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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Battlefront StuG G Platoon (GBX83) Review

by "Dirty" Jon Baber

I have plenty of StuGs available for my German Army, but they were assembled over the years and have a bit of a hodge podge appearance.  I got a hold of the new Battlefront StuG G Platoon to start the process of unifying the look of my models. Thought the art looks the same, this is quite a different box than the old StuG platoon.  Before we get in to the models, let's talk a little about the StuG.

For about 95 Late War points, you can get a Confident Veteran StuG.  FA 7, SA 3, TA 1 with Hull MG, Protected Ammo and Schurzen.  The gun is ROF 2, AT 11, 3+ Firepower and Hull Mounted.  Compared to the Panzer IV H, you get +1 FA, but lose a Machine Gun and your turret.  The StuG is 5 more points, so... is it worth it?  Ahhhh, a great question!  The German Flames of War player confronts this question all the time - you will have to decide for yourself!

I was pleased to see a fairly simple sprue with not very many parts.  Including the StuH 42 and the earlier StuG design was a big upgrade from the previous box.  The diagram is pretty clear and easy to understand.

The decal sheet is very good - no messed up lines of anything.  I was a bit nervous about the plastic commanders, but I was quite pleased with how they look.

As you can see, there is the option for the early or the later StuG hull and MG mount.  You also get a full compliment of barrels.  If you want to do an option without Schurzen, I would think that getting the hobby knife out and removing mount points would not be too difficult.  I do think that having a missing panel look would be a challenge, but I went with full skirts for this build.

These are the basic parts.  I really like the look of these tracks - they are great.  I also found that there was very little trimming needed and the mount points for the part were very cleverly selected to minimize that.  I used plastic glue - not super glue - for these and I highly recommend that path.  Hit your local hobby shop and ask for this specifically.

The assembled model.  There is one challenging mount point for the gun right on the top.  You have to be quite careful not to create a scar that will show on the final model.  I was careful and also planned to paint my camo scheme in such a way as to minimize the effect, if required.  There are ample accessories, but I went with a relatively simple look.

As stated earlier, the commanders provided are quite good and need little trimming.  I also like the new detail on the plastic Schurzen.

I used the new Panther Yellow spray for the base coat.  I found that to be quite good.  Above, see the colors used to paint the tanks.  In addition to those, I did use CGR Magik Mudd and Vallejo Dark Rust (76.507) model wash for rust effects.

As always, I used my no-airbrush German Camouflage painting technique.  I went for a slightly harder edge than I usually do and a more linear pattern.  I like it.

I had no problems at all with paints on the model - the plastic is fine.  While painting, I noticed that the detail is Battlefront-chunky, but also very well defined.

This is all painted up and ready for dust/mud.  I got some good chipping effects using a piece of sponge from a blister and some Black Grey.  I used the rust wash quite sparingly, as I think that can look bad when overdone.  I didn't want to lose the chipping effect, so I planned to just do some light dust instead of going full mud (see below).

You will also notice that I used red and white numbers from Dom's Decals.  I am totally addicted to the look of these decals, and I just cannot bring myself to stop using them.  They look great, and I find myself not really caring that there are highly likely to be wrong for this model.

I think I got some pretty good chipping and rust effects.  I am not painting a ton of new stuff, so I tried to go for some quality here.  I am a table-top quality painter, so I think these turned out pretty well.

The detail for the spare track and the antenna mounts in the back is very, very good.  I was quite pleased with how this looks.

I went ahead and made a platoon for four StuG Gs and added in a Company Command tank.  If I had it to do again, I probably would have made the earlier StuGs, just so that they would fit in anywhere.

Conclusion:  9 of 10
I really cannot come up with anything I don't like about these models.  They clock in at about $45USD for the box, which is a bit more than other popular manufacturers.  But, you do get everything you need - and more - in this box.

If you are looking to get some StuGs for your army, I recommend this box, for sure.

Models perhaps provided by Battlefront - I honestly don't remember.

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