Earlier this year, a discussion between my buddy Ty about his Albertine forces for VBCW led to me offering to build up a Section of Cross-Atlantic raiders. I attempted this with the old Commandos box from Warlord, one of their earliest WW2 plastic kits. It didn’t work; my attempt to kitbash the parts with newer kits didn’t look good, and the project stalled.
Luckily, shortly after the release of the new British/Canadian Infantry kit, they announced a follow up; new commandos! They released a few weeks ago, and I eagerly picked one up, keen to get the project back on schedule.
I did ask if he wanted a full thirty men. Ty’s answer of “just ten please” meant I had a full twenty more for my own needs. Which turned out to be very lucky, as earlier this week I was challenged to game of Konflikt 47, and not feeling keen on painting a bunch of British paras and not yet having enough Chindits for a game, allowed me a suitable excuse to build up two Sections of rough and tumble commandos.
I had a very specific look I was going for: I wanted ‘Hollywood’ with a tinge of history. A dash of the old comic book aesthetic, action heroes all. An excuse to really cut loose, and to really empty my bits-box.
I thus got started. The first things I noticed is that, quite lazily, the rifles which were supposed to be No4 Lee Enfields turned out to be SMLE’s with No4 bayonets stuck on them. Quite annoying! An attempt to fix them by removing the bayonet looked dreadful. In the end I chose to ignore this; it’s really not worth the effort, and most folks won’t notice.
The Thompsons included were better; they appear to be a weird mix of M1928 Thompsons with the cocking handle on the top, but with M1A1 Thompson triangular sight fins and a smooth barrel with no Cutt’s compensator. For Ty’s Section, I took the time to square off the rear sights. A small touch, but we reason that the weird Tommy Gun’s are specially ordered from Auto Ordnance for the Albertine forces, with efforts made to make them cheaper.
For my own Sections, I didn’t bother with this; I would be mixing them with M1A1 Thompsons from other kits so they wouldn’t stand out so much. Another anachronism ignored for expediency. Would I have preferred Warlord getting this right? Absolutely. However in the end, it really wasn’t that big a deal, and I’ve seen far worse Thompsons on metal models that make these look perfect!
After doing the modifications, the assembly began in earnest. I began with Ty’s Section. The rules were: no berets, period accurate weapons as best as I could manage, and as ‘Pulp’ as possible. Easy enough!
Let’s have a look at Ty’s Section first! Now a word of warning, while we used the Commando box we definitely won’t be calling them that. We wanted something unique, apart from history. So we are calling them, for now, ‘Prince Albert’s Loyal Rangers’, a nod to the North American units of the Seven Years War and Revolutionary War period.
Now, when I started on my own Sections, I had a different set of rules: Berets a plenty, Thompsons in abundance, and lots of kitbashing. These would be Commandos, so I did them up as Normandy and onward Commandos, with them no longer raiding as much as being elite light infantry.
I built twenty of them, and we all don’t need to look at all of them individually. I picked out some of the cooler looking kitbashes to showcase. Lets have a look at them!
All in all, a fun day’s build. I really enjoy the new kit, despite its flaws. As always, Warlord plastics kitbash wonderfully, and while this can lead to some very ahistorical things, such is the spice of life when playing alternative histories like Very British Civil War and Konflikt 47.
I’m very keen to get paint on these, as I have a full can of English Uniform spray ready. Ty’s Section will be wearing Canadian-made battle-dress, so I will wait until I can find a suitable colour. The internet suggests Brown-Violet from Vallejo, which is now US Olive Drab. Luckily, that is available in a spray, so I will order one as soon as funds are available.
My Sections just need a little clean up and slings added and I will begin work on them. They should be fast to paint, and without too many rifles to paint I can have some fun with the Black-Grey paint I have. I’ll need to see what decals I have, and if they will be suitable for post-D-Day Commandos. Some research into Konflikt 47 lore should let me see how the Commandos are faring in 1947.
But, that is all I have for today. Thank you for reading! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and keep your head’s down when raiding the coastlines of Europe!