Today was a rather auspicious day to put the finishing touches on this unit. I only realized it was the 6th of June when I took a quick painting break and decided 'the hell with it, let's throw out a quick blog just because of that. In short here's a small bunch of Bolt Action US Airborne troops by Warlord Games.
|One of the interesting features of Bolt Action armies is that you can make most models out of the standard sprue.|
I wavered a long time before getting into Bolt Action. Although I really enjoyed the rules during a few test games, I always thought it a bit too close to actual human grief to be a game. Then I realized this would finally let me fight the famed battle of the Desert Fox versus the US Airborne in the ruins of Stalingrad and I lightened up.
|I decided against painting eyes. The 28mm scale of Warlord Games is a lot smaller than GW 28mm and I don't quite trust my steady hands with that much detail.|
It was a lot of fun assembling these models. With GW moving back to monopose models these 'do whatever you want' types are a breath of fresh air. On the downside there are hardly any guidelines when it comes to assembling your units. This slowed my original plan: I actually bought a British starter army (I've always been rather fond of the helmets). When it came to building my 'Tommies' the guidance I got from the internet was 'let history be your guide'. Well I'm not really going for that much level of detail. As I had to few games behind me to build something practical I decided to splurge and get the Band of Brothers starter set too. This has a very helpful 'are you clueless, build this' guide for the models in the box. I followed it. The box also contains ten nazi troops. This has given me a perfect excuse for having these in my house. I didn't want them, they came uninvited, it's what they do :)
|I still need to gloss and then matt coat these troops, but I haven't gotten my hands on appropriate transfers yet. To my dismay these weren't included in the starter box.|
Anyways back to the US Airborne troops. I like the poses Warlord Games came up with. It reminded me a lot of the old Airfix 1:72 toy soldiers I had as a kid. Following the starter guide I made an officer with two minders, two units of nine troopers and a machine gun with a spotter. After a bit of internal debating I glued the spotter on the base with the gun, that makes it much easier to recognize what unit he's a part of.
To my surprise the hardest part was getting a reasonable uniform color. I expected the internet to be flooded with armchair historians that would point out whether I needed Vallejo US Airborne Uniform A or Vallejo US Airborne Uniform B to color my troops. No such luck. To complicate matters apparently the troops switched from a greenish brown they wore dropping down on Normandy to a standardized green they wore when they were off liberating my neck of the woods (I used to live around the corner of the US Airborne monument in Eindhoven). With a lot of care I managed to more or less reproduce the brown looking green that is typically used in movies to show us what the Airborne looked like. When I was done washing they turned out more in the regular green of the later war. It's good enough for me. I did find out in time not to paint their boots black though and gave them proper airborne yellow-brown jump boots. So there is that.
Having now run out of pictures :) I should add that the little plastic ruin is also part of the starter set. I tried a speed painting technique for terrain on that, painting the entire model in fifteen minutes by just spraying appropriate greys, off-whites and browns at it with an airbrush, gloss coating and covering it in streaking grime. I really should get stock in AK, that streaking grime is awesome :). Next up soon some naughty Germans and their little tanky. Also I couldn't resist buying a King Tiger. Might as well own a representation of one of the silliest tanks ever produced. With that finished I should play some games and get my British troops assembled. There is actualy a color called 'British Uniform' so that should help there. Anyway, here to June the 6th and my first bunch of paratroopers.