Review: M5A5/6 Jackal Light (Jump) Walker

A while back, Warlord graciously sent me the M5A5/6 Jackal to review; I had a lot of other new goodies that arrived at the same time, so it took me a while to get to it. I am glad I waited.

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With Defiance now released via Warlord Games and soon to be available through other retailers, one of the coolest army lists to arrive to the Konflikt 47 battlefield (the Italians) includes the option to take the Jackal as part of the Allied Italian force. This is perfect as I am planning to have an Italian paratrooper platoon built and ready–with a strong focus around the forthcoming (and highly anticipated) Italian jump troops. So including the Jackal–with its ‘Jump’ special rule and fancy flamethrower option–was a no-brainer.

I had actually had the Jackal built and placed to the side; but I remember assembling the kit when I first got it. The resin was crisp and had no flashing or mold lines, which is awesome. However there are two parts to the resin body that will require some greenstuff work to remove the gap left at the seam. This was the only issue, though.

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Assembly instructions provided by Warlord Games; note the two halves of the body that come together and form a seam that encircles the miniature.

The other issue I ran into when assembling the kit is that the fists did not seem to line up right on the arms. This may have been my bumbling mistake though. Overall the kit went together very well. I love the light walkers for the US and the Jackal is just so cool looking and poseable.

However now that I was approaching the Jackal months after I had initially assembled it, I decided that I hated the original stance I gave it (a little too generic with no ‘movement’). I broke the legs off at the joint (the glue was fragile for some reason) and then reposed them–to add stability to the limbs, I sprinkled on some baking soda to the super glue which hardened up instantly and made the joints firm.

There was one final detail I wanted to add. As this was an Italian walker now, not an American or British one, I wanted to make it more authentically Italian. So I sculpted (poorly, I would note) an Italian flag on one of the shoulder pads out of green stuff (you will see this better in the images of the painted miniature below). Then I primed it with Army Painter Necrotic Flesh spray primer.

It may seem backwards, but I based it after I had posed it. I normally do not base my vehicles or walkers; so for me, this step came as an afterthought. However, I was able to get a more dynamic pose out of it by propping the Jackal up on torn-up pieces of cork coasters we weren’t using. I then coated the base in Vallejo Sand Texture Paint and added a few more details to it before coating the miniature in my bog standard desert wash (50% Pledge with Future + 25% Vallejo Umber and Sepia Inks + 25% Army Painter Mid Brown and Light Tone inks). Here is where we are in this process:

Now that I had the assembled kit in front of me and based, it was time to start figuring out a paint scheme. There were two ways to take this. As I am using this as part of my Italian Airborne force, I could select panels or parts of the armor to paint in the traditional Italian camo pattern. I had considered this for a while, but I decided on the other option instead.

132a_Divisione_Corazzata_Ariete

You see, according to the lore from Defiance, all walker units were consolidated into the 132nd ‘Ariete’ Armored Division. If you aren’t familiar with this division, you should go look into it. There is a fascinating history here, Besides being nearly destroyed in North Africa, the reconstituted ‘Ariete’ armored division was one of the first to fight against Germany once the armistice was signed with Italy in 1943. They put up a strong defense against some of Germany’s best troops before surrendering.

I won’t bore you all with the rest of the details–you will just have to pick up the book Defiance to find out the rest. But suffice it to say that this walker was a part of the ‘Ariete’ armored division and therefore should be painted in colors that I had already been using for my Italian armor.

For those who want to copy this scheme, follow the tutorial I wrote up for the Sherman-T, which you can find here: https://theawireview.com/2018/05/03/painting-guide-camouflaged-m4a9-t-sherman-tesla-tank-konflikt-47/

I finished painting in all the details on the miniature and all I had left to do was complete the base.

I found that I really enjoy using War World Scenics’ products for basing–including their Mini Static Grass Applicator (which I will be reviewing soon). The best way I found to do this is to place the based figure on a piece of aluminum foil as a way to generate a static charge and this will help keep the grass standing straight up. Here is the completed M5A5/6 Jackal Walker (sans decals, which I am waiting on) ready to provide support for my Italian paratroopers!

Cost: 90pts (Regular), 105pts (Veteran).
Weapons: Right arm-mounted MMG, 2x Fist.
Damage value: 7+ (light walker).
Options: May add left arm-mounted infantry flamethrower for +20pts
Special Rules: Walker Agile Assault Fist Jump Single Crew

Overall, I really love this kit despite a few of the issues which came up during the build phase. It looks fantastic when painted up. For the points and with the armament this walker will fit right in with my fast-moving assaulty-type force of SMG-wielding paratroopers! I will develop an army list soon and be sure to post details with additional painting tutorials for paratroopers real soon.

Here are some images of the final model with custom decals from Company B representing the 132nd ‘Ariete’ Armored Division:

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