A Newbie’s first step into Bolt Action and US Airborne box review

Well, after insisting I wasn’t going to start playing any new games or armies this year, or until I’d painted what I had (Hah!), I’ve since started an Anglo-Dane army for Saga and after seeing Adam and Dave discuss Bolt Action and sharing pictures of their armies, I took the plunge. I haven’t gone bounding in and bought a full army like with Saga – that said, the full Saga army was about thirty eight quid – I’ve just bought a box of Bolt Action US Airborne made by Warlord Games.

The box art, shown as the featured image for this post is great, and reminded me of the boxes of the Airfix models I used to buy as a child. Nostalgia aside, the box is good, showing some finished miniatures, parts of the sprues, and a brief description of the airborne and what they were up to during World War 2. There’s also a list of contents.

I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting when I opened the box. I’ve seen one airborne army being packed away in Justplay, but I’ve never had the chance to see them close up. I was impressed with the detail on the airborne miniatures, and while it’s not as intense as some of the newer Games Workshop miniatures, they do have bags of detail on them, so painting them up will be good fun. I was also impressed with the options you got, and also the mould lines. I’ve had my fair share of miniatures with monstrous mould lines, but thankfully these miniatures had few to file off. Of those that needed filing/scraping off, they were barely noticeable.

As well as the sprues and bases, there was also a sheet which gave details of every item on the sprues which made it a lot easier when it came to deciding on weapons options, and also building the miniatures. As a total novice at Bolt Action – read this as “This is my first look at anything to do with Bolt Action” – it was nice to be able to pick up a box of multi-part miniatures and easily know what should be glued to what, and how the squads would be set up without the added cost of immediately buying the army book – Do they have army books?!

Taking me back to Airfix again, and a common component with many mini games is the transfer sheet. The US Airborne box has it’s own, and they’re all so small! I’m going to try and freehand everything on mine, but if that doesn’t work I have this to fall back on. The transfers are incredibly crisp and detailed, and will really bring the minis to life.

So, after a brief look, I decided to start putting troops together. Did I look at the parts list? Did I nothing, I blundered ahead at full steam, happy in the knowledge that I’d built thousands of miniatures in the past. Well, they didn’t like that.

Although they are multi-part, some parts are made to be with other parts, so clipping off all the left arms in one go became a pain as I tried to fit them onto specific weapons with no idea which was which. After mentioning this to Dave, he pointed out that he’d made the same mistake in the past (as did Adam), and that I should look at the parts sheet. Once I did that, it was fine, and the bits fitted together great.

I’ve posted a bit of a mass of pictures of some of the miniatures I’ve built so far, but there’s still another three sprues of miniatures to put together.  The 30cal below was the first miniature I put together, and as such it’s not ideal. The bi-pod I was aiming for the slightly leaning back look that you’d get with the SA-80 LSW, but it was angled more due to my dodgy left arm fiasco, so the firer is slightly more casual than he should be.


Squad riflemen.

One thing which is great about this box, is the variety you’re able to get from it. As well as five upright poses, there’s two lying down poses and more heads than you’ll need to give each a unique look. The detail on some parts is exceptional, and there are extra pouches, bandoliers, etc for you to individualise each soldier. The only thing I would say is missing is some weapons that aren’t attached to a hand or an arm, though I’m sure these will be with other kits.

All in all, my first delve into the world of Bolt Action has been a pleasant experience, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and building them all. Expect some painting tutorials on these guys in the future.

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