Monday 23 December 2013

20mm WW2 - expanded vehicle park

A parcel at work today, containing the Armourfast Sdkfz 251/1 & Sherman M4A2 75mm kits, plus two packs of the Armourfast/HaT German Machine Gunners.

So firstly - very pleased with the machine gunners, they look like they will paint up nicely, and be compatible with my Caesar sets which for some reason (across three sets) contain not one single LMG or HMG.

Service - top marks..  at Christmas time from ordering Dec 10, arrived at work Dec 23. 13 days door to door from UL to Australia in the middle of the Christmas post. Excellent work.

On to the kits themselves. Rivet-counters may now look away. Firstly the 251. Grey plastic, went together easily, nice detail, looks the biz. Some have complained it is too long and narrow, but to me it really looks the part. 23 minutes to put it together. Only drama, other than the usual dropping of tiny plastic parts, the MG are MG42, so this is late war. The headlamps don't quite fit into the holes, burr these out. No driver compartment detail, but I think it is assumed you will be filling this baby with machine-gunners etc. And good grief - why are the vision slots moulded separately with no locating lugs?  Surely these could have been cast with the very nice upper body.

Armourfast - Sdkfz 251/1 & M4A2
Armourfast Sherman Sprue - 15 bits I think...
Armourfast on the Left, Esci on the right.

Now the Sherman. Went together very easily. Looks the part, quite comparable in size with my Esci version. Now.. just 5 slight issues.
1. The exploded assembly view contains a part that isn't on the sprue.. part no 6. turret hatch on the left hand side. I looked on both sprues, nope, nada, zilch, nothing...   doesn't exist.
2. The bit that is included on the sprue, but isn't on the diagram. I think this bit is an aerial mount for the rear of the turret.. equally, it could be a spare ball mg mounting..
3. +1 to Armourfast for making the turret hatches in two parts so they can be opened, but no crew member.
4. Rear decking detail is 'sparse' it works, but I think I am going to stack it with stowage to conceal the lack of detail.
5. No decals..    annoying. I am going to have to source some separately. I knew this when I bought it, but it would be nice even to have some generic Allied stars, (same for the Hanomag.. how hard would it be to include a few Balkan crosses?

I really reckon Armourfast could make a good thing out of an 'accessories' pack with tons of stowage, jerry cans, crates, rolled tarps etc. Throw in some decals, and I would certainly buy them.

But all in all, these are excellent little wargames models They look the part, and with a little bit of extra work in the paint shop, some customisation, and so on, will really look good on the table.

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