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Monday, August 4, 2014

Bolt Action - Review: Trenchworx - Tanks of WW1 Kickstarter

Our friends at Trenchworx have an awesome Kickstarter going on right now.  For those of you who don't know Trenchworx has been 3D printing models for a while.  The costs for Trenchworx models range from reasonable to high, due to the cost associated with 3D printing.  With this new Kickstarter Trenchworx plans on taking 3D printed models and casting them so they can make resin versions of their tanks to help bring the price down.  The 3D printing process cuts modeling time significantly.  This allows Trenchworx to very quickly design their models on a computer.  This is Trenchworx first Kickstarter and they are starting with World War One tanks.  While some of these will not work in the current Bolt Action system,  it definitely work if you plan on adapting WW1 to Bolt Action.


The FT-17 was a French tank (FT does not stand for French Tank) built during the Great War.  It was innovative because it was the first tank to have a turret that rotated and is widely considered to be the first truly modern tank.  Additionally more than 3000 of these tanks were built during the War by France and another 1000 by the Americans.  The FT was unique in that it was used from WW1 to the Arab Israeli war in 1948.   During WW2 several FT tanks were fielded by French forces at the beginning of war with Germany and in French Indo-China.

The Trenchworx FT17 is really easy to put together and has an amazing amount of detail.  There was a minimal amount of clean up due to flash and assembly was straight forward.  This actually goes for all the Trenchworx models I received or have bought in the past.

Here you see all the parts.  The spurs are all resin, which was pretty cool.  It allow for the small resign pieces to be made and the sprue helped protect them.  There was some required clean up around the spots where the resin spur attached to the piece.  I opted to not include the tail on the back of mine.  This tail was used to help tanks cross trenches.  You can find plenty of examples of FT tanks using them and not using them.  Since the FT tank was used during WW2 I opted to not include them.

The FT also comes with two weapons systems for the turret, a machine gun and light howitzer.  These pieces are interchangeable and are slotted for magnets.

Magnet spot for the turret.

Magnet spot for the guns.

Overall I am very pleased with this FT17.  I really like the look of them and the detail is great.  A very solid model.  I could easily see owning an entire company of them.

Mark V - Male and Female

The iconic British tank of the War was the Mark V.  More than 400 were built.  There was a male and female version of the tank.  The Male version had two side mounted 6 pounders, while the female version had a astonishing 6 machine guns (thats a lot of pins).  After WW 1 Mark V were used in the Russian Civil war.  The last confirmed use of the Mark V was in 1941 when the Russian employed a few they possessed against the Germans.  They didn't fair well.

One thing that is cool about the Trenchworx MK V's is that you can run it as a Male of Female model of the tank.

The sides of the MK V are slots and fitted for magnets so you can easily change your tanks gender.

Of all three of the tanks in the Trenchworx Kickstarter the MK V is the most complicated to build.  It easily took twice as along to assemble as the FT and AV7 combined.  As you can see there are a lot of parts.  Two sets of side mounts, lots of turrets and lots of guns.  Don't worry though I have a couple pointers that will help it go fast.

The first stumbling block I ran into was side turret assembly.  I naturally assumed that the side turret attach from the front of the side hull.  This is wrong and no matter how hard you try will not fit.  The turret actually attaches from the rear.

You will want to make sure the are around the pivot point and the turret is cleaned out well.  If not it will be a tight fit and you will have difficulty rotating the side turret.

Once clean insert the turret then rotate it into place.

Once you have rotated it around then mount the weapons.

After figuring this out assembly went a lot quicker.

For the female turrets its the same, but be careful with the MGs.  The MGs are resin and I did break one man handling them.

Here is a male and female ready to show the Germans what for.

If you wanted to get real crazy you could field one in your German Indianan Jones themed desert force.  Just make sure your opponent agrees to you fielding the MK V in your army first.


By far the AV7 has to be one of the ugliest tanks ever built by man.  It is essentially a refrigerator box with guns.  In fact I am pretty sure my brother and I inadvertently made one of these out of a washing machine box as kids.  Unlike their Allied counter parts, who build several hundred or, in the case of the FT, thousands of tanks, only 20 AV7 saw action during the war.  The AV7 had six machine guns and a 5.7cm cannon.  These cannons were captured British guns.  Version of the AV7 used on the eastern front often used captured captured Russian guns.  The only known us of the AV7 after the war was in 1919, when a version of the AV7 was used to put down protests in Berlin.  It was widely considered a failure, however very few were knocked out during the War.

First glue the tracks onto the bottom of the hull.  There are slots that make this step a no brainer.

After that you will glue all the guns into place, with the cannon going on the front and MGs going in the side and rear slots. After than you are done.  Super simple.

One of the things I love about Bolt Action is the universality of the rules.  You could easily adapt the rules for WW1 and if you did this Kickstarter would be a great way to get your tank options.  Additionally if you want to get all crazy you can field an armored company of FT tanks in a World War Two Bolt Action game.

The Trenchworx Kickstart allows you to back the project and be rewarded with one, three, or five tanks.  If you want you can even back for 20 AV7's, which would mean you would have as many AV7s as the German army had during the War.

If Trenchworx gets enough backers it will also be producing a sweet looking Rolls Royce armored car. I don't have a sample of this model to review for you, but man does it look awesome.

If you are interested in backing Trenchworx to trick out your World War One tank collection or your World War Two French armored force, make sure you back this Kickstarter.


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