Saturday, 21 April 2018

28mm WW2 "Blackshirts" for North Africa

With the Op Compass games coming thick and fast I am finding myself painting to keep up, even with big old collections there are still some gaps in the ranks.

Our next game features some of Mussolinis' infamous "Blackshirts" and I had just the thing lying around in the to do box.

I call these a "Wargames Conversion" or if you are particularly fussy / rivet counter a "botch" job. Nobody makes (to my knowledge) specific figures so I improvised !

I painted a unit of these about 4 years ago and decided to repeat the feat again. I have simply used the stocking cap heads from the American Civil War Zouave box the Perrys do, chopped off the heads of the Afrika Korp box figures and joined the two together. There is the odd spare arm from the Desert Rat set as well (as the British SMG looks closer to the Italian one than the German does).

To fit in with our rules I have made up 3 x 10 man Squads, each with a SMG armed Sgt, a LMG gunner and No2 and 7 Rifles. To this I have added a 2 man HQ section and used the prone figures to make some support weapons, a Anti Tank Rifle and 2 baby Mortars.

The unit is actually based on the "Giovani Fascisti" who fought with such bravery at Bir el Gobi and I think they are a really nice, different addition to my collection.

So the belts might not be quite right, the LMGs look a bit dodgy and the old rifle looks suspiciously like a Lee Enfield but just like Bagpuss, they may be frayed round the edges but I love them.

Above is a detail shot of the front and back of one of the figures, the marking on the base is for on table identification, colour for company, number for Section.

Next up on the paint table are some Desert Rats for one of the YG regulars before I try and get back on the Crusades Project, although someone has just bought a box of figures to try out 28mm Italian Wars. Sidetracked, me, never.

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