In this, the last of John Stallard’s series on how he’s collected his themed Bolt Action British army he bulks out his force with bullet catchers…
John: To get some more variety for my Welsh units I pillaged our Chindit range. This range is full of character with Paul Hicks at his sculpting best. I have taken the most dynamic models and painted them up as North European Tommies.
The biggest change is the headgear, of course, but that’s really not a problem with Bolt Action models as they have the Figure Head system which means you can mix and match the heads across ranges or just within your own army. Far easier than all that clipping, drilling and sculpting!
Not wanting to waste the lovely Chindit heads, I gave them to a friend for one of his modelling projects. I then popped the plastic heads from the Bolt Action British Infantry boxed set in their place. One or two of the Chindits had heads moulded on but it’s really quite simple to snip them off and replace them. A mixture of bare heads and helmets gave them a more ragged look, and their clothing is shown tattered and torn and sleeves rolled up, perfect for summer battles in the Bocage..
The next step was to trim off the large machete and kukri knives that were so popular with the armies fighting in Burma. Any areas where I’ve been a bit heavy-handed have been covered over with extra kit from the plastic set – there is so much stuff on there you’ll have loads to choose from!
They may be good for use in the close confines of the jungle but an M1 carbine is not what the British Tommy wants in his hands in Europe. So, they were removed and replaced with a good old Lee Enfield rifle. Similarly, the long sword bayonets were either completely removed or whittled down to look like the ‘pig sticker’ spike bayonets that were seen on the later versions of the SMLE.
Hands that held machetes (and even a Japanese ceremonial sword) were modelled to carry grenades instead, – I simply snipped off the blade and hilt and rounded what was left into a grenade shape.
My final efforts are a Jock Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun (although it could be used firing at ground targets over open sights too). These fellows keep the skies clear from the odd hit and run FW 190. I simply replaced the heads with our Scottish ones, and made them all scanning the skies looking for targets.
And who can turn down a British Sherman V? Well weathered with mud and plastered in dust – a feature common to all vehicles in France, which now gives me two regular 75mm gunned tanks and a nasty big cat killer, Firefly with its deadly 17 pounder.
By now you’ll have noticed that I’ve really got the bug for collecting Bolt Action figures! Maybe next I’ll have a stab at a German army…