9.302015The Petlyakov PE-2, also known as “Peshka”, was a Soviet light bomber used during World War II. Designed by Vladimir Petlyakov, PE-2 dive bomber quickly proved itself to be a highly capable aircraft and became one of the most widespread used bombers, not only in Soviet Air Force, but in several other countries. PE-2 aircraft found itself used in more applications than just a standard bomber model - it was used as a heavy fighter, reconnaissance, night fighter and a trainer. The history of PE-2 inspired our designer to create this plastic model. Building the model in scale 1/48 would be a pleasure for both beginning modelers and professionals. The kit consists of 435 parts, which allows you to build a highly detailed model. You can literally see the cabin of a pilot and radio operator, the landing gear and the engine compartment. Optionally, you can set an engine exhaust system. We offer an additional bonus for modelers - propeller blades do not require glue to be pasted. Enjoy building our plastic model of the Soviet dive bomber Petlyakov PE-2!Read more...
Historical Miniature War Game
The Russian company Zvezda is well known in the model community for their extensive line of plastic military models. However, many readers may be unfamiliar with the fact that they also produce a line of war games. Let’s take a look at their latest offering, World War II: Stalingrad 1942-1943, a starter set for their popular World War II series that features their proprietary Art of Tactic system.
The game can be divided into two areas of interest: the models and the game play. Let’s first take a look at Zvezda’s area of expertise, the models. Simply put, the models are nothing short of outstanding! The highly detailed figures come in four separate bags and need to be removed from the plastic sprues and assembled. As a bonus, the vast majority of models can be snapped together without the need for glue and that was what we did to see how they would hold up in gameplay. The tolerances varied amongst the models, some of them were near seamless in their attachment, while others had a more visible gap. I believe that may have had more to do with me, than the models themselves, as some of the pieces need to be inserted at specific angles in order to have a proper fit. Which brings us to the size of the pieces. There are some incredibly small pieces included and they proved to be quite challenging to grip and put together. Experienced modelers will no doubt have an easier time assembling these, but I needed to glue some small detailed pieces just because I wouldn’t be able to assemble them otherwise. There is an assembly booklet included for the models, however, care must be taken in reading the instructions, as there are a couple of errors in the placement and mounting of pieces, which proved to be a bit frustrating until this was discovered. The assembled models look great, though if you are going to paint them, you will want to putty any of the visible gaps. Although I didn’t have the time to paint the models, I would look forward to attempting it, as they are quite detailed and look quite impressive.
For some reason the game comes with the Third Edition rules for the World War II series. Although interesting, the included examples picture units not included in this game. Not only that, but there are sections for Aircraft, which are also not included, as well as a long list of excellent features, however, once again many of them are not relevant to the game at hand. Why would you include the main rulebook for a system when this is supposed to be a starter set to introduce players to the game? Seeing as there was a great deal of information inside the rulebook it made it much harder than necessary to get up and playing the game ASAP. This problem seemed to echo throughout the package, excellent ideas, yet poor documentation. Maybe it is because of the Russian to English translation, but I find it hard to believe that someone would think that it was a good idea to include this rulebook instead of one geared towards instructing new players on how to play the game using the models that were included. That said, the overall system does look to be one that a dedicated wargamer would be interested in and would have certainly welcomed its inclusion, had there also been a separate guide for the relevant game itself.
As with most wargames, it includes a Campaign book. This was nicely laid out, as each scenario was shown as a two page spread and displayed the boards and photographs of the figures that were to be used and where they were to be placed on the map. Also included were the Objectives, set up rules and Scenario Special rules. One of the nice features is that the scenarios can be played in order and at the end of each scenario, the surviving units “gain experience”, and may have their Accuracy or Defense increased by one for the following scenario.
At the heart of the game is the brilliant Art of Tactic system. Essentially, each player has a dry-wipe card for each of their units and will use one of the included markers to keep track of stats and such, but more importantly, to give orders. This is where the game really shines. The writing down of the orders for each individual unit is what separates this game from others and makes it into a more realistic representation of an actual battle. Games such as Heroes of Normandie use a set of blocks with different numbers on them for initiative and resolve them in the designated order. While this is a somewhat adequate system, it doesn’t deliver a realistic approach to combat, since each revealed block carries out its turn and the following blocks can now base their turn on the current situation on the board. However, with the Art of Tactic, each player writes down on the unit card the orders that the player wants the unit to take, right down to what square to move to. Players then reveal all the orders on the cards and they are resolved simultaneously. There is no adjusting your strategy when you see where an opponent moved, like in other games. This is a great system and reminds me of my youth when I would draw out bombing missions for the Avalon Hill game Luftwaffe, where planes would have to follow the bombing routes, regardless of the situation. Zvezda uses the Art of Tactic system for other games that they publish, such as The Ships, Battle for Oil and Samurai Battles.
Even with the shaky documentation, this is a game that wargamers should take a look at. If you are looking for something more substantial than Memoir ‘44, than this would be a good choice, as the models are excellent, as well as is the Art of Tactic game system. Zvezda should seriously consider a separate rulebook for future editions that are relevant to the game purchased. The Third Edition rulebook was nice to have as an overview of the system, but beginners are going to want something more along the lines of a Quick Start guide. The game play is what you would normally expect from a game of this nature, the main difference being the use of the Art of Tactic system. There is a great deal of depth for those who are looking to explore and dig deeper into the system, as the rulebook gives many examples of the possible options available to the players. This is an interesting system that deserves more exposure within the marketplace. I would have loved to have had this game when I was a kid!...
9.32015In 1939 the old Ju-87B-1 had been replaced on the production line by the Ju-87B-2. The new fighter aircraft was equipped with Friend or Foe recognition system and had the increased armor protection for the close-support role. The Ju-87B-2 could carry a 1,000 kilogram (2,200 pound) bomb if the co-pilot was left behind. Our designers took this feature into account when they created Ju-87B-2 plastic model in scale 1/72. The plane can be assembled in different modifications – with a second pilot or without. The kit contains not only a bomb rack, but also an external tank, so the modelers have even more freedom of creativity. In addition, we offer two ways of fitting the pull-up dive brakes - either released for diving or hidden during the flight. The kit consists of 70 parts.Read more...
This kit includes one plastic model Russian tank.
Model supplied unpainted. Assembly required. Assembled model measures 14.1 cm in length.
One of the most recognizable tanks in the world today, the T-90 was developed by the Uralvagonzavod Design Bureau in Nizhni Tagil, Russia. The new design grew from the classic T-72, and was added to the armory of the Soviet Union in 1993.
The formidable T-90 tank is armed with a 2A46M 125mm smooth bore gun, capable of firing different types of shells as well as laser-guided missiles. An automatic loader enables the crew to sustain a rate of fire as high as eight rounds per minute, higher than most non-Russian tanks. Improved targeting allows the T-90 to engage both ground targets and low-flying enemy aircraft and helicopters, and the modern 1A45T “Irtish” sighting system enables the T-90 to destroy most modern tanks before they even reach the effective range of their own guns.
In addition to its main gun, the T-90 has a 7.62mm PKTM machine gun for use against infantry and a 12.7mm remote-controlled 6P49 “Kord” machine gun for use against aircraft. The entire tank is protected by explosive reactive armor and the Shtora-1 electronic countermeasure suite....
The ruthless hunter
By popular demand the company "Zvezda" renews release of Ju-88 G6 in 1/72 scale! This heavy fighter, based at the bomber Ju-88, had not only the combat power of its prototype, but also progressive for 1943 avionics for search purposes.The set consists of 65 parts and includes a set of pilots....