Unboxing the Polish Reinforcements

Some of you picked up on the fact that it was my 50th birthday last week. Thanks for all your good wishes and, to one particular person:  no you can't have my collection when I keel over due to old age!

As it was my birthday, and I'd finished the IABSMv3 lists for Poland 1939 for the Poles, Germans and Soviets, I decided to take the opportunity to fill out my early war collection a bit.

You see, when I first started playing WW2 games, I tended to play IABSM as it was originally designed to be played: with each side consisting of a few platoons of infantry supported by a couple of guns and maybe a single platoon of armour. I also almost exclusively played France 1940 or Barbarossa games, having (at the time) this strange aversion to late war with its big cats and hordes of character-less Shermans.

I therefore only have a single platoon of most types of early war German and Soviet tanks, and understrength platoons at that.

Well, what's the problem, I hear you ask, you have everything you need?

Yes, but, the thing is, these days, although some of the best games I've ever played have been games with small forces on each side, I now occasionally like to play huge, power games, with swarms of tanks everywhere...I think it's an age thing: why buy a sports car when you can command a full company of panzers!

So, for my birthday, I decided to do a bit of filling out:

That's a platoon of Panzer IIs, a platoon of Panzer 38(t)s, a platoon of T-26s, a platoon of BT-5s, and a couple of SdKfz 222 armoured cars as well.

[All bought from Hannants, BTW, a very good source of Zvezda kit: ordered Wednesday, arrived Saturday, discount included in price.]

You may notice that all the tanks ordered are plastic Zvezda kits: cheap but perfectly serviceable...especially as I don't expect to use them very often. 

And that's the point of buying cheaper Zvezda or PSC tanks rather than the more expensive metal or metal and resin vehicles from other manufacturers: if you're not going to use them very often, then cheap but serviceable is the way forward.

Don't get me wrong: these will paint up very nicely. Here, for example, is one Battlefront and three Zvezda Katyushkas in the same picture:

I would go as far to say, with my limited building skills, the rocket rack on Battlefront model looks worse than the Zvezda versions...and I've only ever fielded all four once, as an objective for a German attack. Imagine if I'd bought four metal versions for a single game: ouch!

The Zvezda range is expanding as well. Take a look at the box again. Nestling on the right are two Ferdinands. Together they cost about a fiver: cheaper than a single Battlefront model. Yes, I need them just in case I ever have to field them, but how often will I do so? Cost efficiency is the way forward!

Right: back to painting. All my Polish cavalry still do before I can start on the tanks!