Bolt Action - British

The Great Isolation Army Project – Marcus Vine’s British Airborne

Marcus plots out his new British Army whilst cooped up at home.

The Great Isolation Army Project – Marcus Vine’s British Airborne
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In these troubling times and stuck at home, naturally I’ve got a bit more tme on my hands. Being the world’s slowest and laziest painter, I often struggle to get armies finished in a timely fashion – my late-war Waffen-SS have taken almost a year (although, admittedly, most of that time has been in frenzied 12-hour blocks the night before a tournament!). I want to challenge myself to get a 1000 point Bolt Action army finished, from conception and grey plastic to based and on the tabletop, in the space of about 6 weeks. This may not sound like a particularly fast pace for some people, but for me it’s something of a personal 4-minute hobby mile!

Having just (nearly) finished a camo-heavy army, and being something of a hobby masochist, I’ve elected to go for late-war British Airborne. They’re a project I’ve tried (and failed) to start on a few occasions now, which helpfully means I’ve got loads of kits laying around the house, still shamefully shrink-wrapped. What better time than now to get a move on, and get them done?

In order to do this, I know that I’ll have to be quite strict and regimented with my time, as I can easily become distracted by the twin demons of beer and TV – discipline is the key here! To that end, I’ll be committing myself to a minimum of an hour and a half of solid hobby a day – enough to make meaningful progress, but not so much that I get burned out. I’m also committing to writing an article every two weeks, with accompanying photos.

In this article, I’ll set out the list, the themes and concepts, and what I want to get out of the project. I hope this might provide some light entertainment to my fellow hobbyists stuck in their houses, and (just maybe) some hobby impetus – if I can knuckle down and paint my toy soldiers, so can you!

The List

Unit Name: Upgrades:
Veteran 2nd Lieutenant 1 extra man, SMGs
Regular Artillery Forward Observer N/A
Paratroop Section 5x Extra Men, 5x SMG
Paratroop Section 5x Extra Men, 5x SMG
Paratroop Section 5x Extra Men, 5x SMG
Paratroop Section 3x Extra Men, LMG, SMG
Veteran MMG Team N/A
Veteran PIAT Team N/A
Veteran Sniper Team N/A
Veteran Flamethrower Team N/A
Veteran Medium Mortar Team Spotter
Total Points Cost: 1000 pts

As a hobbyist and history enthusiast, I’ve always found the very early and very late war to be the most compelling periods. Since I’ve already got a late-war German army, it made sense to me to give them somebody to fight against! I originally toyed with the idea of a more “generic”, tactically flexible force, but I decided to really push myself and actually paint in volume! Additionally, my Germans are very well-supplied with heavy armour, so an all-infantry force is a nice contrast – plus, it forces me to stick to my schedule!

Operation Varsity

The list represents the very first elements of the Allied forces to land during Operation Varsity, the largest single-day airborne operation in history. The 8th Parachute Battalion was formed out of the 13th Royal Warwickshire Regiment in late 1942, and by 1945 was a veteran unit, having fought through Normandy and the Ardennes. On the morning of March 24th 1945, the 8th landed near the Diersfordter Wald. “A” and “C” Companies met little resistance, but “B” Coy. and the Machine Gun Company landed off-target and found themselves in a fierce battle with a force of elite German Fallschirmjaeger. After fierce close-quarters fighting, the Paras had secured their drop zone by 11am, and the advance began in earnest!

Operation Varsity - British Airborne

I’m going to build as much of this force as possible using our plastic British Airborne kit, which is one of my personal favourites to work with. Only the MMG, flamethrower, and mortar teams will be metal, which will present a whole swathe of interesting modelling opportunities! I’m going to aim for a nice balance between historical accuracy and efficiency with the painting, which will be a fun challenge considering how much detail is on the plastics! When it’s done, I hope to have an good-looking force with a fun and aggresive playstyle!

Wish me luck (I’m going to need it!), look after yourselves, and I’ll see you next week with a menacing horde of grey Paras!

Bolt Action British Airborne

You can follow Marcus’ example with our excellent range of British Airborne miniatures. With trademark red beret and armed with Sten and Bren Guns the British Airborne were determined and tenacious, as only the British Tommy can be.

Marcus Vine
Marcus enjoys playing Bolt Action, buying models he swears he'll paint one day, and hitting people with swords at the weekend. His proudest hobby moment was when Rick Priestley told him he was rubbish at rolling dice.