Well, I finished my first official Bolt Action models – a platoon of three Soviet T-34/85s. It took a little longer than I’d originally planned/hoped, since I wanted to get the markings more-or-less right, while still making the models look good. I found some information that the red star was used sparingly, (and that a white star was even used at times) and that individual unit markings were often left up to the company commanders, so after a fair bit of looking around, I decided that the red star added an attractive bit of spot colour to the models, as did the Guards Tank badge. I also added some freehand slogans, which was a lot of fun.
Now, LOTS of pics.
The commander is removable, he’s blu-taced into the hatch for a bit of variety, and for use in games where the “lead” tank might matter – to keep it obvious for the players.
One thing that really got me going with these tanks was their simple assembly. I often find myself getting distracted when working on models that have overly-complex assembly, as my favourite part of the hobby is really painting – and specifically completing painting – the detail work. Followed by gaming (which I don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like). Modelling and assembly can be fun, but as much as I love multi-part HIPs figures and so forth, I’d be just as happy to have almost all figures come pre-assembled so I can just get to the painting. These really are very simple kits, so the assembly for all three was done in a day so I could get onto the fun of painting them.
These kits aren’t super-detailed, and won’t win any prizes in any modelling shows – nor will this paint work – but for the purposes of gaming they’re just fine. I found I enjoyed painting these up with their military greens, rough damage and weathering more than I’ve enjoyed painting any 40k tanks ever as well.
I chose to use freehand for the slogans because I wanted to have something a little more unique than the decals provided, and because I really enjoy doing things like that. I also freehanded the ID numbers on the obverse side of the turrets (but not the diamonds). I did those in freehand because I’ve seen many images where they were clearly painted on by the crew as well. I felt making them deliberately a little wonky also works well for what they are. I can paint more uniform than that – though not nearly as perfect as a stencil, obviously!
And now – some action shots!
So yeah, I had a little bit of fun here. It also shows off some of the terrain I finished recently to provide some sense of their scale with the Bolt Action armour.
I guess now I need to get hold of a platoon worth of German Armour, so these guys have someone to fight. Panthers? PzIV? Both? Hmm…