Bolt Action 15mm Commando army

Alot of the guys are doing Bolt Action in 15mm. I was all over this when it was going to be a 28mm project for the club – not sure how the historical guys would have liked my Weird War 2 German Zombies, but, whatever 😉 – I completely lost interest when everyone decided on 15mm. It’s just not a scale I get any pleasure from painting.

Anyway, I played the game once a few months ago, and while it was pretty good – not good enough to warrant doing 15mm though. A couple weeks back I was watching Firemonkeyboy play some  BA and we got to talking about… and it dawned on me: from my Flames of War days, I had a blister of Commandos and some Sherman tanks from the old Open Fire starter set.

(A bit of a side-note here, my late uncle, Charlie Watts served in the RAF in WW2, in the mediterranean – in his memory I was going to make a combined arms British army, using RAF support. And while that project never found legs, I couldnt just dump the models on ebay – I had to actually do something with them. Uncle Charlie, this army is for you. 🙂 )

Gathering up all my British models, I had 3 Sherman tanks, and by their rounded hull design, they turned out to be Sherman II’s – and they also turned out to be *clearly* American: with a US helmet and a *baseball bat* attached as bits of decoration… easy enough problems to solve with a couple snips of cutters, however – and I had a ton of Commandos. I understand from Watts that the command model in the Blister represents Lord Lovat, so I was going to make them the No 4 Commando. This presented another unconsidered challenge, though: Sherman II’s were only used in Europe by the 4th Armoured Brigade, ‘The Black Rats’


People spend their entire *lives* researching military history, I, unfortunately, am not hard-wired that way, so I had to do a crash-course for the last couple of weeks. Luckily, the website has a fantastic amount of information, and I was able to find an engagement that had both the Black Rats and a Commando division: the capture of Stevenswert.

Coincidentally, January 19th also happens to be my birthday (well, 26 years later that is). Therefore the tanks in my army are from the Royal Scots Greys, and the Commandos are the No. 3 Commando. 🙂

Of course, I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes, and I’m sure all the historians out there will be quick to point them out to me. *sigh*

Anyway… painting. I wanted to slash my wrists a couple hours after starting, 15mm really drained my will to live. Very unpleasant experience. I used my standard process for the infantry. Bases are created with pumice gel, then overbrushed with Vallejo Flat Brown, then lightly drybrushed with Vallejo Beige Brown, and finally given a thin wash of FW Burnt Umber mixed with some matte medium, flow improver and drying retarder. They came out really nice – very happy with the effect.

The tanks were airbrushed with some appropriate greens, then given an oil wash with W&N Burnt Umber. Sealed with a custom mix of Vallejo Matte and Satin varnish and then added some dirt and grim. I think they came out pretty good – I went really overboard with the weathering on my Flames of War German tanks, so I decided to apply the treatment more sparingly on these.

Oh, and they are all mounted on pennies. 🙂 Apparently the Canadian government doesnt want people playing Bolt Action in 15mm, so they took the penny out of circulation… good thing my house is a mess and there’s change everywhere.











~ by Chris on March 30, 2013.

2 Responses to “Bolt Action 15mm Commando army”

  1. They look terrific! Can’t wait to see them on the table.

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