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Monday, June 23, 2014

Bolt Action - Review: The Assault Group Assault Rifles



As we have been discussing on the LRDG podcast, when it comes to 28mm WWII models, there is a wide variety of companies selling a WIDE variety of wares catering to our gaming wants and needs. (We need what we want. - J) Today I will be taking a close and critical look at German assault rifles and assault rifle troopers from The Assault Group. 



A majority of the infantry for my Germans are Warlord plastic models with additional Warlord metal heads. I have mounted them on a variety of ruined bases and I have painted my boys with a late war feel. That said, late war Germans need assault rifles and a fair few of them! I started my Assault Group experience by ordering a pack of 10  Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles by themselves. This is key as the Warlord plastic boxed sets only have a few plastic assault rifles and up until recently they did not sell them as additional bits. Anyway, I ordered the rifles and they arrived VERY promptly and with very little flash. They looked beefier than their Warlord counterparts BUT that is perfectly fine by me as the Warlord plastic weapons are notoriously fragile. Here is a late-war Warlord plastic German with a metal assault rifle: In order to get the rifle to fit properly I trimmed back the stock of the gun, as the stock is naturally wider than the gap left between the model’s arm and the model’s torso. This is not a major hobby job and only took a minute or two per dude. The end result looks good and I am happy to have a bunch of these guys in my force. 

The problem is that even when varying the legs and heads the plastics do get sort of boring pose-wise after a while and I really wanted to mix up my infantry a bit. Soooooo I ordered some Assault Group Germans with assault rifles. Once again the models came promptly but unlike my previous Assault Group experience these models were fairly riddled in rather annoying flash. Here is an example of one trooper with a hideous model line running straight down his face. This was a pain to clean without significant effort. I spent the time and eventually got everything the way I wanted. Here is a shot of all four guys that came in the blister prior to cleaning: Needless to say I was not a fan. I cleaned the models, clipped them from their tabs and stuck them to their new bases. I then began my rather arduous German painting process. I should probably learn to paint Ze Chermans faster BUT what can I say… I like the results. The Assault Group Germans have lots of pouches and gear hanging from their webbing. I really like that about these models and the little details really gave them heaps of character. I also like that two of the four guys came with caps on. A large number of my guys are wearing caps rather than helmets - what can I say… I like the look! The weapons they carry are unsurprisingly the same as the separate ones I used on my plastics which, as I said before, I really liked. 

The problem comes with the faces. Maybe I am used to painting a particular style of face but I found the Assault Group guys’ faces to be a real challenge to paint correctly. It is almost as though they have baby faces… if that makes sense. I struggled to get the detail into their cheeks and around their eyes. In the end I solved the problem by highlighting the skin another layer or two (depending on the model) higher to give the illusion of depth that was not always there on the model. This sounds harsh but I needed them to match my existing Germans. 

Here you can see some close up shots of my Assault Group Germans: Here is an Assault Group Metal (on the right) next to a Warlord plastic (on the left) that has a matching Assault Group metal assault rifle: Here is a comparison shot of a Warlord plastic with a plastic assault rifle next to an Assault Group metal with metal assault rifle. To sum up… I like the Assault Group Germans. 

True, they took some work and sometimes they were a pain BUT they are sturdily built, they are characterful and the have original poses which allows you to add variety to your force (as long as you are mixing them with other company’s models). 

Would I buy from them again? Heck yeah! I just got some more Marines to bulk out my Warlord metals AND a pack of .50 cals. Who would not love that?!? 

'Til next time gang!

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