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British Airborne – Bolt Action (can I finish a project?)

British Airborne – Bolt Action (can I finish a project?)

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Project Blog by flatbattery

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About the Project

Project started in an effort to make me finish an army for the first time.

This Project is Active

Well, that was the festive season and January written off!

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 6

So, it turned out that a good time was not to be had by this particular carbon-based life form. After a sudden hit to my health (which so far has thankfully not been deemed serious), I had to put this project on hold, mainly due to my eyesight being affected. Although I’m still not 100% I have at least been able to put paint to plastic and attempt to get back some normality.
There’s still a bit of detail and shade to do, but here is my test model:

Well, that was the festive season and January written off!

I’m reasonably happy with the result, I think the trousers could do with being a little darker and I originally thought the Denison Smock was too muted, but on further inspection of photos it appears that they mostly had a worn look anyway and differed greatly in camo pattern across the board.

The colours I used were as follows: –

(V) Vallejo (AP) Army Painter (S) Scalecolor

Scarlett Red (V) basecoat
Red Tone (AP) Shade on underside
Scarlett Red, Barbarian Flesh (AP) and Glaze Medium (V) Mild tint on top
Black Grey (V) for the band
Heavy Metal (S) with Dark Tone (AP) wash for badge
Above red tones used for mug but went lighter on tints

Sten and boots
Black Grey (V) basecoat
Dark Tone (AP) Pin wash
Dark Grey (V), Sea Grey (V) Tint
Thrash Metal (S) chipping on Sten gun

Face and hands
Barbarian Flesh (AP) basecoat
Flesh Wash (AP) shade
Gradient from Elven Flesh (AP) to Corpse Pale (AP) for skin tones
Ivory (V) for teeth and eye balls. There are pupils in there but they’re tiny and I bottled trying again!
Red Tone (AP) and Matt Medium (V) for lower lip
Dragon Red (AP) and Dark Tone (AP) for inside mouth
Flat Earth (V) with Monster Brown (AP) tint for hair
Pure Red (AP) and Glaze Medium (V) to redden nose, cheeks and knuckles.

English Uniform (V) basecoat
Strong Tone (AP) shade

Webbing, anklets and rope
Khaki (V) basecoat
Soft Tone (AP) shade
Iraqui Sand (V) to pick out rope.
English Uniform (V) Canteen
Army Green (AP) basecoat with Military Shader (AP) shade and Combat                          Fatigues (AP) tint for the respirator bag

Denison Smock
Khaki Grey (V) basecoat
Soft Tone (AP) Shade
Dark Green (V) and Matt Medium (V) camo
German Camo Medium Brown (V) and Matt Medium (V) camo

I added the Matt Medium in a 2-1 mix with the camo colour as the real-life counter parts appeared semi-transparent allowing a third shade to appear where the two colours overlapped.
Unfortunately, that is all I managed. Regardless, I’ll soldier on and hope my health will hold out enough that I can get more done. And to bow out of this update I’ll leave you with a gratuitous Lloyd shot…..enjoy.

Well, that was the festive season and January written off!

Things Built and Decisions Made

Tutoring 12
Skill 12
Idea 12
No Comments

This will be the second time I’ve done this update as the last one decided to wander off whilst uploading, I hope it finds whatever it is it was looking for.

It’s been a while since the last update, unfortunately real life tends to kick the door in and demand some attention, but thankfully I’ve managed to put a dent in the army build. First, I’ll throw up a pic of the now primed Tetrarch, Firefly and Jeep. The Firefly and Jeep were both primed in Army Painter Army Green for obvious reasons, but I decided to prime the Tetrarch with Army Painter Desert Sand, which on any other day of the week would have been a disaster as the result that doesn’t quite show up, is a bit of a mess. Thankfully I’ve decided to go for a weathered look (which will be a first attempt) on the vehicles, so hopefully the mess will be disguised. The reason for the Desert Sand primer, which I’ll probably lightly go over with Citadel Zandri Dust, is to go for a khaki/green camo pattern as per the Tetrarch found at The Tank Museum, Bovington instead of the usual black/green I’ve seen elsewhere.

Things Built and Decisions Made
Tetrarch at The Tank Museum, Bovington.Tetrarch at The Tank Museum, Bovington.

Next up is the Airborne infantry sections and support I’ve managed to build, from top to bottom we have: –

  • 10-man section with one NCO and two troops with SMGs and one LMG team.
  • 10-man section as per above.
  • 10-man section with NCO and four Troops with SMGs.
  •  Artillery Forward Observer, Mortar Spotter, Lieutenant/Second Lieutenant with rifleman and PIAT team.

As an easy way to identify them quicker, I equipped only the NCOs and SMGs with berets with the PIAT trooper being the only exception. I’ll probably mark the bases in some way for the LMGs.

Things Built and Decisions Made
Things Built and Decisions Made
Things Built and Decisions Made
Things Built and Decisions Made

The next pic shows a colour test I did for priming the troops. Part of the sprue was sprayed with Citadel Zandri Dust then the numbered parts I painted with: –

  1. Khaki Grey (all Vallejo)
  2.  Khaki
  3.  Iraqui Sand

It doesn’t show that well, but the Vallejo Khaki is close enough (barely noticeable difference at arm’s length), which coincidentally will be the paint I wanted to use for the webbing, gaiters and most of the packs and pouches. So, Zandri Dust it’ll be for the primer and for the most part the Warlord British Airborne paint set for everything else, after a test model first of course.

Things Built and Decisions Made

Next update I hope to have the test model painted and based and the rest of the support elements built. So far this includes a Vickers MMG team, Light Mortar team, Medium Mortar team, Flamethrower team and a QF 6-pdr anti-tank gun. I’ve also ordered the British sniper team in ghillie suits, as ghillies were used by the British since the Boer War. I didn’t mind throwing them in despite finding no reference to British Airborne using them except for the hoods.

Until next time, whenever that will be!

Things are happening.

Tutoring 7
Skill 10
Idea 8

It’s a slow start but at least I have something to show (don’t get too excited).


It's not much, but I've got these three built in the time I've had. Sadly not primed yet due to lack of daylight.It's not much, but I've got these three built in the time I've had. Sadly not primed yet due to lack of daylight.

First up the the little Tetrarch, not the most effective tank ever built, but they did get it to fit inside a Hamilcar glider and it had the pleasure of being a fraction bigger than the US Locust.

Things are happening.

Next up is the Jeep, it was a fiddly little beggar to build and bare metal looks awful but I’m hopeful of a decent result when it’s finished. Still undecided on whether to use the trailer, but I’ll probably paint it up anyway.

Things are happening.

Last but not least is the lovely Firefly, a few fiddly bits my stupid sausage fingers struggled with but otherwise pretty straight forward. Messed up drilling the barrel a little, but that should tidy up or hide during painting.

Things are happening.

Next update I’ll get a unit of troopers built up and at least primed, outside conditions permitting and I should have some tactical markings decided on to share. I’ve discovered some interesting things regarding battledress and I’ll go over this when the time is right.  Cheers all.

Ready to begin proper........I promise!

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 10

So no actual hobby achieved since the last update 🙄, and yes I know it’s not quite what anybody wants to see………But this happened though!……

Ready to begin proper........I promise!

All tidy and ready to go, no excuses now. I am quite chuffed with it and impressed that it’s all magnetised (magnets included) so it won’t move around.

Had to treat myself to a large Maker’s Mark afterwards as you can see, oh! and apologies for the badge you can just about see on the left, I didn’t realise it was there till after 😳.

Next update will include actual miniatures…….I hope.

The wallet took a beating

Tutoring 2
Skill 1
Idea 8
No Comments

Unfortunately no hobbying done today as the little time I did have was spent starting the hobby space tidy up. Which predictably didn’t go so well.

Apart from moving the lamp, this how it was. Not the worst mess I've ever seen it has to be said.Apart from moving the lamp, this how it was. Not the worst mess I've ever seen it has to be said.

First thing that occurred to me was that I needed more storage, which meant freeing up some space. That gap between the drawers in the middle and the paint rack on the left is how much space my lamp base was taking up, so it had to go. The only solution available at the time was a clamp, one of which I already had, but typically wasn’t the right fit. A little bit of drilling and filing later and the result was a lamp out of the way you can just see on the shelf on the left.

After that I started to think about what I could fit in regarding more drawers or racking, and sweet merciful crap! I stumbled upon the Hobbyzone modular system.

The wallet took a beating

Ive only got space for less than a 1/3 of that but after ordering 8 items my meagre bank balance is now left picking some of its teeth off the floor. I wonder what my weekend will involve now I wonder?!

Hopefully tomorrow I can find an hour to sit down and build something so I can get this project started properly. I can work in the mess for now.

Oh! and the Firefly arrived today 😁 just have to decide which division I want it to belong to. Early thoughts are Irish Guards so far.

So it begins

Tutoring 4
Skill 3
Idea 11

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never completed a project. I’ve started many, which all now sit about waiting for me to pick up again, as I promised myself I would. With that said,  it comes to why I’ve started this project for all to see……… it’s simply to encourage me to finish one…..for the first time…. ever.  You might be asking why I don’t just carry on with an existing project? Simply put, I’d rather start fresh with something I haven’t done before and so am genuinely excited about.

It has to be said that I don’t have a great deal of time to put in on a regular basis, so I expect the going to be slow, but with an online presence to worry about I’m hoping that it’ll stop me from putting things off.

So, with that out of the way below is the small horde I’ve got to play with for all to feast their eyes on,  minus a couple of items still in the post.

Apologises for the poor image quality, I was in a rush to get started before I bottled it.Apologises for the poor image quality, I was in a rush to get started before I bottled it.

This lovely lot consists of a British Airborne Starter Army and expansion set, extra British Airborne Section I already had stashed away, the rulebook and army book, dice bag, maroon order dice and template sprue. At this point I’m still waiting for some pin markers and a Sherman Firefly. This will keep me busy for a while, not to mention the possibility of adding more before the end.

I also got my hands on this…..

So it begins

I was going to trawl the internet for info and images, but it turns out that this covers it all, right down to markings, badges and the contents of the webbing. Hopefully it’ll make things a little more historically accurate.

So why British Airborne? To a small degree I’ve been a fan ever since I read Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E Ambrose even if the action that impressed me the most was the piloting skills of Jim Wallwork (not to detract from the actions of anybody else), who surpassed expectations in an almost impossible feat of flying to facilitate the first highly important victory of D-Day. There’s a very high possibility that a Horsa Glider will be added at some point, for this very reason.


Once I’ve cleared and tidied my hobby desk I’ll be cracking on building some of the army and painting a test mini, which I hope won’t be too far off. Any advice is welcome although bear in mind I’m not building the army to win any tournaments, but for fun, to improve my hobby skills and hopefully some friendly games once they’re all at least built.  Cheers all………..Ham and Jam!