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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bolt Action - Review: Dragon's Warbirds Series

Old Man Morin here with a peek at something that is appearing more often on our Bolt Action battlefields. 


We often spend countless hours assembling and painting ground forces and terrain and up until recently planes were something that were only used to mark where air observer's air strikes would come on the board. At that point, I would have not even considered modelling something pretty to represent something that stayed on the board for such a short period of time.  Pre-painted planes from Dragon changed my tune.IMG_2184   
A very cool student in my class, knowing my passion for toy soldiers, gave me a model plane kit for Christmas, an F16. She also gave me a can of grey primer and a few paint brushes AND a note saying that she knew it was the wrong era and since the shop didn’t do gift cards, this was the next best thing… So I dropped into the local model shop to see what store credit could get me and I found these! IMG_2181 
I vaguely knew that these existed but I was blown away by the detail of Dragon’s Diecast plane range. I picked up a Hurricane for my Battle of The Bulge Americans and a Wildcat for my future Guadalcanal Marines. The planes are prebuild and prepainted which is really handy if you are time poor like me. The lines and corners on the kits are crisp and clean and unlike alot of prepainted models out there in the gaming world, these are finely detailed down to kill markings on the fuselage, check patterns and plane names. IMG_2183 
More than that though, a lot of thought and work has gone into these models. Landing gear goes up and down, flaps move, and cockpits open. If anything, this can almost be too much for gaming use. I will probably be glueing a few items into place before my next event so that my big paws are not breaking pieces off of kits mid-game. 

For those using the Warplane Rules (They Can Be Found Here), The Mustang is a great anti-aircraft and infantry unit sporting 6 HMG's. At 200 points for a Regular plane and with the interceptor rule. These guys are not bad at all.
Dragon has a wide range of planes from a wide variety nations and battles. From my quick examination of the stock in the store, I was able to easily find two planes that matched armies that I already owned.  Next up, I think I need a Zero for my Japanese and something lean and mean for my Germans. Though, I hate air with a passion (and I have yet to use warplanes on the table), I love these kits. 

I really want planes to match my existing armies now. IMG_2179 
While I absolutely love these things, they do weigh a ton.  They are metal and are heavy compared to the resin and plastic vehicles that I have gotten used to pushing around the tabletop. This is not a big deal until you consider that you then have to balance these planes on flight stands on a table that might get bumped. Now, the Dragon kits do come with great flight stands that easily hold the weight of the models. These stands are black and fairly short which helps but they have a triangular base that is prone to tipping if jostled the wrong way. This is a problem, but considering how long plane models actually grace the table (even in American armies), it is a problem that can be easily overlooked considering the quality of the kits themselves.

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