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31Aug/180

Bolt Action British Airborne

One of the latest kits and the youngest of the paratrooper plastic kits, are the British Airborne. A must for this week's series of reviews around the Operation Market Garden along with yesterday's US Airborne kit.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

The British airborne is one of the many special combat divisions of the commonwealth's armed forces. They were founded in 1941, roughly a year earlier than their US American counterpart, and the 1st Airborne Division was send to North Africa for Operation Torch. But this kit covers the Red Devils in their North Western European gear, making them the best fit for the mid to late war operations of Pegasus Bridge, Operation Market Garden and the late fights crossing the Rhine / Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation in history. In cinema the British paratroopers are mostly known from A bridge too far.

This kit covers the option to build the British paratroopers in regular gear with helmet, with their iconic red berets (thus the name Red devils) or wearing the blue-grey beret of the Polish airborne. The red devils wear their distinguish denison smock, which was heavily inspired by the "bonesack" smock of the German Fallschirmjäger. They are declared as mid and late war models, as the differences between 1st and 2nd pattern denison are rather negligible in 28mm. At 26 GBP you receive a total of 30 miniatures in 28mm scale casted in plastic.

Bolt Action - British Airborne

As usual with the Bolt Action sprues, this cover 6 soldiers per sprue and a total of 5 sprues per box. They have an instruction leaflet giving you some basic information on the gear as well as a detailed list of the parts inside the sprue and of course a small decal sheet for the miniatures insignia.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

There is a 25mm round base for each of the miniatures included. Casting is good, but the mould lines are a bit stronger than usual and with the ammunition pockets, webbing and such on top of the denison, the bodies of the paratroopers are a bit overcharged with details. Each sprue covers 6 bodies, a wide range of gear and a total of 18 heads, 6 covering helmets and bandaged heads, 6 British berets and 6 polish berets. Many of the heads have quite impressive moustaches.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

Build begins with the torsos. We have 5 running / standing poses and one kneeling pose.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

There are quite a lot of weapon options, and with these being assault troops, the NCO and three further soldiers receive Sten guns, with one soldier carrying a rifle with scope and further three soldiers carrying regular rifles.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne
Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

There can be support units be build from each sprue, either with a PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank) or a Bren gun LMG. In both cases a second soldier becomes the loader.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

As we have quite a broad range to choose from, I want to show you what can be build from this kit, with a regular British squad incl. support units wearing helmets and red berets, and a small group of three polish soldiers with the different style berets.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne
Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

Of course, these wouldn't be complete with the additional gear they carry into battle. Each one has a small backpack, entrenching tools and usually magazine pouches.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne
Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

A brief comparison of the assembled miniatures, the three different head gears, British paratroopers from the old Bolt Action range, the new plastic ones and one from Artizan Design. Along with the paratroopers from the other plastic kits.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

And of course a couple of shots of the assembled miniatures, showing the squad of British paratroopers, the PIAT team and a small group of polish paratroopers.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne
Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

Conclusion
As usual, 30 miniatures are a great starting point for a Bolt Action project and with so many options in the sprue, you can already build a small starter army that will easily succeed 500 points. Another good thing of these newer kits is the greater variety of special parts and varieties. You can build mixed red devils or the polish Airborne, you can build special weapon teams with a PIAT, a LMG or snipers. If you add bits and parts from other kits (in the case of the paratroopers mostly weapons as the arms and such wouldn't match the uniform), you can stay completely in plastic and could even achieve some SOE or commandos wearing the denison smocks.

Warlord Games still offers the old Bolt Action metal miniatures for the Airborne range along with the characters, of which some were covered as Legends of Bolt Action in the campaign supplements, like Frost or Urquhart.

Casting is good on these sprues, the mould lines were a bit more present compared to others I got. As the paratroopers wear a lot of equipment on their body, smocks and above that the webbing with pouches, they are a bit more challenging than your regular soldier. Same goes with painting, the denison smock has a camouflage, not as complex as some of the German patterns, but still more demanding compared to the US airborne paint job.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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