Monday, June 4, 2018

Rubicon 1/56th scale tanks (lend lease)

I just wanted to put out a quick post this week. I have been loving Rubicon Models 1/56th (28mm) tanks! As someone who really likes the M4 sherman tank there really isn't a better model company for the sherman than Rubicon.

To start with, I love the scale, these 1/56th scale are small enough to display and store but also are wonderfully detailed. Also Rubicon includes all the small detailed bits for fine scale modeling, but lists them as optional if you are just building these for Bolt Action or other gaming. I had built many 1/35th scale models before moving to 1/48th scale as my main model scale until I first saw some of these kits. Rubicon is relatively new company that is doing most things right in my book. They are very engaged with the modeling community and active at shows and they are expanding their range in a slow, steady fashion, always improving as they go. I have to admit that I check their facebook page almost daily to see what they are working on and I post there more often than any other pages. I'll stop fanboying now but it is very refreshing to build a kit every few months and just have a great time doing so, not some mad rush to paint an army in a short time.

First up is a Russian pair. An M4A2 76mm lend-lease sherman and a T-34/85 Model 44. The fact that Rubicon is working on all the specific variants of the M4 sherman is incredibly exciting, I will have them all!  The M4A2 was the diesel powered version preferred by the Red Army. As you may know from earlier posts, I have a great interest in lend-lease Soviet tanks, mainly due to reading Dmitriy Loza's book on them.

A M4A2 76mm Sherman and A T-34/85.

I modeled them off of historical photos (loosely).

The bucket and log placement are from a picture.

I really like how this tank turned out!

The tank crew are from Warlord Games as Rubicon hadn't released any when I bought the model.

Various stowage and a bamboo shish kabob skewer as a log.

I do like the metal Warlord Games commander.

The T-34/85 is one of Rubicons earlier kits and is less detailed than the new shermans.

This kit came with an extra 76mm turret and the ability to make a Model 43 or 44 turret.

Next up is a Sherman Firefly IC Hybrid. This is a M4 composite hull sherman with the QF 17 pounder gun added. The M4 composite with a welded M4 rear with a cast armor front hull. Once again a less common version of the sherman that Rubicon has made a great kit of. I almost made this a regular US M4 composite as these were distributed to anyone who used the standard M4. But the Firefly won me over in the end. I was excited to paint this sherman in something other than OD green like my US shermans but then upon looking more into it, seems like the British kept the shermans in their original paint like the Russian did.

That gun does seem more imposing! 

Some extra armor.

Really liking the minimal colors and marking.
 Currently I am working on a Rubicon M10 tank destroyer, so more drab color. However I am also just starting on a Rubicon Panzer IV G and a Itelari 1/56th scale Panther A to test out my new(ish) airbrush!

Monday, May 7, 2018

FOW Early War France vs Germany

This weekend Michael, Grayson and I were able to get together and play some Flames of War. We played an Early War game with me fielding two 1500 point German Panzer companies and Michael playing a 1500 pt French Infantry company and Grayson playing a 1500 pt French tank company.

The Germans were breaking through the French lines. Michael deployed his French Infantry on the board while Grayson's force was in delayed reserve. I deployed a German medium panzer company on the board and left the Czech panzer Company in reserve.

The board from the German side.

Panzers pushing forward with the 8rads.

French infantry on the defense.

Three Hotchkiss tanks supporting the infantry.

The biggest danger, three Char B1's.

The Germans were trying to stay in cover.

The 8rads had shown the way.

The Panzer III's felt a little inadequate against the Char B's.

The French in the churchyard were hammered by MG's and autocannons, but were dug in deep.

The recon commander pointing the objective out.

In came the Luftwaffe!

The shot of the game, the last active Char B ran! Too many 1's for armor saves.

With the Char B's demises the panzers rush forward.

They contest the right objective.

The French infantry hunker down.

The SP 45mm guns spring their ambush.

But have middling results.

The 2nd company of panzers start to come on and engage the second French infantry platoon.

The 2nd French infantry platoon had be very aggressive and was now caught in the open.

On the right the arrival of the Somua's changed things.

The H39's had held the objective just long enough for support to arrive.

The Panzer II's don't want anything to do with the Somua's.

The French infantry had been pushed back in the center.

Czech panzers pushing foward.

The Panhard armored cars rushed around the German flank and were met by Panzer II's.
A wild tank brawl around the right objective.

The light vehicles were fighting it out on the left.

However the German big guns had just arrived.

But more French tanks came on against the German right.

The 8rads suddenly felt very exposed.

That is bad!

The two French 75mm field guns were a huge concern for the Panzer 38t's in the center.

But the Panzer II's had cleaned up the Panhards on the left and now went for that objective.

The Germans were being ground down on the right.

They were running out of Panzers.

The command 8rad trying to stay alive.

The Panzer IV's just could not kill the Somua S35's.

A very disappointing showing for the Panzer IV's.

The French tanks finally break the Germans on the right.

But the Somua's that rushed to the left didn't survive fifteen 20mm autocannon shots all around it.
The Panzer II's killed the last French infantry and Somuas to hold the objective.
A wild and crazy game! I really like early war with all the low AT weapons and low firepowers, the games last much longer. In the end when the Germans had to fight a stationary slugging match on the right they lost, but were saved by the mobile elements racing around to the objective on the left.