Bolt Action, Bolt Action - British, Showcase

Showcase: British in the Desert – the 8th Army forces of Paul Robins

1 comment

This week we’re looking in on Paul Robins’ British 8th Army force. Impressive, and  beautifully painted, the 8th Army are a labour of love – the level of detail, dedication, and research that Paul puts into his armies is inspiring (read – ‘crazy’) – but we’ll let Paul explain…


Paul Robins: The project kicked off back in 2015 with the Perry’s Miniatures plastic 8th Army. Finding the ability to make some Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) troops in the set, offered an opportunity not to be missed, and after some searching and chatting with the lads at Warlord Games a few Chevvies and Jeeps were acquired – all was well underway.

With all the desert models an undercoat of Army Painter Desert Yellow primer was applied. Once dry a watered down red/ brown is applied to all the recesses. This is then blended and feathered with a mix of Desert Yellow paint. The Desert Yellow is then highlighted with Iraqi Sand (if required, some white is added into the final mix to give a sharper edge). I then cut in the detail with Soft Tone ink – I like the depth this gives. The tyres are German Grey with Iraqi Sand highlight, guns, gun metal with a Soft Tone ink wash, the rest were coloured as required.

My now standard base sequence was applied with some stronger highlights given to some to aid unit differentiation. The flesh followed the 3 colour method of base, mid tone and highlight. Further details like weapons were kept simple with red/brown furniture and gun metal wash over with soft tone, I prefer soft tone ink as it has elements of red and brown that give a more subtle finish.


Having a small unit of LRDG (Long Range Desert Group), some tanks were the obvious next choice. 3 Crusaders, and Matilda II’s arrived – the Crusaders were to have a simple brown and sand colour scheme, whilst the Matilda’s needed a much more colourful coat. As with the LRDG they were both given the Desert Yellow basic colour mix, on the crusaders the camouflage was Dark Rust highlighted with the red/brown, the edges were softened with a little water to make the transition more transparent.

The tracks were Dark Rust highlighted with red/brown through orange drybrushed with gun metal and finished off with a Soft Tone ink wash. Over to the Matilda’s – within the Armies of Great Britain supplement (page 70) there is a Peter Dennis illustration of 3 Matilda’s sporting the Caunter scheme supported by infantry. It had to be done.


Desert Yellow was applied as before, and highlighted once complete blue and green wedges were applied, the light blue was blended with white, this worked well, the Green receive lighter tones of green to achieve the same level of contrast – and all the markings were painted by hand.


Morris C9/B with 40mm Bofors


K2 ‘Katie’ Ambulance

So that’s just the start. Looking back at how much I have, I suppose it seems daunting but I never considered that, I just kept grabbing what I liked the look of and added what inspired or excited me. Before I knew it my collection had, umm… grown a bit… and with the new plastics now available from Warlord I’ll be adding even more soon!
Hope you enjoy it PR


Get started just like Paul with:


View in Store

View in Store


View in Store

El Alamein Battle Set

View in Store