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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bolt Action - Blitzkrieg Wolverine vs Rubicon Achillies

Back in February 2015, I attended my first ever Bolt Action event. Is was called BAMF and it was a 750 point event where I met some incredible and lasting friends. Bryan showed up with his incredible French to show everyone what the gold standard was. Anf showed up with a multiple vehicle list and freaked me right out! And the LRDG were in the house strong with Old Man Morin running the floor and Lachlan and Dave throwing dice like a couple of furious honchos. At that event I was lucky enough to to win the prize I had my eye on all day, namely the Blitzkrieg Wolverine. 18 months later, and the Rubicon M10/M36 has crossed my desk. So as opposed to doing a straight up review of the Rubicon kit I thought I'd pit the two models against each other and see what's what.

I'll cover the Blitzkrieg Wolverine first. Right off the mark this is a fabulous kit. The casting was excellent, the lines crisp and the flash was minimal. I stuck the kit together and then hastily primed and painted it up. Now given I painted this well over 12 months ago, the painting is pretty bloody awful, so we'll ignore that and move on. The kit itself is a heavy piece which I personally love as it means on those gusty nights when I find myself playing outdoors my tank doesn't start aggressively moving up the board of its own accord.

The downsides of this kit are few but it does have issues. One of the biggest issues I have is the lack of proper detail inside the turret. I understand that given that the model is a resin cast, the detail inside a turret can be difficult to attain but then I look at the Warlord M18 Hellcat, the detail inside that bad boy is astounding. The other issue I have is a complete lack of crews for inside the turret, which incidentally could solve the turret interior detail issue. I used a spare .50cal HMG I had left over from a Warlord kit and also popped a crew member from Warlord's tank crew blister to give the Wolverine a little more character.

All in all this was a great kit and I'd recommend it to anyone who prefers resin over plastic. I award this kit a 8.5/10, loosing points for the lack of crew and detail inside the turret. Would I buy this model again? Yes, I absolutely would!

The Rubicon Wolverine/Achilles (Achilles from here on in) is again a prime example of why Rubicon are leaders when it comes to producing quality kits that offer lots of customisation and options for the budding hobbyist. I decided that since I already have a Wolverine that I'd knock up an Achilles, especially since I'm so fond of that groovy turret design. The kit goes together with minimal issues and looks great once completed. The colour scheme is basic, I primed in white, painted the tank body Vallejo US army dark green (70.893) and then once dry, I painted all the panels with Vallejo green grey (70.886.) After that I again used Patchimus Primes sponging technique to make the vehicle look beaten up and I finished it off by using some stowage from Debris of War. It was also nice that the Rubicon kit came with a massive variety of HMGs, main gun barrels and other goodies to really customise your tank.

The downsides in any Rubicon kit are few and very far between, but the do exist. The lack of crew again let this vehicle down somewhat. Given how talented Rubicon are at producing amazing and prolific pieces I am surprised that they haven't started including crew as standard for their range. The other small issue I have is that when the turret is locked into place the gun barrel needs to be elevated in order for it to turn freely. If you try and revolve the turret with the barrel depressed then it strikes against the drivers hatch and I feel that over time either the hatch or the barrel will become damaged or chipped, neither of which are ideal.

The Rubicon kit is incredible and I'd recommend anyone who enjoys assembling plastic kits to give this a look at. The options you can follow with this kit allow you to knock up 4 variants and the instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. I award this kit a 9/10, loosing points for the lack of crew only. The gun barrel issue does annoy me but not enough to for me to deduct points.

All in all I'd recommend both of these fabulous kits depending on what your personal preference is. My personal preference leans toward Rubicon only because I enjoy the assembly and I like the customisation that Rubicon affords you. The Blitzkrieg model a strong challenger and should I require more resin Wolverines I know just where to look.

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

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