Bolt Action – Italian Bersaglieri

Warlord Games produced various kits to support the release of the two Italian campaign books for Bolt Action. We've covered Soft Underbelly on this blog already - and now the second plastic kit introducing the Italian Bersaglieri, to give you more options in addition to the regular Soldiers and Blackshirts.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

The Bersaglieri were a troop of marksmen (the name translates into sharpshooters) and they served the Royal Italian Army. The units can be recognized by their black feathers on their helmets, which are not only worn with their dress uniform but combat helmets as well. The Bersaglieri fought in the Italian invasion of France and in the Greco-Italian War, later Bersaglieri regiments were deployed on the Eastern Front. One battalion of Bersaglieri participated in the East African Campaign. Six Bersaglieri regiments served and were destroyed during the North African Campaign. This means that the content of this box, similar to the Soldiers and Blackshirts plastic kit, is primarily for early and mid-war forces.

This multi-part plastic kit covers 5 sprues with 6 soldiers each, an instruction leaflet, a small decal sheet (that can be used for other Italian units as well, like the Bersaglieri, Alpini and so on) and 25mm round bases with a small lip. The price is set at 35 GBP / 42 EUR RRP.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

Warlord Games uses the space inside the sprues wisely. Casting is well done, giving you crisp details and a minor amount of mould lines. Each sprue covers 16 head options, with soft caps / fez, combat helmets and the pith helmets. Each sprue covers besides a lot of regular rifles/carbines, two Breda LMGs (giving you 10 in total with this box), one M38A Beretta SMG and one 9mm Beretta Pistol. In addition, of course with bags, bayonets and other gear.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

The sprue is partially repurposed from the Soldiers & Blackshirts kit, as you can see below. I left the shared part in grey and coloured the individual areas for the blackshirts and bersaglieri. This mostly affects the heads and a few of the weapon options. The bodies are the same.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

The 6 different bodies have different poses, five of them moving and one kneeling. We don't have a laying pose with the plastic iIalians across both kits. It put them on the regular lipped round bases by Warlord Games, that are included in this kit.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

We have various weapon options to choose from as listed above, and we're going to build a LMG team, two officers and two regular soldiers, using the pistol with the well-known Italian gesture, a SMG and two rifles.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

In total 16 different head options to choose from. The faces are very characteristic and give you various expressions of soldiers in combat. I went for a mixture of the options, just didn't use the fez.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

The last step with the gear is for me always the "most" difficult one, if you like. Most miniatures are shown from the front, and depending on the amount of detail on the leaflet, you can get the info on the bits and pieces from there. Often Osprey books help, as they have colour tables and overviews on the gear of the soldiers, along with what was used and / or ditched during the campaigns. The easiest parts are usually the equipment for the LMG, with the ammunition and spare parts.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri

Along with the plastic kit, Warlord Games covers the Bersaglieri with a lot of metal options, and beyond that there aren't that many manufacturers covering the Italian forces in 28mm. But here you can see the Warlord plastics with an Empress metal miniature in the first picture, and with Perry Miniatures in the second (#3 and #5 are Perrys).

Bolt Action - Italian Army and Black Shirts Bolt Action - Italian Army and Black Shirts

And here's a shot of the small squad we build, from the front and back.

Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri Bolt Action - Italian Bersaglieri


In the review on the soldiers and blackshirts, I speculated if we would see an alternate cut for this troop, and that's what they did. A good repurpose of what the already had and added further content for individuality / more coverage. And in plastic, not just as a hybrid kit, so this is another good addition. The soldiers boxed set already created a solid backbone for Italian army projects, and I think this is a proper addition to it. Especially, if you want them to stand out more and be more thematic, as other armies have their Airborne etc. and you can now have the iconic Bersaglieri in bulk as well.

The helmets with the feather are such an interesting design, that this would be a great idea for Konflikt 47 or some Weird-War scenario as well. I can see these helmets being used for fictional projects as well, for example using the Dreamforge Eisernkern or other sci-fi base kits. Unfortunately, these boxes got another price raise. The 2022 kit was 33 GBP, and the 2023 is now at 35 GBP. It is still in a reasonable area and many traders are giving you a decent discount, but now we've crossed the more than a pound per miniature range. Still, broad options, casting is well done and you have enough miniatures for a full platoon / solid starting ground for your army project.

Compared to the regular Italian range, the Bersaglieri have more recent additional codes, so the support squads etc. are more in line with the new plastic kit.

After the armistice with the Western Allies and split of Italy, there were Bersaglieri on both sides, so you could play yours for example as part of the Combat Group Legnano, as a non-Axies but Allied force.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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