chaosbunker.de
30Aug/182

Bolt Action US Airborne

After we started the themed week with the supplement Campaign Market Garden, it is time to introduce and cover the matching Airborne units in a review - starting with the US Airborne. They were the second paratrooper unit released in plastic after the German Fallschirmjäger.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

The US Airborne was founded more or less in 1942, when the 82nd Infantry Division was renamed 82nd Airborne Division, regrouped and assigned a new task, Operation Husky, the airborne landing in Sicily, Italy. The 82nd Airborne are along with the 101st Airborne Division the only airborne division of the American forces, and both took part in Operation Overlord (D-Day / Landing in the Normandy) and Operation Market Garden. US Airborne soldiers were heroically represented in movies like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.

This box covers the US Airborne soldiers in plastic in 28mm scale. You have enough parts to build 30 Airborne soldiers wearing the M-1943 uniform from this kit. Besides building regular US paratroopers in M1 helmets you can build Pathfinders from this kit as well. These are late war models, suitable for the use from Market Garden onwards, as they still wore the M-1942 jump uniform on D-Day.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

This kit covers 5 sprues with 6 soldiers each, along with 25 25mm round bases, 3 25x50mm cavalry bases and a 60mm artillery base. In addition you have a leaflet, covering a detailed listing of the parts in each sprue and rules for a late war US Paratrooper squad. The rules can be found in several of the supplements, like Battlegroup Europe or Campaign Market Garden as well. The box covers a small decal sheet as well.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

Each sprue covers 6 soldier bodies, along with a broad range of weapons and gear. 15 heads to choose from, M1 Garand rifles, Thompson SMGs, BAR rifle and a 30 Cal LMG in every frame. The large 60mm base is for the individual weapon team, the long cavalry bases for the LMG gunner of the squad.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

You have 5 standing, walking or kneeling bodies, and one laying one with two different right legs to choose from. As you can see in the third picture, you can assemble the box into a whole squad, a small command group and weapon team and still would have 15 soldiers left to group into 2 further squads.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

I build one regular US paratrooper squad at the maximum load out, 11 men in total, NCO and four further paratroopers carrying SMGs, a LMG and a BAR rifle.

Bolt Action - US Airborne

Not all arms fit properly to everybody, so you have to see if the length of the arm and the position properly matches. Otherwise, it is plastic, you have to file it down or cut a bit, to make it work.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

As for the command group, I went with a NCO with field glasses. Unfortunately those have to be used in a specific angle, and I didn't want it to cover the models face, so I had to close the gap with putty. The other two soldiers got a Colt pistol and SMG.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

As for the 30 Cal LMG team, they have plenty of space on their 60mm base. I went with the crouching bodies and the two different right leg options to have them differ from each other a bit. There is a gunner, holding the LMG itself and a loader aiding the ammunition belt towards the LMG.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

Next up the heads, each sprue covers 15 different heads, some with M1 helmets, some with netted helmets or side caps, and some spotting mohawks.

Bolt Action - US Airborne

Of course, as paratroopers they had to take their gear with them on the body into the battle, as supply or reinforcement could / would be difficult. Therefore the soldiers have a lot of luggage like bandoliers, ammo pouches and the iconic field dressings of the airborne helmets.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

And on top of that, the backpacks each soldier wore into battle.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

A brief comparison of the new plastic paratroopers next to their metal counterparts from the old Bolt Action range and next to a German Fallschirmjäger and US Marine, both later plastic kits by Warlord Games.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

And of course, the assembled miniatures, ready to be based, primed and painted. As you can see I build from the remaining parts a second 30 Cal LMG team as well as a squad of 6 Pathfinders, spotting the mohawk and being a bit more wildly armed than the regular US paratrooper.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne
Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

Conclusion
Warlord Games sets the price of these boxes with 30 miniatures at 26 GBP. With Bolt Action in mind, you come quite a long way with that many miniatures, especially with the heavy and special weapons included in each sprue, so you can easily field at least a 500 pts army with these kits. In addition to the plastic kit, Warlord Games supplies the US Airborne with a couple of blisters with newer models of late war paratroopers, a squad of 10 paratroopers in winter gear and still a lot of the old Paul Hicks sculpts in the shop.

With this box as a base, and bits and parts from the other US American range, like the Marines, the generic weapon sprue or the new US Infantry GIs, you can build a very characterful force completely out of plastic. Casting is properly done, the new weapons that are sculpted directly into the hands look much better than the open hands with individual weapons from the earlier boxes and the mould lines are very moderate. You can see, that it is one of the earlier boxes of the newer designs, as there not yet on the top level of the recent boxes of '17/'18, but they are way better than the first set of US, British or German infantry.

In the sprues are some very dynamic poses and I've seen army projects online that tried to recreate the characters from Band of Brothers Easy Company and that is quite achievable. Among the paratroopers the US Airborne might be most beginner friendly as they don't wear a difficult camouflage like their British or German counterparts, but rather mute colours that are easier to paint.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Awesome write-up and it has cleared one or two things up.
    I still have a couple of issues though:
    1. The box states .30 Cal Medium Machine Gun…. is the word ‘medium’ a mistake as I can’t see oneand thought that’s what the large round base was for.
    2. What are the 3 x Oval bases for? Guessing they are for 3 more LMG’s but only the ‘firer’ for which if fired, a paratrooper becomes a loader.
    Thing is, the insert sheet states a squad can only have 2 LMG. The ovals are throwing me. Think I’ll use an mdf large round to go with the supplied one to make two LMG 2 man teams.
    After all that I’m still lost as to what the large round is for or does that make it the illusive MMG ?

  2. Forgot to mention that you state .30 cal LMG and yet Rulebook v2 page 169 has .30 as a MMG and as a 3 man team, which I would have thought would have been the large round base.


Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.