An enormous excitement has been building around the Warlord offices these past few weeks, coiling out from under and around the locked doors and veiled windows of the Design Studio and settling in across the business, from the HQ Store to the farthest corners of the warehouse. Something was definitely coming. It was all a bit hush-hush, and no one quite knew what those Studio bods were cooking up. Naturally, during a quiet moment, we dispatched a couple of scouts to infiltrate and glean whatever intelligence they could during a quiet moment in the Studio. Their initial findings yielded but two words, Achtung Panzer!

The artwork that adorns the front of the new Achtung Panzer! Blood & Steel Starter set.

Fast forward a few weeks, and more info began to trickle through. Warlord is producing a brand-new tank-on-tank wargame. Cool! You’ll be able to progress your tanks and crews through a bespoke campaign system. Also cool! It will be built from the ground up, but will call on our extensive range of Bolt Action armoured vehicles. Hang on… that means we can start prepping forces now!

We thus recruited a dozen tank enthusiasts from around Warlord HQ, ranging from seasoned hobbyists to relative newcomers, with the shared objective that each should construct and paint a tank in preparation for a mega multiplayer battle. A tale of more gamers, if you will. Each person has chronicled their build, in the hopes of providing helpful hobby tips to those embarking on similar hobby journeys. We kick off with Rich and his Soviet KV-2!

Rich: I’ve not looked into a Russian force before but, I liked the idea of their heavy tanks, and there were some really attractive, big ol’ clanky machines that I was keen to have a go with, both on the hobby workbench and in Achtung Panzer!

I decided on the KV- tank for two reasons. As you can see, the boxed set is awesome, allowing you to fully and easily build either the KV-1 or KV-2 variants, which perform very differently from one another – I’ve opted to focus on the KV-2 heavy tank with its artillery capabilities, but let’s take a moment to comment on the box contents – because this is probably one of the best valued plastic tank kits. Not only can it easily make both variants (in that you have enough parts to make one body and both turrets – so you can adapt with your weapon of choice before any given game) but it also comes with a sprue of soviet infantry, which you could build as tank riders or use as extra men for Bolt Action games. You also get decals that can be used to build and paint this up as a captured and converted tank for your Axis forces!

There’s quite a bit in the kit!


I found this tank really simple to put together, requiring just a pair of clippers, a craft knife for cleaning up, plastic glue and a pair of tweezers (there are some very small parts for areas like the guns and grab bars on the turret). For each stage, I like to snip out and lay out my parts as shown in the assembly diagrams to ensure I have everything needed for any given step.

Matching the instructions like for like.
Note the grooves on the assembly.

The first assembly step is the tracks, which can always be daunting for the uninitiated. You definitely want to dry fit these before gluing, but they have grooves so that they can only be oriented one way. Just match the instructions and you can’t go wrong.

When attaching small parts to the hull, such as machine guns, and small vents and hatches, it can be a little tricky with such delicate parts – make sure to clean them with a sharp craft knife. And make sure to keep track of them when clipped from the sprue. I’ve already raised a glass to the grab handle swallowed by my carpet…

A great feature of the KV plastic kit is that you can build either the KV-1 or KV-2 turrets. If you want the guns to be elevatable, pay attention to where you put your glue – again dry-fitting is your friend.

It’s then just a case of glueing on hatches, bars, and ports – a relatively quick build al-in-all, and though I’m not an experienced tank builder by any means, this took me a little under two hours, and now that I’m familiar with the kit a second one will take me under the hour mark – handy for when I inevitably expand to a platoon…


It doesn’t necessarily matter if you don’t have the exact matches of the original tank’s scheme in your paint colour arsenal, particularly if you intend to weather it and give a worn effect. In fact you can see that I scuffed my primer coat slightly as there was water vapour on the surface resulting in the coat being a little grainy – but no matter, it could be covered with weathering and rust!

Oops. No worries it can be masked.

Over a black base, I used a deep pine green, gradually mixing in medium/light skin tone to the mix through subsequent coats, getting lighter and lighter, to give the impression of a faded look, especially in the more exposed and raised area, and anywhere where I envisaged would have seen hard use, like handles.

I wanted the finish to be ‘washed out’, with the impression that it had needed repairs over the course of its campaign (this also had the bonus of my not having to attempt a camo pattern – which makes me nervous as a relative novice). I used a lighter green-grey drybrush in areas, and white greys to simulate this. Next time I’d like to experiment with some chipping mediums and see if I can achieve a flaking paint effect.

You can see how I built up the brightness on exposed and raised areas.

After painting the tracks grey I noticed on my source photos that the wheel bearings would have been green, so I dirtied the whole track assembly with oranges/reds to give the impression of rust and grime then dry brushed the green colour over the top, to make them look worn, scratched and rusty.

“Rusting” the wheels.

I finished the whole tank with a very dark green wash, in this case a mix of Army Painter’s Military Shader and Strong Tone, concentrating on bolts, gaps, etc. Once dry, I then touched those areas with a very light dry brush of a green-grey mix to pick out the very edges

Of course, I opted for the For the Motherland decal! Once applied I gave it a light wash to give it the impression that it too was a little worn in, to match the rest of the tank.

The decal applied. After a few final touches, the tank is ready for the table!

And that’s that! I’m sure there is more I could do to improve and refine it, but I reasoned that it’s a gaming piece. I can’t wait to see how it fares in our inaugural Achtung Panzer! mega-battle.

Bring on the mega-game!

Rich is part of the Warlord Games Marketing Team, and has also been seen on the big screen a few times (although he’s far too modest to bring it up… often!). Hailing from sunny Telford, he enjoys picking heavy things up and putting them down again when he’s not busy hobbying!

Achtung Panzer! Soviet Tank Force

The Achtung Panzer! Soviet Army Tank Force allows you to deploy five iconic Soviet tanks to take on the enemies of the Motherland. The trio of no-nonsense T-34/76 medium tanks with their great balance of mobility, firepower, and protection are more than ably supported by the monstrous KV-1/KV-2 and IS-2 heavy tanks which pack a serious punch and bring massively thick armour to the table, giving your platoon a great ‘breakthrough’ capability for your T-34s to exploit.

In addition to these five awesome plastic vehicles (and a fantastic set of characterful stowage items), the included Soviet-specific Asset cards, plus Datacards for 20 different tanks (allowing you to field an even greater range of Soviet armour!), Tank Ace and Ace Skill cards, game tokens and markers along with mounted and dismounted tank crew figures give you everything you need to tackle the foes of the Soviet Union. Za rodinu! Za Stalina!

Also Available

The perfect way to jump into Achtung Panzer! on the side of the Soviet Union, the Achtung Panzer! Soviet Collection nets you both the Blood & Steel starter set and the above Soviet tank force, along with a set of Soviet tank crew included for free! The crew are also available separately, for added customisation whether it be for Achtung Panzer! or Bolt Action.

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