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Friday, April 8, 2016

Bolt Action - Review: Rubicon Model's M8/M20 Greyhound Armoured Car

By Tristan

For quite some time now, I've had a pretty public love affair with Rubicon. Their models are neat, simple, detailed and the options you have during the build ensure you don't end up with the same model as almost everyone else.

Their new M8/M20 kit is no exception to this. From start to finish I'm always amazed at how much thought goes into these stunning little kits. It can be put together as either the M8 Greyhound or the M20 Armoured Utility Car.

Right off the sprue the Greyhound had few challenges and fitted together easily. In no time at all, I was looking at a completed model.

I'll take this opportunity to point out the only two issues I did stumbled across. The turret is very tight to begin with and once in place it's very tight to move from side to side. The second and final issue I have is a little bit of a bugbear of mine. With Rubicon kits I'm used to a level of personalisation and customisation. Rubicon kits are fantastic as they allow the builder multiple options during the build to do things differently and model your kit to (most of the time) the exact model you're trying to put on the table top. Rubicon have missed an opportunity here a wee bit, as there was no option that allowed me to leave the side skirts off the Greyhound. I've always though that the side skirts looked a bit naff and suffered with them when I ran Warlord's resin Greyhound. With the Rubicon kit I really hoped that I'd finally be able to run my little M8 they way I always wanted to, but alas no! Having said that, these are two very small gripes and considering what a fun and easy kit this was to assemble, I'll let them off the hook!

Once assembled (as the M8), it was great fun to paint. The only issue being that I should have known to paint the inside of the turret before assembly. I was able to get my paintbrush inside the cramped turret but not to the standard I normally like. I used my standard painting process of painting the while vehicle in Vallejo Russian Green (70.924) then giving it a good wash with Citadel Shade Nuln Oil and then highlighting with Russian Green again. The tyres were painted with Vallejo Black Grey (70.862) and then given a good going over with Citadel Technical Typhus Corrosion. Once that had dried, I dry brushed the tyres with several different shades of brown and green until I achieved the look I wanted, namely a road worn dusty look. Once the whole model was dry I went over it using Patch's sponging technique with Vallejo Black Grey and Vallejo Flat Brown (70.984). I got the model looking well used and beaten up. I then painted the tool handles, headlights and glued my little pre-painted crew member in to get my M8 looking lifelike and dynamic. The whole process from unboxing to placing it on a table would have taken me perhaps a day, as I'm a slow painter and that does include waiting for paints and washes to dry properly.

In game, the M8 is one of only 2 armoured cars on offer to the Americans. It also features in the British list and is a solid inclusion. At 110 points for a regular with the option of playing an additional 25 points for a HMG, the Greyhound is great at harassing light and medium tanks. It has a +4 AT gun with a coaxial MMG. Against infantry the greyhound lacks punch but against soft skins and 7+ armour vehicles it can be a deadly thorn in your opponents side. It's 7+ armour and open-topped, so it can be vulnerable to small arms fire but it comes standard with recce so in a sticky spot you can elect to run and fight another day.

I've been in love with the Greyhound for quite some time now and I think it boils down to watching old WW2 films with my dad. One of our favourites was The Guns of Naverone and upon rewatching that classic recently I found that the M8 was so popular that even the Germans were using them in Greece (a little historical faux pas on behalf of the filmmaker I'm sure). The Greyhound also had a little bit of bite to it. During the campaign over Christmas '44 in the Ardennes, a Greyhound tried to sneak up behind a Tiger tank. Whilst it advanced, the commander of the Tiger noticed and tried to being the turret around on the plucky armoured car. The Greyhound closed quickly and delivered 3 very quick shots up the back door of the Tiger and on the 3rd shot the Tiger caught fire and was knocked out. The Greyhound returned to its hiding spot, presumably so the whole crew could change their pants!

In summary this a great kit of a great vehicle with some great history! I was delighted to assemble this and I look forward to see what Rubicon can cook up next!

Until next time, roll your 6s and have fun.

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