Ok, so, I’ve been meaning to write this one for some time… since maybe last year… but here we are, another showcase of building and painting a force. This time it’s Bolt Action, American style!
I had previously written about collecting Bolt Action when some friends at my club continued to rave about it. I was never really enamored with the game due to the support restrictions and cheese. For one, it felt like I was collecting Tau all over again (not T’au, like many of GWs rebranded armies… it’s not “T-ow” like a northerner stubbing his toe!), focusing heavily on lots of bog-standard infantry with a few extras added on. Only in Bolt Action, I felt there were far fewer extras compared to my old Tau!
So why did I get back into it? A friend was essentially giving away US Airborne whilst looking for more Brit models, and I thought having a small force that isn’t already being collected would be nice and let me join in the fun. That and I didn’t want to be too cliche by only ever collecting British. However, I recently learned that a friend within the group is also looking to collect US Airborne… I suppose an ally on the table couldn’t hurt.
Aside from COVID happening, I found it surprisingly fun doing the research and trying to create at least a semi-accurate list. Note, however, I did not go into the deepest depths of nerdgeekery research, ain’t got time for that!
So let’s start with the airborne. First off I used Humbrol Light Olive (86), then a layer of Army Painter Army Green. The webbing and backpack were painted with Vallejo Highlight Japanese Tankcrew, washed with Dark Khaki Green. Wood elements were painted in US Field Drab, with metal in Dark Rubber.
As for the US Rangers, these were somewhat more complex. The jacket first used Warlord Games US Gaitors Brown, followed by a layer of Vallejo Dark Khaki Green wash, then a layer of Warlord Games US Army Webbing, finished with a dry brushed layer of US Gaitors Brown again (just to tone down the Army Webbing colour). The webbing had two layers of carefully applied Vallejo Dark Khaki Green wash. There is probably a way around the repetition, but I’ve yet to find it.
The trousers used an initial layer of Warlord Games British Battledress, then Vallejo Flat Brown, followed by Umbra Shade, and finished with a dry brush of British Battledress again. The gaitors used British Battledress, then a wash of Umbra Shade, then a dry brush of Highlight Japanese Tankcrew. The shoes are the same as the trousers minus the final dry brushing of British Battledress. The Helmet used Warlord Games US Army Green, and the wood and straps used Vallejo US Field Drab.
The bases are all the same. I wanted to represent the town fighting the US had to endure during the D-Day Landings, and also to break my habit of giving everything a grassy finish! So, first I used a wash of Vallejo Dark Grey over the rubble to darken it, then when dried I went over the rubble with a dry brush layer of Battlefront Leather Brown and Humbrol RAF Blue (106), before painting the flat base in RAF Blue. A black rim and white numerals to denote which team the model belonged to finished the painting. After that, I added a light layer of Tamyia’s weathering mud powder and I was done.
So too was the skin. An initial base coat of Highlight Japanese Tankcrew, followed by a layer of Iraqui Sand on top with eyes added too. The whole model then had a wash of Umber Shade.
The result of which I’m sure you’ll agree look pretty authentic… if somewhat time consuming!