Bolt Action! 28mm T-34/85 Tank Platoon

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

The T-34/85 platoon shows off their freehand slogans.

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.

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!

Now, LOTS of pics.

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 321 “Crush the Fascists!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 321 “Crush the Fascists!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 321 “Crush the Fascists!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 321 “Crush the Fascists!”

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.

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For Moscow!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For Moscow!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For Moscow!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For Moscow!”

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.

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For the Motherland!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For the Motherland!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For the Motherland!”

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

T-34/85 322 “For the Motherland!”

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 also found I enjoyed painting these up with their military greens, rough damage and weathering more than I’ve ever enjoyed painting any 40k tanks.

And now – some action shots!

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

A glorious unit of Soviet tanks retakes the ground tainted by the fascists just a couple of years ago!

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

The sun shines on our glorious boys as they heroically push back the opressors! За Родину!

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

Commander of the unit, Starshina Yarik, beckons to his platoon to look beyond the dusty dragon’s teeth at their destination.

Warlord Games Bolt Action T-34/85

A ruined building provides no obstacle for the Heroic Liberators!

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…

From the Painting Desk #6 – Bolt Action T-34/85, Citadel Spirit Hosts (Ghosts)

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bunch of Bolt Action kits from Warlord. After checking out the T-34s, I noticed that the kit wasn’t especially complex, and so perfectly suitable to start and actually finish as well, since I’ve got a habit of ..not finishing everything I start. When my DeadZone stuff arrived this week and I found that they missed the additional rulebooks and a few other things, I had a bit of a rage for a bit, and then decided to start assembling the tanks to get my mind off it. I thought I took some photos, but this is where I’m up to at this point:

A trio of Warlord Games T-34/85

Basically, all assembled excepting the final assembly of the two halves of the hull, and the turret will just pop on. I’d have magnetised it, but I didn’t think of that until after I’d assembled the two turret halves, so…

The tanks have been sprayed with PSC Russian Armour, airbrushes with a 50:50 mix of VMA Russian Green and Camo Light Green, followed by a 70:30 mix. My airbrush skills are awful still, or maybe its the cheap POS airbrush I have. Either way, the results are far from impressive. Once that was done, a 50:50 mix of VMC Russian Uniform and Army Painter Camo Green for a final-ish highlight. Next will be some sandy/buff colours for weathering. Tracks got a coat of Vallejo Panzer Aces Track Primer with a drybrush of VMA steel over the top.

I still need to hit the whole thing with PSC weathering spray and have a play with weathering powders and the like. Add some decals and then finish them. Hopefully next update!

The other thing I’ve been doing today was opened up a care package from a mate. Quite a lot of loot in there, along with something I totally was not expecting – ghosts!

Citadel Spirit Host Ghosts on Back to Base-ix bases.

The ghosts were mounted three each to several goblin green-painted 40mm square bases. I pried them off immediately, and after a bit of faffing about, decided to mount them on some Back to Base-ix resin “ruins” bases I bought years ago. I felt they raised the Marine figures up too high from the “ground” and so never used them for the original intent, but they work perfectly with these undead. The weight of the resin also stops some of the more lop-sided members of the gang from toppling over.

Ghosts – Sprayed and freshly washed

After mounting them, I took them outside the hit them with some Rustoleum Heirloom White. You can’t really see it here, but it’s a slightly off-white with a slight touch of coffee brown to it. Better for projects like this than pure white. I mixed up a suitably-ethereal coloured paint wash using a mix of Citadel’s Lahmian Medium and Gauss Blaster Green. Stupid names, yes, but the paint being fit for purpose is all I care about.

ooOOooo ooOOo O OOo

They’re outside now. I was going to start on the bases right after I did this, but decided to seal them with gloss varnish, since it was a bright warm sunny day – so wanted to take full advantage of that. That stuff dries much much faster in the sun. This way I can work on them tonight, and maybe even finish them off. It’ll just be the bases and some touch-up work – then a coat of matt. Also hoping to have those T-34s finished tomorrow, or perhaps the following day…

…then I can get back to the grind of my other half-finished projects. Gondor, ahoy!