of flash and did take a while to clean up, but over all were in good condition.  I broke the legs of the 57mm and ended up using bits from my bits box to replace and fix them.  

I really like how the 57mm looks, but am not sure if I am pleased with how it looks on the two Flames of War bases.  I am also not sure I like having the crew based separately.  For game play it is more convenient for tracking casualties (instead of using die or markers) and for transferring crews between guns, but I like how the crew looks when mounted on the base, like with my machine gun crews.

I also really like how the 37mm looks.  I have always loved the 37mm and 45mm anti-tank guns.  Small, light, and mobile, but effective.  Currently the 37mm is not listed in the Bolt Action army list for the Soviets, but the 45mm is.  They two guns are essentially the same as far as the game is concerned, so I will be using my 37mm in leu of the 45mm.  Like the 57mm, I think I would prefer the crew being mounted on the base instead of separately.

Over all I am very pleased with my new anti-tank toys - quality models at a very good price.  If you have an opinion of BTD's guns or models from other ranges feel free to discuss them on the WWPD forum.

“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to he is busy blogging, painting, modeling and rolling dice. You can find more of his work and articles at”

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