Bolt Action, Bolt Action - Italian, Showcase

Hobby: Paul Robins’ Italian Desert Army

no comments

Paul Robins is a long-time friend of Warlord Games and has been a collector for many years. He has amassed an impressive array of forces and we thought it about time to showcase some of his collection. There’s a rather lovely 8th Army force featured here – but let’s start today with his equally impressive Italians – over to you, Paul!


Paul: It was a great compliment when the Warlord team asked if they could photograph my WWII Italian army, one that was painted in homage to my Italian wife. The offer was quickly accepted!

My interest in the desert campaign stretches back to my military career, where I served with one of the former RAF Desert Airforce squadrons in the Cold War period. No.6 Squadron, nicknamed the Flying Can Openers, was then a famous tank busting outfit flying the Hawker Hurricane Mk2 C/D with anti-tank rockets or wing-mounted cannon.


I wanted my armies both to have an eclectic feel with a mix of units and vehicle types giving the feel of the period when anything that could drive was used in the newly mechanised style of warfare.

For all my desert models I apply an undercoat of sand primer. Once dry, a watered down red/brown is applied to all the recesses, this is then blended and feathered with a mix of Desert Sand paint. The Desert Sand is then highlighted with Iraqi Sand, and 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.

Vehicle tyres are German Grey with Iraqi Sand highlight, the guns are gunmetal with a soft tone wash, and the rest is coloured as required. Tank tracks are Dark Rust highlighted with red/brown through orange, dry brushed with gunmetal and finished off with a soft tone wash.


When I started the army, Warlord had just released the beginnings of their Italian range, so using the head swap system, I built a few units of basic infantry supported by the Bersaglieri, a famous and well-respected unit. A few Perry’s Italians were added to the mix for variety. My standard base sequence was applied with some stronger highlights given to some to aid unit differentiation.


The flesh follows the 3 colour method of base, mid-tone and highlight. Further details like weapons were kept simple with red/brown furniture and gunmetal wash over with soft tone, I prefer soft tone as it has elements of red and brown and gives a more subtle finish.


Now Tigers…

Since the Italians were allied to the Germans, it was a great excuse to purchase the Warlord Early production Tiger I. and now, with the addition of a few more vehicles, my Afrika Korps army is well underway!’. ,

We think you’ll agree – it’s a gorgeous-looking force that combines so many different aspects of the Italian forces. Speaking of which – why not head over to the webstore and gear-up for the Western Desert Bolt Action theatre book by taking a look at all of the Italian goodies we have on offer?


Italian Collection

Get started with your desert campaigns with the El Alamein complete starter set:

El Alamein Starter Set

View In Store



View in Store

View in Store