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US Infantry Review

US Infantry

Hello, G.I. Joe

Whether they're rushing from cover to cover in the hedgerows of Normandy, fighting for their lives in the Ardennes or getting busy in the Mediterranean campaigns, the US infantry are a familiar sight on the WWII battlefield. And the mainstay of those forces is the G.I., the steadfast US footsoldier.

Warlord Games produces a great US Infantry box set for Bolt Action, which provides enough miniatures to field a small US force for the game, complete with commanders and special weapons. There are enough hard plastic components to make 30 infantrymen, who can be equipped with an assortment of weapons, including: M1 Garand rifle, Browning Automatic Rifle, Thompson and Grease Gun sub-machine guns, M1 carbine, Bazooka, Colt .45 pistol, fragmentation grenades, bandoliers and combat shotgun. By adding a vehicle or two to your basket with this kit, plus the addition of a heavy weapon option here and there, you're well on your way to having a complete US army force with this set.

As you would expect, the US Infantry set comes with 25mm diameter round plastic bases, as per usual for Bolt Action infantry miniatures. It also has full-colour waterslides and the all-important construction leaflet (never throw this away; you'll regret it!)

Getting It Together

Assembly is relatively straight forward, although it is recommended to keep the construction leaflet to hand, especially when it comes to identifying certain weapons and kit on the sprues (we told you not to throw it away!)

The legs and torso are a single moulding per miniature, which speeds up building and doesn't realistically limit variance in poses. Anyone with any experience of other plastic wargames kits or models in general will be right at home snipping the parts from the sprue using side clippers and cleaning up any mould lines with a craft knife or file. Talking about mould lines, there are very few on this kit and those you do find can be easily cleaned up.

I found there can be a little persuasion needed with some parts of this kit to squeeze them into place at times, but nothing too fiddly.

Unlike some of the rifle carrying arms that come with both the right and left in one section, some of the arms are separate and selecting the correct one to match up with its corresponding appendage can prove a little tricky, but with a little patience this proves not to be a real problem. Varying the positioning of heads and arms gives additional variation to your troops. There are lots of opportunities to switch and change with this kit.

They have the familiar M1 helmet, but there is a head option wearing a cap for that little extra divergence. There is also plenty of variance in face sculpts and extra components, such as pouches and canteens, make these uniformed troops look a lot less...well, uniform.

As ever with Warlord Games, their kits are packed with character and a certain level of dynamism that help your games look that bit more dramatic.

On The Painting Table

These are not the hardest miniatures to give a decent paint job to. I'm no pro-painter, but here's how

I got them to tabletop standard: your preference in priming may vary, but a blast with a spray-can of light grey primer provides a good base. The skin is a good place to start, which I did with a warm skin tone. Next, the jacket is picked out with a khaki colour. The trousers are base coated with an earthy brown and the boots a burnt umber. The puttees, webbing and packs are painted a drab beige (a darker shade than the one used on the jacket). The helmet was given an olive drab green base-coat.

You'll want to shade your miniatures now and a dark wash, such as Army Painter's Strong Tone, will do the trick for everything except the flesh. The skin can be given shading using an appropriate flesh-tone wash.

You could leave it there, but a quick way to add highlights is to mix a very light beige with each of the base coats and layer thin coats of this onto the raised surfaces. Don't forget to highlight the skin with lighter variants of the base flesh tone.

The waterslides sheet offers some additional detail. If you're feeling brave, you can snip off the miniscule rank-signifiers to add to your G.I.'s shoulder.

The Verdict

It's a solid kit and a great place to start for a budding Bolt Action player (or for a more seasoned one looking to start a new force or add to an existing one).

However, if you're looking for masses of detail and explosively extravagant modelling à la Games Workshop, then this is not for you. There is only so much you can do with uniformed soldiers to make them stay historically accurate and look as dynamic as possible.

Overall, it's a well put together kit with plenty of options. Plus, it's good value, with the bulk of a Bolt Action force for relatively not much money. We all love a bargain.