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Friday, August 7, 2015

Bolt Action - Review: Army Group North Sdkfz 10/4

  Today we are going to take a look at a Sdkfz 10/4 from Army Group North.  An often over-looked vehicle in miniature wargaming, it was a common sight in German forces during WW2, fighting from Poland until the final days of the Reich.  Around a thousand Sdkfz 10/4s were made between 1939 until 1943, with another thousand of the up-armoured Sdkfz 10/5 ordered after 1943.

The Sdkfz 10 halftrack was the basis for the Sdkfz 250 chassis that would come later,  The 10/4, being an anti-aircraft variant, was mounted with a 20mm FlaK cannon, first the FlaK 30 and later the FlaK 38.  It carried ten 20-round magazines and often towed a trailer with a further 640 rounds.

In Bolt Action, the Sdkfz 10/4 is a soft-skin half-track armed with a light autocannon with a 360 degree arc.  At only 55 points for a regular, it's a pretty good bargain for a light autocannon, especially when you compare it to a MMG Team which is 50 points in comparison.  The main drawback is that it comes in the Tank, Self-Propelled, etc. slot, meaning you can't take a bigger and potentially more devastating vehicle in that platoon.  If you plan on running a more infantry focused list or multiple platoons, it can be a great little addition though.

  The only producer of a Sdkfz 10/4 in 1/56 scale, that I know of, is Army Group North.  A resin/metal kit, I got mine some time ago (12+ months) but had never gotten around to finishing it.  As my first model from AGN, when I first got my Sdkfz 10/4, I was slightly put off by the molded-on base that is common with AGN models.  My other vehicles didn't have bases so I thought it would look weird and out of place, but since I have finished the model (and seeing Bryan's incredible masterpieces) has actually warmed me up to the idea of mounting all my vehicles onto bases.  It adds a little uniformity with my infantry and gives the opportunity for more cool modelling ideas.

Taken from the AGN website.
  Like some other resin kits made for wargaming, there were no assembly instructions.  Sometimes this is okay, but it seems that with anti-aircraft model in particular, this means a nightmare situation of cursing and pull out one's own hair.  I had to use photos of the model from AGN's website and pictures of the real thing to work out where the dozen different small metal pieces all went.  To the manufacturers out there, please, please, please, make assembly instructions available for people!

  The crew are slightly smaller then normal heroic proportion infantry models (like most 1/56 kits) but makes them fit with the vehicle.  I love their poses and it really gives the vehicle a unique feel of them hastily tracking an approaching attack aircraft.  The detail is crisp and there was no casting faults and not a heap of clean-up required.  With it didn't come with a lot of stowage, it did come with some extra magazines for the 20mm, with I scattered around the firing deck.

  I've painted mine up to fit with the rest of my late-war Germans and look forward to getting it on the table soon.  I'd recommend buying from AGN to any gamers out there but I'd give it 7.5 downed Thunderbolts out of 10, primarily due to the agony of assembly without instructions.

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